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Meg Whitman makes the insider case in CA-Gov.

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who has spent months running for the Republican gubernatorial nod in California as an outsider to the political process, has launched a new ad featuring endorsements from a handful of party insiders.

Whitman's new ad includes testimonials from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- two pillars of the Republican establishment -- as well as Jon Coupal, the president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Rice says that Whitman "has the values, the strength and the skill to lead California back to greatness" while Romney describes her as a "leader with integrity and proven skills to bring California back."

Using political validators has been an iffy strategy in a year like this one where incumbents (of any political stripe) are viewed skeptically.

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson tried to wrap himself in endorsements from the likes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Hal Rogers -- among others -- but lost badly to ophthalmologist Rand Paul in last Tuesday's Senate primary.

In this case, the Whitman forces argue that the Rice, who is viewed more as a celebrity than a politician, and Romney help validate Whitman's Republican bona fides after a withering attack from state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner's campaign regarding her record on immigration issues. Poizner's latest ad hammers Whitman for supporting "amnesty" for illegal immigrants.

Whitman's change in strategy reflects the fact that her primary against Poizner has tightened. Rather than run a general election message focused on broad issues like the economy and jobs, Whitman has pivoted in recent days to talk about her hard-line stand on immigration -- an issue close to the heart of California Republicans.

It's worth remembering that the California Republican party is surprisingly conservative -- largely due to the fact that the leftward movement in the state has kept only the most loyal of GOPers still in the Republican camp.

Whitman allies insist the change in message is working -- noting that a new Survey USA poll shows her leading Poizner by 27 points in advance of the June 8 primary.

But, throwing your lot in with the party establishment -- particularly when you've run a campaign as an outsider -- comes with real political risk in a cycle like this one where any evidence of being a "politician" doesn't play well with voters.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 24, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

Neither Mitt Romney nor Condolezza Rice are incumbents.

Posted by: Daniel84 | May 25, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Whitman is doing nothing more than buying this position. Is she thinking that having almost 100 million to spend on a campaign entitles her to win?

Guess it could be worse.....it could be e-Bay running for governor.....what? you don't think so......Supreme Court say's corps are the same as people, someday we'll see a group of stockholders as the Governor of CA.

Posted by: liberalwesterngirl | May 25, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Your prejudice against Whitman is showing, Cillizza. You say she is losing ground at the same time indicate she is 27 points ahead. Most professionals would consider a 27 point lead a positive.

Whitman has been a winner all of her life and Cillizza can't stand it.

Posted by: Kansas28 | May 25, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Condi Rice is only known for her association with President Bush and a right wing foreign policy agenda. I am assuming Whitman, already with Cheney's endorsement, may not want to be associated with Bush economics, which are credited, fairly or unfairly, for the current state of the economy. Whitman seems to be following a Bush linked strategy that has lead other candidates into the political graveyard since 2006. Steve Poizner is an independently minded businessman who has grown a business and became a self made billionare from his own business. Poizner should continue to hammer the fact that Whitman has a crappy record in even voting in elections and these ties to the Bush team certainly aren't likely to help her in a state like California. Poizner has a great shot to win the Cali. primary.

Posted by: reason5 | May 25, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Condi Rice is only known for her association with President Bush and a right wing foreign policy agenda. I am assuming Whitman, already with Cheney's endorsement, may not want to be associated with Bush economics, which are credited, fairly or unfairly, for the current state of the economy. Whitman seems to be following a Bush linked strategy that has lead other candidates into the political graveyard since 2006. Steve Poizner is an independently minded businessman who has grown a business and became a self made billionare from his own business. Poizner should continue to hammer the fact that Whitman has a crappy record in even voting in elections and these ties to the Bush team certainly aren't likely to help her in a state like California. Poizner has a great shot to win the Cali. primary.

Posted by: reason5 | May 25, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

California needs a Republican to run the state... and Whitman is a bright and talented one....

It's amazing how some folks want to keep going back to the Dems for leadership even though the financial walls are collapsing around us... It makes me think of the definition of "Insanity"... Keep on doing the same thing and expect different results. This goes for Michigan and California...

It's true that the current Governator is a Reep.... but he is a liberal one and he is surrounded by a heavily laden Democratic State Legislature, two liberal US Senators, and a vast majority of Democratic US Congressmen...

Guaranteed that she would do a better job in fixing the Employment and Financial crisis in Cali that Brown (another lawyer and career politician) could ever hope to do.

Posted by: poyman | May 25, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

The extent of Mitt Romney's service in public office was four years as Massachuesetts govenor. That hardly classifies him as a "pillar of the Republican establishment". Nearly his entire life has been in the private sector.

