\Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state elections.
THE BUZZ — REALITY BITES: That didn’t take long. Reality TV star and political neophyte Caitlyn Jenner was about 24 hours into the rollout of her California gubernatorial campaign this weekend when she posted her first major campaign gaffe on social media.
Jenner, expressing outrage about a San Francisco Chronicle story involving SF DA Chesa Boudin’s record on domestic violence cases (more below), tweeted: “This is horrible and also avoidable. Gavin’s District Attorneys across California are releasing dangerous criminals back on to our streets. Enough is enough. #RecallGavin.’’
The Twitterverse quickly responses, schooling the candidate about what appeared to be her ignorance of the election process involving California district attorneys. In one of the kinder pushbacks, CA GOP operative @RobertJMolnar tweeted: “District Attorneys do not work for Gavin. Politics 101. Lesson is over for today. Good luck!”
Dem strategist @GarrySouth was acid-tongued: “@Caitlyn_Jenner is an uninformed idiot. Watch her expose more of her embarrassing ignorance as the campaign moves on.”
WHY IT MATTERS: Jenner’s entry may herald a parade of other political newbies — who, like her, have never run for office, have a lot to learn about politics, and yet are willing to declare a run to lead the world’s fifth largest economy, as Carla reported in our POLITICO story with Steven Shephard.
THE QUESTION: Can she capture Arnold Schwarzengger’s “lightening in a bottle” run that ended in victory in 2003? Carla and Jeremy, in this POLITICO story Friday, laid out reasons why 2021 will not be a redux of the last historic gubernatorial recall. Aside from the state’s solidly blue stance, her star power doesn’t approach that of the “Terminator.” (Exhibit A: Jenner’s Wheaties box going for just $300 on Ebay…)
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — “The Caitlyn Effect?” Big boost in Gavin’s fundraising: In the 36 hours after Jenner’s entry into the governor’s race, Gavin Newsom’s campaign raised a whopping $300,000 in online contributions, POLITICO has learned.
That comes hours after Newsom, in a Friday morning email pitch to supporters, charged Jenner “is working closely with Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager and the person behind his small-dollar fundraising success...So we're going to need help keeping up with Caitlyn's personal wealth and ability to raise money from right-wing donors now that she has Trump's team with her.” Campaign spokesman Nathan Click tells the Playbook that the weekend windfall that resulted shows “our grassroots army is fired up!”
WHAT TO WATCH NOW...
— An East Coast campaign? Didn’t go unnoticed that to announce her run for California governor, Jenner didn’t speak to a single state media or reporter; she dropped the scoop to East Coast-based outlet Axios. One GOP operative explains: “She’s running a national campaign,’’ and she’ll be talking to Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Newsmax and OAN, not the LATimes, the SFChronicle ed board or the SacBee, likely, if her campaign team has any say in it. That’s because they are...…
— The crowd of Trump insiders running the show include former campaign manager Brad Parscale and White House/campaign rapid response guru Steven Cheung. The Washington-based political insiders have little experience in California politics — but are certainly aware of the state’s status as a political ATM. So the potential exists for them to reap a California goldrush from Jenner’s run — when they tap their deep database of Trump donors, and get a generous cut of those checks that come in. As well as any media they place. But you may have noticed....
— She’s Caitlyn Lite on the issues: Currently, the “Caitlyn for California” website is heavy on merchandise and “donate” buttons, with no mention of platform or policy positions. Jenner will now be pressed to deliver details — and a rationale for the run. Interviews? Editorial boards? Debates? Rallies and public events? Or will this campaign echo “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” when it comes to substantive political discussion? Stay tuned.
AND FINALLY, THIS: Will CAGOPers vote for her? “Bass questions whether California Republican