Sunday, June 26, 2005

Governor Schwarzenegger continues his PR blitz

Bill Bradley of the LA Weekly takes a look at Governor Schwarzenegger's recent propaganda ploys.

While Bradley calls them signs of desperation, I really hope they are but I disagree slightly.

For instance, this:
Meanwhile, at a carefully staged event held last Tuesday at the home of an elderly couple outside San Diego, Schwarzenegger had claimed that Democrats are out to raise residential property taxes and toss the couple out onto the street. Unfortunately for him, there is no evidence of that. Was it a misstatement in the heat of the moment? No, the event was set up at the home to highlight the “threat” to Proposition 13. Why would Schwarzenegger’s advisers contrive such an easily exposed stunt?
Yes, this was an outrageous thing to do but I also think this was carefully designed to shore up support with his base, the anti-tax Repubs, and mislead any uninformed Californians, of which there are many. His base wouldn't care if this was a huge misstatement of the special election. Stunts like this keeps the Governor's base angry at the Democrats and hopefully take attention off his own dismal performance.

In the meantime, because I think most Californians still have no clue as to why we are having this special election and what's on the ballot, I think there's a whole lot of room to mould perceptions despite poll slippage. Since the perception is what counts, unfortunately, not the reality, I think the Governor will continue to stage these photo-ops and keep up the bluffing, a job he is perfectly well-trained to handle.