Posted by: sambunderson | May 24, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

The extent of Mitt Romney's service in public office was four years as Massachuesetts govenor. That hardly classifies him as a "pillar of the Republican establishment". Nearly his entire life has been in the private sector.

Posted by: sambunderson | May 24, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I don’t think that a large margin of the US population have any conception the money taken from their pay checks is taken by the IRS to subsidize the 20 to 30 million illegal aliens.

==

I don't think you know either, because if you quoted actual figures you'd find that they don't support your wide-eyed hysteria.

We're not going to militarize the border (we can't afford it), we're not going to conduct a pogrom against 11 or 20 million people, and anyway the Republicans business owners who profit from the cheap labor wouldn't stand for it.

Go run out in traffic and yell this crap at passing cars.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 24, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I don’t think that a large margin of the US population have any conception the money taken from their pay checks is taken by the IRS to subsidize the 20 to 30 million illegal aliens. The Medical treatment, education and the undisclosed welfare programs that taxpayers are unaware of, which is silently rising as the borders remained still unsecured. I think most prudent people would riot, if they had any idea the hundreds of billions in your dollars forced on each state in welfare payments. California is a SANCTUARY STATE—is a not just individual city, because of the overwhelming position of Liberal extremists hiding behind dark mantles in Sacramento. California—a SANCTUARY STATE—not city, has the nerve to spit on Arizona that has finally had the guts to fight back against federal indifference at the border. Illegal Immigration has dragged almost every state into a plague of insolvency. California may boycott the Arizona, even as they try to disguise their own massive financial disaster caused by the illegal immigration occupation in that state.
Today as always, the laws to restrict illegal immigration is just hot air, played on the people by the open border politicians. The removal of the majority of incumbents will carry a warning that if you deceive the American people, you will lose your office. It’s already happening, as Sen. Arlen Specter has already lost in a primary. Next prominent ultra-pro-amnesty , open border politician to bite the dust—MUST—be Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) who has defied the will of the majority of the American people. His handiwork nearly destroyed E-Verify, underfunded the—REAL TWO FENCES AT THE BORDER. He and a whole bunch of rogues must be eliminated from Washington.
Sitting dormant for years the wrath of the American people was finally ignited by the immigration policing law in Arizona. The anger and frustration stretching over decades cannot be stopped now; as other states squatted by millions of illegal aliens adopt similar laws Arizona. EVERY STATES HAS CRIED OUT TO AN UNINTERESTED GOVERNMENT TO ENFORCE OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS, BUT LIKE THE FENCE STAYS UNCOMPLETED. LET AMERICA ADOPT THE DRACONIAN LAWS OF MEXICO. Enter illegally from Guatemala and it’s a two year prison sentence. Reenter and they throw away the key for ten years. Join a Tea Party or NumbersUSA who have had enough of the lies.

Posted by: infinity555 | May 24, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Dick Cheney. A Dick Cheney endorsement in California is a sure fire strategy, right, especially since the leftward movement in the state has kept only the most loyal of GOPers still in the Republican camp. So the only chance a Republican has of winning the general would be to avoid the Bush administration like the plague they were, in order to try to attract I and x-over votes. Bye Meg.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 24, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

There was a poll or a study done once comparing Republicans among different age groups and geographical locations. It was pretty interesting that Republicans are relatively homogeneous among different age groups and geographical locations. A young Republican from Cali isn't all that different from an old Republican from Texas.

Of course, this means the Cali Republicans are more out of line with the state as a whole than Texas Republicans. This might explain why the Republicans are in trouble with party purity. While Cali might be more liberal than Texas, Cali Republicans are just as conservative as Texan Republicans, so both groups will demand the same types of candidates. But this type of candidate is more electable in Texas than in Cali.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 24, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who has spent months running for the Republican gubernatorial nod in California as an outsider to the political process, has launched a new ad featuring endorsements from a handful of party insiders.

Whitman's new ad includes testimonials from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- two pillars of the Republican establishment "


Only two words for this -- floundering and incoherent. She has virtually guaranteed that she won't get a single crossover Dem vote in the entire state.

Posted by: drindl | May 24, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe anyone is buying this CEO-politician drizzle anymore. Fiorinia, Whitman, Romney, all echoing the Bush/Cheney notion that success (or, as in Fiorina's case, catastrophic failure) in a dictatorial hierarchy is preparation for government where the ability to compromise is a prerequisite.

And it's really funny to think that Romney is the best hope the GOP has, a man with all the authenticity of some free plastic blockbuster-movie widget given out by McDonalds.

But wouldja getta loada that suit on Mittens! Musta costa halfa grand. And when he centers his tie like Pierce Brosnan in the tank, don't you just wanna sa-WOON?

Posted by: Noacoler | May 24, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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