August 8, 2003
Was the White House Behind the California Recall Effort and the Candidacy of Arnold "The Groper" Schwarzenegger?
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
BuzzFlash is a little bit tired of the press hedging about whether or not the White House is behind the recall effort and Arnie "The Groper's" candidacy for governor of California. According to Molly Ivins, when BuzzFlash interviewed her, one of Karl Rove's few strategic mistakes against the Democrats was backing former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan in the Republican primary. But, the right wing Republicans in California revolted and supported William Simon.
So the way BuzzFlash sees it is that Rove was planning the recall initiative probably within days after Davis beat Simon last November. They got a multi-millionaire California Grand Hypocrisy Party (GHP) Congressman (are there any other kind?) to pay petition gatherers for a recall less than a few months after the actual election!
Well, Rove used the rich Congressman (Darrell Issa, 49th District) for a sap. Once the recall initiative was assured, they had Arnold announce his candidacy on the Leno show (the perfect venue for the Republicans: the combination of image, entertainment and money triumphing over substance). Then they had Issa and Riordan announce that they weren’t going to place their names on the recall ballot. Any other high-profile Republican who might be thinking about running on the recall ballot in California is probably currently being visited by two Rove RNC operatives equipped with shotguns to blow their knee caps off if they even think about taking the thunder away from Arnold "I love Kurt Waldheim" S.
It’s the perfect Rove strategy, thinking it through on three dimensions. You don’t have to spend a cent on name recognition when you have a high-profile movie star running. What’s more, if Rove clears the field of prominent Republicans on the ballot, Arnie "the groper" has a very good shot at winning if Gray Davis is recalled.
Why is that the case?
Because if more than 50% of the voters recall Davis, the next governor of California is the candidate on the second part of the ballot who receives the highest percentage of votes. If Democrats run and split the Democratic votes (as well as Arianna Huffington drawing independent and progressive Democratic votes), Arnie wins because the Republicans in California will listen to the White House and vote as their tin horn leader, Bush, tells them to. Already, Rove is hinting that Bush might campaign for California’s most famous groper (and hugger of former Nazis).
Here is further proof of White House involvement in positioning Arnie (a virtual candidate whose sole qualification is his movie image of being a tough guy) to win the recall. Just remember, first Rove had to have Issa (a Republican with the usual GOP checkered past) appear to independently get the recall ball rolling.
Don’t cry for Issa, though. Rove’s probably promised him a position as Secretary of the Army or some other appointment of little concern to the Bush Cartel. Or given Issa’s past run ins with the law for carrying concealed guns, maybe Bush will appoint him head of the FBI.
* * *
White House’s Active Role in the California Recall:
Guru Karl Rove Met With Schwarzenegger in April. Schwarzenegger visited
the White House for a meeting with top Bush adviser Karl Rove on April
12th, 2003. Both Schwarzenegger and Rove claimed that politics was not
discussed during the meeting. [Washington Post, 4/13/03]
Laura Bush’s Press Secretary Helped GOP Candidate Strategize for Recall Campaign. Noelia Rodriguez, Laura Bush’s press secretary and former LA deputy mayor, was in Los Angeles for a week in July helping former mayor Richard Riordan assemble a campaign team and strategy for a possible run on the recall ballot. [Los Angeles Times, 7/31/03; New York Times, 8/1/03]
Top Bush CA Adviser Playing Major Roll in Recall. Gerry Parsky, Bush’s top adviser in California, has been advising GOP candidates on the recall strategy. The Sacramento Bee reported, "Bush isn't staying entirely out of the election. His liaison in California, businessman Gerald Parsky, summoned representatives of potential Republican candidates to his office Tuesday to discuss how the GOP could help recall Davis." [Sacramento Bee, 7/30/03]
High Level Bush Re-Election Strategist Involved in Recall Effort. Mindy Tucker, who served as a Bush spokesperson in the 2000 election and is currently a high level Bush campaign strategist, is involved in the recall election strategy. A memo by a California GOP campaigner noted, "Mindy Tucker, former Bush campaign spokesperson and current Bush campaign operative in California, has the White House's blessing…" The same memo noted that Tucker would be involved in coordinating recall campaign events, and that "the resulting issue-oriented and image-enhancing coverage will benefit the image of the Republican Party, the recall candidates, and will benefit President Bush as we remind the public of who is to blame for the mess in this state." [San Francisco Chronicle, 8/6/03]
Tucker Has Denied White House Involvement, But Alludes to Bush Strategy. Tucker has claimed that her involvement is not on the part of the White House, but has also said, "the president has given everybody in California his blessing to take a position on this…" Tucker has also said, "We've identified some areas where the recall will help us build the party -- not only for the recall, but also for '04, which everyone believes is important." [San Francisco Chronicle, 8/6/03]
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
otherwise noted, all original