August 24, 2003

Take My Totally Unrealistic...

Take My Totally Unrean there too. It's 20-20-20-20-20. Who do you vote for, and why? I still have no idea, but if I had to choose from that lot today, all chances being equal, I'd probably take Ueberroth. He's a risk-taking crisis manager, with no larger political ambitions to speak of; he doesn't belong to the state's mono-party, and he's not a social conservative (and also, he voted against Proposition 187, which I think was an unambiguously bad law). As far as I can see, there is very little reason why anyone, especially a non-Republican like me, would select Arnold in a head-to-head match with Ueberroth, except for Arnold's electability. But enough about me -- what say you?

Posted by at August 24, 2003 11:48 PM

I would vote for Arnie if I were a Californian in order to shift the Republican Party away from the religious nutcase fringe and toward the libertarian, RINO side. Every California voter has an interest in a shift like that except the partisan Democrat hacks, because it will help ensure something resembling a choice in future elections, like being able to vote Riordan v. Davis instead of Simon v. Davis.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at August 25, 2003 01:49 AM

But why Arnie over Ueberroth, if both had an equal shot?

Posted by: Matt Welch at August 25, 2003 01:51 AM

Arnie, because it would be fun. But I live here and not there, so I'm not taking it seriously and you are welcome to ignore my input.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 25, 2003 01:55 AM

I'm leaning Ubie myself, although of course as a non-citizen non-resident of California I can't vote there. I suspect Ubie would take more steps to cut spending, and the GOP needs to reclaim its spending-hawk status somewhere, since it's losing it in DC.

Posted by: Crank at August 25, 2003 07:53 AM

I'm a Californian, so I do have a dog in this, um, electoral competition.

Ueberroth is a good man in the wrong action movie.

When I checked over the weekend (for mouth-money people), the percentage chances of coming out on top (different from the vote split) was something like 20% for Davis, 34% for Bustamante, and 45% for Schwarzenegger.

That leaves pretty close to zero apiece for McClintock, Huffington, and all the rest.

If you assume that the recall wins (80% chance), and that most of Davis's loyalists go to Bustamante as the fall-back, you've got a tight race.

Between two people. Only two.

Posted by: old maltese at August 25, 2003 08:19 AM

Oops. My math was bad.

The 34/45 Bustamante/Schwarzenegger ratio already factors in the contingent Davis-Bustamante yes-yes vote.

Schwarzenegger's ahead regardless. (With 6 weeks to go, to be sure.)

Posted by: old maltese at August 25, 2003 08:27 AM

He's a risk-taking crisis manager, with no larger political ambitions to speak of; he doesn't belong to the state's mono-party, and he's not a social conservative

On what do you base the notion that he's a "risk-taking crisis manager"? Neither his stint running the Olympics nor his brief tenure as baseball commissioner indicated a propensity to "take risks". He chickened out of numerous offers to run for office in California, in which he probably would have been the front-runner. Nothing he has done so far in this campaign has evidenced any bold, provocative ideas.

To answer your question, I'd vote for Arianna in that situation. If she were able to hit 20% in the polls (and if Cruz and A.S. were to fall to 20%), that would be a sure sign that the voters really wanted something more than business as usual from the political class (and yes, as multi-millionaires, A.S. and Ubes are part of the political class in this country).

Posted by: Steve Smith at August 25, 2003 08:59 AM

Steve -- Dude, taking personal charge of putting on the Olympics, while telling all to hear that it would turn a profit, damned well qualifies in my book as successful, risk-taking crisis management. Olympics were busy ruining every city that put them on, remember? And hasn't his whole business the last decade or so been taking over distressed companies?

Posted by: Matt Welch at August 25, 2003 09:21 AM

I'm not trying to slam Peter Ueberroth, and I'm not even certain that California needs a "risk-taker"; Prop 13, energy deregulation, out-of-control spending and super-majoritarian laws concerning tax increases are all risks that were taken either by the politicians or the electorate that have turned out badly for the state of California.

In any event, taking control of distressed companies, or putting on a profitable Olympics, does not exactly encompass "risk-taking" on a grand scale; it would be like calling a football coach who called for a Hail Mary pass on the last play of the game a "risk-taker". With the LA Olympics, the real risk was bidding for the Olympics in the first place(all hail Tom Bradley, risk-taker); while Ueberroth gets deserved props for running a profitable games, it wasn't like he had a choice between public and private financing, and chose the private route; the LA City Council pretty much gave him no other choice. And running a company that has already hit rock bottom would seem to be a situation where anyone can make a positive rep; no one is going to hold it against the new managers at Enron if they can't turn things around.

