“If you could combine Meg Whitman and Sarah Palin, you’d have an incredible candidate”
Indian Wells — … At the GOP confab was Fred Barnes — the Fox News, “Beltway Boys” TV pundit/exec editor of the conservative bible The Weekly Standard. The Meg Whitman folks are passing around a flattering profile Barnes did of her in May and Fred is the keynoter at lunch today.
So what does Fred think of the story du jour — that Meg’s voting record wasn’t just spotty, but as the Sac Bee tells us, fairly non-existent for the past 27 years, no matter where she lived. The Washington Post editorialized about it Saturday, so this one may have some legs.
“It’s a little disturbing,” said Barnes, who hasn’t talked to Meg for three months. “But I don’t think it disqualifies her from the race. It doesn’t change my opinion of her. She’s up to speed on the issues. I wouldn’t have known that she hadn’t voted by talking to her.”
That said, the two big questions she’s got to answer to voters are, according to Fred: “Just because you’re smart, you’re up to speed, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good candidate. And (second), it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good governor.”
Back in the day — like, uh, last year, Fred was one of the first leading conservative pundits who talked up ex-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Any similarities or differences between the two?
“If you could combine Meg Whitman and Sarah Palin, you’d have an incredible candidate,” Barnes said. “With Sarah Palin, people want to hear her. Touch her — and I don’t mean just men.
“With Meg Whitman, I haven’t seen that kind of star power, but she certainly has the intellectual power,” Fred said.
As for the others, Fred is supposed to talk to Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today (they were supposed to talk last week in DC, but Fred got sick). And what about ex- Silicon Valley Rep.Tom Campbell?
“He’s a nice guy,” said Barnes, who has known him from Campbell’s days in Congress. “But you know what Leo Durocher said about nice guys.” (For you young’uns and non-baseball fans…they finish last, according to 1960s-era baseball manager Leo the Lip.)
Wow, Fred. Is niceness a disqualifier from being gov?
“Ohhh,” Fred said with a laugh. “I guess I’ll have to talk to him, too.”
San Francisco Chronicle