From Los Angeles Times Capitol Journal columnist George Skelton: Steve Poizner's Wild-Eyed Accusations Against Meg Whitman Don't Bode Well: The GOP gubernatorial candidate alleges his opponent used attempted bribery and extortion to drive him out of the race. If he's serious, that calls into question his ability to govern.
From San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders: GOP Primary Pits Unhinged Against Unavailable: Either Whitman Inc. is choreographing a dazzling surprise candidate rollout--or Whitman is a breathtakingly bad candidate. Maybe you can run a business that way, but you can't run a state by buying 30-second spots and ducking tough questions.
*Bonus rounds after the jump . . .
San Jose Mercury News: Top California Republican Party officials would like to see a spirited debate between their two gubernatorial candidates at next month's convention in Santa Clara. But it looks as if the debate will be between Steve Poizner and Steve Poizner. Meg Whitman, the front-runner in the GOP primary, says she's not going to face off against the state insurance commissioner at the March 12-14 event at the Santa Clara Hyatt and Convention Center.
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San Diego Union-Tribune (editorial): Attorney General Jerry Brown, governor from 1975-1983, has no serious opponent for the Democratic nomination. In a state full of ambitious Democratic politicians, it's hard to fathom how a candidate with as rich and checkered a past as Brown could win without breaking a sweat. He has so much baggage he could overload an airport carousel. On the Republican side, Meg Whitman, the former eBay executive, and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner are having a slightly more conventional race. But Whitman increasingly seems to treat Poizner, who trails badly in the polls and in fundraising, as if he isn't a real rival at all. . . . In normal times, such evasiveness and vapidity might be tolerable. But these are not normal times. California is in an enormous mess, and the two people who are most likely to have to govern this mess come next January need to give us much more specifics on how they would do so.