Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Local GOP cheers as California Dems turn out for Clinton.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Argribusinessman Jeff Taylor may sound a little kooky. In 2006, he ran against Rep. Sam Farr as a write-in candidate, and in late 2007, he announced that he’ll again challenge the long-time Democratic incumbent. But, hey, he’s honest.
“I came for the free wine, free snacks,” he says, standing near the bar at the Monterey County Republican Party headquarters, a glass of Cabernet in one hand and a cookie in the other. In addition to the free booze, there’s also the California presidential primary. Taylor says he voted for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Taylor is one of a couple dozen at tonight’s Super Tuesday party in Salinas. It’s primarily attended by local GOP operatives and the party faithful (no local Republican electeds). They sip wine and coffee and all eyes focus on the eight TVs mounted at the back of the room. They watch the Democrats’ contest as closely as they do that of the Republicans.
“I want Hillary to win because we can beat Hillary in November,” says MCRP political director Brandon Gesicki. “She unifies my party. Obama scares me.”
Later in the evening, Sen. John McCain will emerge as the GOP front runner. Sen. Hillary Clinton will win California, but the Dems’ contest won’t be settled until at least next month.
Party-goer Marjorie Perkins says government spending is her top issue. “Some people expect the government to pay for everything,” she says. “They forget we are the government.” This is why she voted for Romney, although, she admits, “he may be a little conservative.”
Perkins says she thinks McCain will be the Republican nominee, and she would prefer he run against Clinton. “We know her past,” she says. “Obama is more of an unknown – but he’s got a lot of charisma.”
Mali Cuda, vice chairwoman of the MCRP, says she hopes the nominee will “focus on Republican values, as in curbing our budget, and spending only what we have.” And, she adds, she’s glad to see California finally play a role in choosing the next president.
And then, once again, the talk turns to Obama. On a personal level, Cuda says, she’d like to see him win the Democratic vote.
“I like him because he’s for the people,” adds Andrea Borchard, director of the California Republican Taxpayer’s Association. “He’s the only candidate who sounds like he truly understands the common person in America.”
Says Cuda: “…When he speaks, he doesn’t sound like he’s pandering.”
A little while later Borchard approaches. “For the record,” she says, “I voted for McCain.”