Mar 142010

Meg Whitman again is spending money like it’s going out of style – including a hospitality suite with an open bar. (YIKES) Her staff were like ants – btw, they went out of their way to be friendly to this blogger. I saw all the heavy hitters from the Pete Wilson era: Zak, Saragosa, Cranney – and newly minted Whitmanites like David Reade. It felt like a lull in the middle of a civil war to sit with Mark Spannagel and David Reade and just chat knowing that we are about to go into an EPIC 4th Senate District campaign on opposite sides…

It is a much friendlier convention than any I can remember – in an adversarial sort of way – I consider a lot of the Whitman crew friends… even though I am going to light up their boss. (The life of a blogger, I guess)

And, I mean big money – Whitman had more signs than every other Campaign combined – and there was a substantial amount of litter under my door waiting for me in the morning. The Whitman staff are so numerous, it feels like the Ose Vs McClintock blog wars all over again. (Where I was outnumbered 8 to 1)

There was a stark contrast to the Friday Dinner and Saturday Dinner – Whitman’s spending was on display… she purchased an unheard of 8 Table Sponsorships at the Friday Dinner. The Campaign flew in Mitt Romney as well.

Saturday Night – Steve Poizner was the speaker, his evening featured home-grown support and was far less lavish.

The most important difference – Whitman used a teleprompter, Poizner did not bring any notes or a teleprompter. This repeats the theme of Whitman being scripted all the time… and this will dog the rest of her campaign. It is indeed a scary place to be as a voter – it reeks of Arnold all over again.

Back to the hospitality suites – Poizner’s was economical compared to Whitman’s. I also took note of who the participants were at each suite. It seemed that Whitman’s suite was jammed with paid staff – Poizner had gotten a ton of kids from local College Republican Clubs to come volunteer… Poizner’s suite seemed full of regular delegates that I see all the time at conventions.

It just screams what the campaigns have been thus far – Poziner+People and Whitman+Money.

And the final theme – Negativity followed by Generality from Whitman, Positivity and Specificity by Poizner.

When Whitman said anything that wasn’t an attack on Poizner – it was her non-specific plans for fixing the state. Her attacks were specious as well – such as portraying Steve Poizner as an Abortion rights activist when Whitman is the one who favors taxpayer-funded abortion…

Poizner? Passion and solutions – he is speaking about across-the-board tax cuts (Whitman opposes), Immigration Reform (enforcing our existing laws) and spending tax dollars on citizens only (Whitman opposes), the AB32 suspension, Parental Notification and the Citizen Power Initiative. (Where is Whitman on any of these)

The Convention was a microcausm of the campaign – Poizner has the message, Whitman has the Money – which will win?

BTW – Larry Niratelli did not show at the convention that I know of.

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