Posted by: Steve Smith at August 25, 2003 11:38 AM

With a tie like that, yes, Ueberroth all the way. He's clearly the most qualified, and as you pointed out, Matt, he lacks all the political baggage about 187, religious-right extremism, etc.

I should probably disclose that I work for a firm with some ties to Pete, and many of my higher-ups personally helped him organize the Olympics in '84. They have nothing but praise for his tough-mindedness and crisis management. They've also told me about how many people laughed when Pete threw his hat in the ring, because he was a travel-agency exec. But then he tore right through the committee, making sure to try innovative methods to make the Olympics profitable -- and that's exactly what happened.

Few of my generation know, too, that Pete was once Time Magazine Man of the Year. His work with Rebuild LA after the riots, a Pete Wilson commission to examine the budget, and of course, major league baseball (he was actually played a role in George W. Bush's purchase of the Rangers) shows that this guy knows how to run things.

Posted by: Robert Tagorda at August 25, 2003 12:12 PM

Definitely Ueberroth. Although Id discount referencing his stint as commissioner of baseball the reviews are pretty mixed on that. What I do like is his stated intention not to run for reelection, which would hopefully mean he can make the hard decisions without concern for teeing off the special interest groups. Once in office, every other candidate will have one eye on 2006. And this kind of work seems to be right in his wheel house.

Posted by: Kurt Loeprich at August 25, 2003 12:39 PM

Though he'll be viewed as a lame duck with a plurality (and I imagine it whoever wins will win by a small margin), so it won't be a mandate.

There might be more gridlock than someone who will run for re-election.

I'm sure everyone will know he was 1984 Man of the Year by election day, but does that mean that Jeff Bezos, Andy Grove, and Ted Turner among others should start their runs for office?

I'll probably be forced to vote for Bustamante in the hope of keeping Arnold out of office (I'm getting awfully sick of that ad). I really wish the recall had ranked choice voting.

Posted by: Steve Rhodes at August 25, 2003 06:38 PM

FOX News finally outed MEChA and the Bustamente connection today. All news outlets are pointing out that the Spanish Language Media is cheerleading for Bustamente and ignoring everyone else. This will end up a race campaign now and Bustamente has a huge chance. Things will stay the same in SacTown if he wins---except that we will have Indian Gaming in Iraq.

Posted by: Howard Veot at August 26, 2003 12:33 AM

What the hell is this Arianna/Ueberroth fixation you have Matt? A pathetic, hypocritical, wannabee "populist" salon hostess, and a has been who, granted, succeeded with the Olympics, but, as you should know better than anyone, was so fixated on "fixing" baseball, that he couldn't be bothered with those irritating laws regarding collusion and wound up costing his employers hundreds of millions of $. Not to mention he'll be competing for that same middle 20-30% of the electorate Arnold's got the inside track on.

So... I would suggest a more realistic poll come Oct 7 might be Bustamante-35, Ahnuld 30, McClintock- 25, other-10. In which case I wouldn't know who the hell to vote for between McC and Swarzie, tho McC would get my vote in an even match. By the way, like other social conservatives, I'm none too happy with Swarzie's positions in this area (or his econ advisor's eagerness to make abortions as numerous as possible), but I find it interesting that while most conservatives have thrown in the towel with abortion, etc. ype="hidden" name="static" value="1" />

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ed by: Ann at August 26, 2003 01:02 PM

I almost never base voting decisions on what the polls say. As unpragmatic as it may be, I pick the person I would most like to see in office, whether or not he/she has a chance in hell. If no-one votes idealistically now, no-one ever will. This ain't Nader in Florida -- a "fringe" candidate can conceivably win this one.

Anyway, me being a liberal, I'm likely voting for Camejo (as I did in the last election), but I'd pick Arianna if limited to the 5 candidates named. I think Arnold will take it, though.

Posted by: LYT at August 26, 2003 07:33 PM

I'd second Lloyd's suggestion above to discount Ueberroth's role as the baseball commissioner. For a good read on his role there, read Lords of the Realm, which is a fairly comprehensive telling of the history of labor negotiations in the sport. It doesn't paint Ueberroth in the most flattering light (that said, even knowing Ueberroth's role in the owners' collusion, I'd still rather him as baseball's commissioner everyday and twice on Sunday over Bud Selig). As for his role in turning a profit in the Olympics, I'll confess my ignorance in knowing how much credit he deserves for that, but wi for his role in turning a profit in the Olympics, I'll confess my ignorance in knowing how much credit he deserves for that, but wior that, but wiin the Olympics, I'll confess my ignorance in knowing how much credit he deserves for that, but wi for his role in turning a profit in the Olympics, I'll confess my ignorance in knowing how much credit he deserves for that, but wior that, but wi