State Sen. Tom McClintock, his political consultant in tow, showed up on the state Capitol steps today to view "draft Tom" posters that had been circulated and signed at last weekend's state Republican convention. The photo op was attended by a Sacramento TV station and a reporter from the Sacramento Bee.
McClintock is considering entering the race for Congress in the 4th Congressional District, a vast area that extends from the Sierra foothills above Sacramento to include most of the northeast corner of California. For 22 of the last 26 years, McClintock has served in the Legislature representing districts centered in Ventura County, 400 miles away. Most of that time he has lived near Sacramento, including a stint actually in the 4th District, but his current home in Elk Grove is as distant from the district's edge as Thousand Oaks is from Ojai.
Surely anticipating a question about being a carpetbagger, McClintock had a ready answer: Voters, he said, care more about "where you stand than where you live."
The event gave credence to some stinging criticism posted by conservative political consultant Jeff Flint on the Red County blog earlier today. Flint argued that circumstances suggest McClintock is trying to create the impression that he would be doing Fourth District voters a favor by agreeing to run for Congress.
McClintock must make a decision by March 12, and indicated it could come as early as next week.