During the governor's race, few Democrats were as pessimistic about Jerry Brown as Garry South was. South, who built his reputation on Gray Davis' campaign in 1998, repeatedly disparaged the Brown campaign and predicted a Meg Whitman victory.
Amazingly, he has written an op/ed for Capitol Weekly today in which he admits he was wrong.
Unfortunately, he's wrong about what he was wrong about.
First, here's some statements that South made during the campaign.
"What I fear is happening here is Jerry Brown is making the same mistake as Steve Poizner made in the primary."
"He will be arguably competitive on the air for the last four weeks, but I do not believe there is anything approaching a get-out-the-vote operation on the ground that is going to be up to the task."
"I think in the final analysis Meg Whitman has an advantage over Jerry Brown."
So it's entirely appropriate that South begins his column today with this:
OK, I admit it, folks, I was wrong about the elections in November. Very wrong.
Big of him to say so. You have to get almost all the way through the column, though, before you find out what South thinks he was wrong about. As it turns out, he thinks he erred in previous years for counseling Republicans to recruit women and minority candidates.
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Since the Republicans fielded their most diverse slate in history this year, and got creamed anyway, South concludes that he was wrong about that.
It's just possible that recruiting diverse candidates is a necessary but insufficient condition, and that winning statewide races might also require rethinking some policy positions, but South doesn't waste time considering that. Instead, he concludes that Republicans are just plain doomed.
Given the track record, he's probably wrong about that too.