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Gray Davis Gropes for Votes - October 3, 2003

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

As Election Day draws nearer and Arnold moves ever closer to the governor's mansion, the Davis camp seems to get more frantic. It's come up with a pull-out-all-the-stops strategy that goes something like this:

First, unleash the sleaze.

This one smells worse than a high school gym locker after a six-hour pick-up basketball game.

You get three reporters from the Los Angeles Times to rummage through Schwarzenegger's past, have them rely on old accusations and anonymous sources, and slap the muck on the front page just a few days before the election.

Then you dust off the Arianna Huffington "way you treat women" line and have the L.A. Times regurgitate an old sexual harassment story, giving it a scintillating new caption.

In the article, you feature six Anita Hill wannabes, four of whom don't give their names, one who's the wife of a bitter bodybuilder who already voiced the same charge in print and one who's recycled from a multi-year-old slam piece.

You're careful to divert attention away from the fact that the women took no legal action at the time of the incidents or since. And you ignore that in lawsuit-happy California, if a star like Arnold really were a serial groper, his past would be littered with post-litigation debris.

Second, bind Bustamante.

Believing that Cruz Bustamante is pulling votes away from the No on Recall effort, you start pressuring the potential spoiler to drop out of the race.

You suggest to Cruz's people that if their guy performs poorly in getting votes, it may jeopardize his future run for office. On the other hand, if he helps out Davis and withdraws, party leaders just may be inclined to be generous in the future.

Third, turn out the vote.

You get the Dems to fire up the constituency and move anyone and everyone to the polls.

You get the X-prez to make a "Church and State" speech and rally the black vote. You feature the Slick One in a 60-second radio spot and run it ad nauseam.

With the carnival barker vote in mind, you enlist the help of Terry McAuliffe.

You ask Michigan Congressman John Conyers to bring some of his lawmaker buddies to California.

You appeal to lefty twins Boxer and Feinstein for assistance.

And lastly, you haul in a shipload of shysters to stage a Florida election squabble.

This recall seems to have more moving parts than a Michael Flatly chorus line. But hang onto your cleats ­ the Dem tap dance ain't over yet.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2003
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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