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In a desperate attempt to save what's left of his chewed up political hide, California Governor Gray Davis went to UCLA to give an impassioned speech broadcast statewide. And for him, it was passionate, which is lot like saying "handles really well for a dump truck full of fresh cement." Shocking Sacramento regulars, Davis came within a hair's breath of betraying an actual emotion. And with a recent poll showing 56 percent of potential voters in favor of his recall, that emotion is undoubtably the fear of re-entering California's housing market.
But Gray Davis is a survivor, and if anybody can get through the next six weeks, he's just the politician with a shoe box full of negatives who can do it. In order to blunt the attacks of 135 potential replacement candidates, Mr. Davis needs an extreme makeover and I think it's only fair to try and level the playing field by giving our beleaguered Gov a couple of hints.
Ten Suggestions to Help Gray Davis Survive the Recall.
- Fall into a well.
People love the suspense and can be counted on to follow the story of the "Little Governor Who Fell Into A Well" for weeks. Then after being rescued on October 6th, he Can prove what a brave big boy he is by not crying. Some lip quivering and wiping his eyes with the back of his sleeve is fine.
- Walk length of entire state naked.
Hey, a guy in Britain is doing it and everybody thinks he's delightfully eccentric. Promote local industries by wearing floppy hat and fine pair of boots fashioned by local artisans.
- Fire an entire agency within the state government. Cite made up figures blaming one department for the entire budget mess, and can the whole division. Preferably pick bureau low on public awareness totem pole, something semi-superfluous like Capital motor pool. Who cares if Supreme Court says you don't have authority to get rid of them. Makes bold statement.
- Speak in tongues.
Claim spiritual rebirth, daring skeptics to prove it didn't happen. Start talking in unintelligible but rhyming phrases. Blame deficit on "God's Will." Nehru jacket fills out the package.
- Eliminate car registration fees altogether. Davis didn't raise car registration costs. The fees reverted back to 1998 levels after the time limit on the bill that lowered them expired. So, to avoid the wrath of everyone not paying attention, get rid of tax totally and pretend we don't need any money at all. Whenever reporters ask, "what about the budget," adopt Teutonic accent and laughingly rejoin, "I will blow it up."
- Free candy.
Self explanatory. Give candy away to every tax payer. I know George W did the same thing with a tax cut, but candy is better. That way, nobody is even tempted to waste it on something silly like rent. It's candy!
- Cruz Bustamante's head on a pike.
Don't really have to do it, just keep saying it a lot. "I want Cruz Bustamante's head on a pike." Like a mantra. Hold press conference to commemorate building of the pike. Makes you look decisive, determined and a little mean.
- Contract monkey pox.
Or one of the lesser known poxes. Photo-ops featuring Gov knocking on death's door resolutely waving, chin held high, might provide extra boost necessary. Weekend before the election, undergoes miracle recovery because of the power of the state's residents' belief in him. "Everybody clap if you want the Governor to live."
- Start saber- rattling at Texas.
For no apparent reason, blame Texas for state's budget deficit. Face it, the Lone Star State gives off a vaguely untrustworthy air. Nobody understands how actual humans can survive that close to Oklahoma. Definitely guilty of Bush.
- Giant Tattoo of California on chest.
Demonstrate how hip and with it by getting tattooed live on television. Outline of state, grizzly bear, Hollywood sign, Golden Gate Bridge or even John Muir to help with Sierra Club vote. Could hold a lottery to see which design gets picked and moneys go to general fund.
Political comedian Will Durst thinks a nice Native American design featuring a rattlesnake tossing craps with his tail would work.