Ventura County supporters of Thousand Oaks Sen. Tom McClintock are daring to hope that this could be the year that McClintock, a three-time loser in previous bids for statewide office, finally makes it over the top.
There is good reason for their optimism. McClintock, unchallenged in the Republican primary, can horde his money while the three Democrats battling for the nomination spend theirs. McClintock, a notoriously weak fund-raiser, has been getting help from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has a large stable of significant donors. Also, McClintock's direct-mail operations have built a huge base of small contributors. Finally, his name-recognition and public image received a tremendous boost during the 2003 recall campaign when McClintock received loads of press coverage.
The most difficult obstacle, most McClintock supporters agree, would be if Sen. Jackie Speier were to secure the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. Why? Because Speier has such a compelling life story that she would likely receive an extraordinary amount of press coverage in a general election campaign — something unheard of for a down-ticket race in California.
How compelling is her story? Her campaign has released an Internet video that tells the story: Jackie Speier in her own words. Defintely not your usual campaign-rhetoric fare.