1) California’s Republican Quandary. Meg Whitman spent at least $162 million in her failed gubernatorial effort, purposely avoided controversial stands so as not to be portrayed as a wing-nut, supposedly mounted an unprecedented get-out-the-vote effort, yet drew 130,000 fewer votes than Dan Lungren in 1998 – Lungren, with his 19-point loss, being a benchmark for futility. The past dozen years have seen 31 statewide races in the Golden State (I’m not including Superintendent of Public Instruction — supposedly, a nonpartisan office). Republicans have won only five of those contests. Subtract Arnold Schwarzenegger’s two wins in ’03 and ’06, plus two wins in 1998, and only Steve Poizner (Insurance Commissioner, 2006) avoided a concession speech. That’s 1-for-27, folks – not a hit in any league.
2) At Least Pelosi Had a Bad Night, Too. Not a bad night. A really bad night considering: (1) she becomes yet another short-serving Speaker; (2) her fellow California House Democrats have to contend with the after-effects of Proposition 20 (so much for SoCal gerrymandering). Pelosi’s troubles are also Jerry Brown’s troubles. I don’t see the governor-elect having much luck rattling a tin cup outside the office of Speaker Boehner and his penny-pinching, red-state pals who now control the House of Representatives’ purse-strings.