In our Bernie Goldberg thought of the day, imagine the howls of outrage from the Los Angeles Times and the dominant media if Karl Rove or some other Republican spent the last 72 hours of the campaign touting — usually on the record! — "internal" campaign polling purporting to show dramatic tightening in a race that was not supported by either pre-election public polling or the election results.
Here is the harsh-but-spot-on analysis of what happened from a Brilliant Democrat:
1. Optimism trumps pessimism.
2. Referendum on hated incumbent will produce defeat no matter how flawed challenger is (see: Florio versus Whitman, 1993)
3. Democratic Party does not have moral platform to attack sexually harassing candidates (notice absence of either Clinton during the final stretch, once the charges broke)
4. Was there a real difference between our tracking polls and the Republican tracking polls the final week post-LA Times allegations? If so, pollster problems in Democratic Party (so evident in 2002) seem to persist.
When was the last time a Democrat lost 30% of the African-American vote in any race, any time? This is some achievement for Mulholland, South, Doak et al.
There are a million Arnold transition stories today. The best ones include:
The Washington Post 's sage Dan Balz makes another stab at What It All Means, complete with equally sage Matt Dowd quotes. LINK
Democrats, get out your white boards — Whit Ayres has a suggestion
"'It's hard to imagine a bitter and angry campaign message selling in a broader general election electorate,'" he said. "'That doesn't mean it will not sell well among Democratic primary activists, who remain infuriated that George W. Bush is president of the United States. But it's very important to make a bright and clear distinction between what works in a Democratic primary audience and what works in a general election electorate.'"
Bob Novak tackles the Dems for the tactics they used to … lose.
"Without California, chances of defeating George W. Bush next year are nil. Short of that transforming development, the tawdry performance by Democrats in the brief recall campaign creates anxiety among thoughtful party loyalists outside California who looked askance at tactics used in the country's most populous state." LINK
Mr. Schwarzenegger begins the transition. (We like the use of the phrase "unbridled optimism" and we'd like to see how long it lasts!) LINK
Todd Harris calls Maria Shriver "the secret weapon of the press office." Reading the piece we ask our readers, are ribbon cuttings the new "baking cookies?" LINK
Analyzing Arnold, The New York Times ' LeDuff gets hopeful bachelor Harris to talk media strategy:
"'A lot of thought was given to the idea that we had the ability to expand upon the traditional outlets that tend to cover politics and take our message directly to a segment of the population that frankly isn't the 'Meet the Press' crowd.'" LINK
The New York Post 's Deborah Orin writes that Arnie & Rudy now represent the growing "Terminator wing of the Republican Party." LINK
43 meets T3:
The New York Times says the President will see the new Governor when in the Golden State, throwing in a bit about last eve's $14 million RNC fundraiser at the end. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: The Invisible Primary: With Graham out of the race, Democrats running for president have set their sights on Florida. LINK