The AP dropped an interesting newsbit on a quiet Saturday evening: In the preliminary list of 41 candidates running in the Recall Election of Gavin Newsom that was posted on the California Secretary of State’s website, media personality and talk show host Larry Elder was not on it.
California on Saturday released a list of 41 candidates running in the recall election targeting Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that was striking for who wasn’t on it: conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder.
Elder, a Republican and regular guest on Fox News, announced his candidacy July 12, bringing a well-known voice on the political right to a Republican field trying to oust Newsom.
But he wasn’t on the list released by the Secretary of State of candidates who met the requirements to be placed on the Sept. 14 ballot.
The finalized list will be posted on Wednesday, July 21. This could be just a clerical mistake, or the usual State bureaucracy mess coupled with an affirmative-action hire as Secretary of State at the helm.
The campaign claims that they filed all of the requisite paperwork:
Ying Ma, an Elder campaign spokeswoman, said she expected him to be on the final list of candidates issued next week. “Our campaign submitted every document required by the Secretary of State and the Los Angeles County Registrar” to qualify for the ballot, she said in a statement.
It wasn’t immediately clear what requirement Elder failed to meet.
We'll have to see when Sacto wakes up on Tuesday. CA recall election law is complicated, especially for media dilettantes.
— Steve "Kiley for CA Gov" B (@Bolillo_SCZ) July 18, 2021
Whether it is Sacramento’s error or the campaign’s error, it’s not a good look. Someone who is an attorney, and who has the brain trust of supposed political experts at his disposal, should have ensured all the Ts were crossed, and the Is were dotted.
If it turns out to be an error caused by the campaign itself, you can chalk it up to “political novices.” There’s a reason you don’t jump Manolos first into such a critical race and make a big splash without ensuring everything on the back end lines up.
Whatever the case, Elder’s late entrance into the race with all its media fanfare and Fox News gladhanding, seems to be an intentional effort to suck the oxygen from the room and leave the other candidates foundering. If Elder somehow doesn’t end up on the ballot, instead of stealing oxygen, his campaign will be the one that ends up choking on carbon dioxide.
Also, on Saturday night Larry Elder tweeted this from his account, promoting some unconventional campaign wear. It has since been deleted, but not before Randy Economy, another radio personality and a Recall Gavin 2020 proponent, called out Elder on his lack of seriousness:
.@larryelder Sir, I know you have been a candidate for 15 minutes, however you need to show some class and leadership. Stop this trash NOW. Please stick to the issues. #leadership #class @GavinNewsom @seanhannity @philwillon @Johnnydontlike @JeremyBWhite @cmarinucci @nettermike pic.twitter.com/7dG288Z1e2
— Randy Economy (@EconomyRadio) July 18, 2021
Our editor Kira Davis made this salient point:
“How do you get in the governor’s race as a ‘serious’ candidate and not have your [bleep] in order before you declare???”
What this does reflect is why media personalities with their big platforms and easy access to radio, television, streaming, and the big names that helm them, do not automatically translate into credible or winning candidates.
Speaking of media personalities: Where is Caitlyn Jenner, the other media personality who did make the CA SOS list and will be on the Recall ballot? Jenner is in Australia, as part of the cast of Big Brother Australia, and won’t make it back before the September 14 Recall Election.
Because… More Camera Time!
A commenter on one of my articles made this excellent point: Donald Trump’s candidacy was the exception, and not the rule. Name recognition and a media platform can only take you so far. There a litany of candidates, including Hillary Clinton, who had an entire media complex cramming her down our throats, who never made it past the finish line. In the end, it was Trump’s policies that put him over the top in 2016, and it will be the serious contender with the best vision for turning California around, who will come away with the most votes on the Recall election ballot.