Expect an exodus of Hollywood celebs away from the Howard Dean camp this week if he doesn't come back strong on Tuesday, the L.A. Business Journal says in a story by Howard Fine that lists who sleeps in which Democratic tent. Fine also interviews Bill Carrick, the campaign consultant for Jim Hahn (and Clinton, Feinstein and Riordan) who is fresh off the failed Gephardt campaign. He says Kerry's got the nomination, and minces no words about Gray Davis.
Q: Was there any way you think Gray Davis could have saved his job?
A: Gray was very naïve about the recall. He first felt that he could get on the ballot. I had a conversation with him and he was very surprised about this whole recall. Even as late as July he felt the recall would not get on the ballot. But it was clear that Darrell Issa and others were going to put the money up. They were going to pursue this regardless. It was all part of this partisan polarization. Davis simply wasnt prepared. Once it got on the ballot, it became more of an inevitability, particularly when the Republicans offered a more moderate candidate in Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Q: The states Democrats are still shell-shocked. How do they recover and win back the Statehouse in 2006?
A: The states problems are still as serious as ever. The key for the Democrats is to be seen as the responsible opposition. The voters have a sense of hopefulness about Gov. Schwarzenegger. They want to see him succeed. So, for the next year at least, the Democrats must position their opposition based on issues, not for strict political gain. In other words, if the budget cuts are too deep, the Democrats should say that. But it would be crazy for anybody to think they could embark on a politically opportunistic strategy right now. There will be time enough for that later.
Those stories are pay-only on the LABJ site. The free stories this week (with registration) include Santee Alley downtown as a hotbed of movie piracy, and questions about the Auto Club of Southern California's many business ventures. The paper also carries short items on a couple of things mentioned here a week ago or so: the sniping between LAVoice.org and LA.com, and columnist Nikki Finke's suit against Disney and the New York Post probably headed for trial.