Question of the Day: Is Meg Whitman, the former eBay honcho who is now down 10 points in the polls after spending a gazillion dollars in her battle with former Gov. Jerry Brown to become California’s next Governor, determined to lose every single Latino voter in California? Answer: it could be.
In what can only be seen now as a last minute high-stakes gamble, Meg Whitman has now..suddenly…after not calling for it before…called for her former housekeeper to be deported. Note that even The Politico reporter seems a bit agahast at the transparent political motive of this days-before-the-election gambit:
California GOP gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman says her former housekeeper should be deported.
Whitman — down 10 percentage points in the latest Field Poll after spending over $140 million of her own money on the campaign — said Nicky Diaz should be forced to leave the country for lying about her illegal status.
The following passage also gives you a perfect example of crocodile tears — or, perhaps more accurately, crock tears:
“It breaks my heart, but she should be depidaorted because she forged documents, and she lied about her immigration status,” Whitman told Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren on Wednesday night.
“And it breaks my heart,” she added. “Gloria Allred pulled off a political stunt. And you know what? On November 3rd, no one’s going to care about Nicky Diaz. But the law is the law, and we live in the rule of law. It’s important.”
Whitman has previously declined to say whether she thinks Diaz should remain in the country after Diaz publicly accused the former eBay CEO earlier this month of knowingly employing her despite her illegal status.
But now — just coincidentally, mind you….the timing of the election a few days has nothing to do with it…the fact that she was booed at a forum when she refused to go along with Jerry Brown in agreeing to Matt Lauer’s call for the two rivals to pull negative ads had nothing to do with it…the fact that the big buck ads she spent have not really advanced her cause and her numbers have been going down have nothing to do with it — she has called for her housekeer to be kicked out of the country.
It’ll be interesting to see if this will improve her polls. But even the most conservative voters in California may be turned off by a move as seemingly transparently, cravenly political as this one.
Whitman wants to take the place of Arnold “The Terminator” Schwarzenegger as Governor.
But between her refusal to pull negative ads and suddenly days before the election calling for the deportation of her housekeeper who created all the bad publicity and poll erosion for her, it could be that she has now effectively….terminated… herself as a serious candidate in California.
UPDATE: LA Weekly’s The Informer blog:
That smacking sound was Mike Murphy’s palm hitting his forehead. Generally you don’t want to be shoring up your base FIVE DAYS before the election.
Polls consistently show that a broad majority of Californians are opposed to deporting illegal immigrants who have been here for a while and haven’t committed any crimes.
What makes it worse, Nicky has U.S. citizen children. If she were deported, either they’d have to get yanked out of school and go with her to Mexico, or they would have to stay with legal relatives in the U.S. and be separated from their mother. Whitman must be trying to see how high she can get her negatives to go.
Whitman’s gaffe might not make much difference in the governor’s race. She’s down 10 points in the Field Poll already. But it might hurt down-ticket Republicans, if Republican voters decide to stay home.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.