If "winning" Thursday evening’s gubernatorial debate meant making it any more likely that
No. Kashkari performed well, looked good on camera, correctly focused on the plight of the state's middle class and poked at some of the obvious weaknesses in Brown's talking points. But he missed some obvious ones too, and it's hard to say that he shaped the conversation that Californians must have about their future.
What happens after the Proposition 30 tax increases expire? Does California renew the taxes, is the state on track to grow out of the need for the revenue, or is there some dramatic alternative?
But the train, although it was a Brown idea from the 1980s, was embraced by California voters in 2008 under the leadership of
Kashkari dislikes realignment, the prisons-to-jails plan that is so closely tied to Brown that it's almost never discussed without using the governor's name. Fine, but Brown's plan was a reworking of a Schwarzenegger attempt.
And why not? Brown nailed it twice, once with a modest zinger – "It does take some inside knowledge to get it done" – and once with a less satisfying but perhaps more realistic acknowledgment: These things take time. Lots of it.
Kashkari was at his strongest when he looked through the camera and toward California voters – those who may have been watching, anyway – and asking: "You at home – do you think we're back?"
No, California is not back, but Kashkari has a tough time making the case that he, and the state GOP, have the better way back. He had to stoke regret among 2010 Brown voters and make them think they’d have been better off over the last four years with