August 24, 2002
What Should Simon Say?

Perhaps it is true that William Simon has no chance of beating Gray Davis in November's gubernatorial election in California, given his legal problems, continuing questions about his career in business, and a generally lackluster campaign so far. But it's a little early for Republicans to give up on the largest state of the union, particularly when the incumbent is so thoroughly and deservedly despised by so many. I have an idea for a campaign theme. Simon should admit all his faults and then point out that they are exactly the same as Davis', but not nearly as bad. Here's how I would run the campaign:

Mention the lawsuit Simon just lost, but then list half a dozen of the sleazier instances of corruption in the Davis administration, and end with this slogan:

Simon: not half so crooked as Gray Davis.

Briefly mention Simon's business failures, then outline Davis' incredibly inept handling of the power crisis, emphasize how much it has cost and will continue to cost the taxpayers, and end with this slogan:

Simon: not half so incompetent as Gray Davis.

Admit that Simon is not the most exciting speaker, but turn that one around, too:

Simon: not half so boring as Gray Davis.

After all of the above, sum up with this slogan:

Simon: clearly the lesser of two evils.

Others may be able to come up with snappier formulations, but the general argument seems sound: with all his faults, Simon is surely the lesser of two evils. Everything he can do, David can do (and has done) worse. (The wording of this one needs a little work.)

As always, my comment section is open: any suggestions?

Posted by Dr. Weevil at August 24, 2002 08:05 PM