View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Monday, August 11, 2003

Why Now?

Deacon, over at Powerline posits that Arnold is running this year because it's a chance to avoid the long-term scrutiny of a normal election. Although Dave Dryer pointed out on Hugh Hewitt that the campaign really isn't shorter than a normal election cycle, there's no primary, and Gray Davis doesn't have the chance to interfere.

I just think it's a confluence of favorable circumstances. Gray is discredited, looking more and more like a man on the way out. There's no big-name Democrat with statewide presence in the running - does anyone really know anything about Cruz, either? Assume that 5 years ago, Arnold wasn't ready; last year, his friend Richard Riordan was running, and it was probably his last shot at the statehouse. This year, Riordan basically agreed not to run if Arnold did. Last year, Simon hadn't yet lost - this year, Simon could also be yesterday's news. People have forgotten who Uberroth is. There's a left-wing Arianna and a left-wing Green candidate to siphon off Democratic votes, and to help fry Gray.

Now, consider if he waits. If Arnold waits until the next cycle, he risks facing an incumbant Republican Governor, possible Bill Simon. He wouldn't do that. He could be facing an incumbant Democrat who would still have the advantages of incumbancy, and who might get credit for a reviving economy, if he did the right things. The way is clear for Arnold only if Gray survives the recall and is termed out, but if by running you can help prevent that from happening, why wait? You don't know who might be running in 2006, and you might well be facing a stronger field than is out there now.

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