The title for this post is taken from a recent article by Steven Greenhut on the CalWatchDog website. This article was clearly written in response to Fletcher’s official announcement that he’s running for Mayor. One of the interesting things to follow in this race is how the candidates, and their campaigns, cope with the harsh scrutiny they will receive over the next year.
Of the four definite candidates, Bob Filner is clearly the most battle-hardened. The Congressman has survived vicious political campaigns, segregationists, United Airlines employee, and a fair amount of accusations and innuendos over the years. The man lives for political and media combat and will not shy from it. After Filner however, one can argue that the other four candidates may not have the experience for scrutiny by political opponents and the media.
Bonnie Dumanis had a tough race against then-incumbent Paul Pfingst in 2002. In the nearly decade since then, she’s had two easy reelections and little scrutiny from either the media or any groups. Her biggest detractors The question is does she still have the fire in the belly to attack opponents and thick skin to stay cool when they attack her. Carl DeMaio had a pretty straight forward 2008 election, but has actively sought out political fights with organized labor on everything from pension reform to taxes. It will be interesting to see if she is able to withstand the heat from a couple of directions.
The least experienced political combatant is Fletcher. His 2008 and 2010 campaigns were in safe Republican seats with token opposition. His legislative record stands out for passing Chelsea’s Law. While a good piece of legislation, Fletcher did not have to defend against sustained partisan attacks by various interest groups or the media to get it to pass. He’s used to being the center of attention, the question is whether he’ll like all the attention that’s starting to come his way.
How the various candidates handle the sustained stresses and pressure of a sustained slugfest will certainly shape and probably determine this race.