Meg Whitman just gave a concession speech over in Universal City. Her supporters booed in dismay when she said she had called "Governor-Elect Brown" to wish him well.
"Tonight has not worked out quite as we hoped," Whitman said. "It looks like the results are in and it is time for Californians to unite behind the common cause of turning around the state we love."
The speech had a sort of off-the-rack quality, as though it could have
been given by any losing candidate for any office in the last 45 years.
But having burned through $140 million of her own money at this point,
maybe she didn't want to splurge on a good speechwriter.
Here were some of the cookie-cutter lines she delivered: "Tomorrow we are all Californians"... "You were not wrong to believe"... "The journey is ending but our mission is not." Blah blah blah. Trouble is, that's how Whitman campaigned all along, which made it all but impossible for voters to connect to her.
Jerry Brown didn't wait for Whitman to concede before giving
his victory speech, perhaps because it's already past his bedtime.
haven't got all the votes in yet, but hell, it's good enough for
government work," Brown told a cheering crowd at the Fox Theater in
Oakland. "It looks like I'm going back again."
In his speech, Brown repeatedly thanked his wife, Anne Gust.
"I don't need a plan when I have such a good planner at my side," he said, as though that was reassuring somehow. Brown said the major difference between this term and his previous tenure is that "this time, of course, we have a first lady."
Brown compared himself, somewhat touchingly, to the Fox Theater, which was built in 1929 and sat vacant for 30 years before being carefully restored.
He ended on a note of trying to transcend polarization in Sacramento, which, good luck.
"These are real divisions," he said. "They're divisions tonight. The divisions are in the State Capitol. The divisions are in Washington. My challenge is one of forging a common purpose, based on a vision of what California can be... We're all god's children. I'm really into this politics thing, but I still carry my sense of missionary zeal to transform the world."
Earlier, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called to congratulate Brown. On Twitter,
the governor said he is "looking forward to Maria & me getting
together w/ him & Anne to talk abt a smooth transition."
AP, CNN, Fox News and the L.A. Times projected Brown as the winner shortly after the polls closed.
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Brown is up 51-44 statewide with 42.1% of precincts reporting, according to the Secretary of State's office.
Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford said that Brown will start meeting with lawmakers in two weeks.
As for Whitman, her campaign will go down as the costliest defeat in a state election in U.S. history. The one-woman stimulus package did her best to prop up local TV stations during these difficult economic times, pumping $107 million into TV ads.