Here’s a lesson in diversion and clever media management, courtesy of California Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.
The challenge: what news to make at last weekend’s California Democratic Party convention.
The problem: Brown’s notoriously wonkish, and not the sort of electric speaker who brings a crowd to its feet.
Nor is he a bomb-thrower prone to firing the sort of salvos a crowd of liberal activists want to hear, but not a more centrist November electorate (think: soaking the rich, amnesty for illegal immigrants, legalized marijuana).
The solution: challenge your likely opponent in the general election to something that will never happen, yet the attending political press can’t resist.
Which is what Brown did in challenging Republican Meg Whitman to a set of three-way debates that would include the other Republican in the governor’s race, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.