Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who during the primary ran ads featuring the champion of Proposition 187, former Gov. Pete Wilson, promising that she'd be "tough as nails" on illegal immigration, now wants Latino voters to think maybe what Wilson really mean was fingernails.
Today she unveiled Spanish-language ads -- to be aired during the World Cup, no less -- that tell Latino voters that she is a "different kind" of Republican who opposed Proposition 187 and has come out against the controversial Arizona law making it a state crime for illegal immigrants to reside there.
It is the start of extensive makeover for the billionaire candidate, who pumped another $20 million into her campaign this week. Pushed by Steve Poizner, she was forced to run further to the right than she had hoped during the primary. As the new ad shows, a change in direction is in order.
One big question for the fall campaign: Will Democrat Jerry Brown and his allies have enough money to effectively remind voters that the Whitman of the summer and fall is not at all the Whitman of the spring.