"It's become time to define a Schwarzenegger Republican. A Schwarzenegger Republican is a Bush Republican who says he's a Schwarzenegger Republican."
That's Warren Beatty giving the commencement speech at the Berkeley School of Public Policy. I consider myself something of a sucker for good oration. And indeed, I've got the speech compendiums to prove it. But even I was blown away by Beatty's address, it's masterful. And you know what? His equivocation is crap, the guy wants to run for governor. You don't offer a 5-point plan for better public policy if you don't. You don't spend the time, and work with the writers, to craft an address like this if you don't want to enter the ring.
Maybe, in the end, this is the way forward for California Democrats -- fight glamour with glamour, Maria Shriver with Annette Benning, and the Terminator with Bulworth. Pit Arnold against a fellow star who publicly demands clean financing of elections, Medicare for all, and a fairer tax code. A few days ago, I would've laughed the idea off. That was before I read Beatty's speech. Now, hell, sign me up as a staffer.
I like Phil Angelides -- believe me, I do. Unfortunately, I think Arnold will stomp him. Our nerdy treasurer against California's governator just isn't a fair fight. Beatty vs. Schwarzenegger is. Because given the choice between a conservative action hero and a liberal bureaucrat, Californians will gravitate towards the cameras. But even up the star power and refocus the election on ideology and they'll choose the progressive every time.
Beatty's trying to make waves. That speech was covered in cameras because a rumor, somehow, was started that he would announce his candidacy. So why play coy? My guess (and I'll be open source about it) is Beatty's fishing for a draft movement, much as Arnold and Clark did. But you know what? After reading that speech, I'm moved to start one. Beatty's argument is downright inspiring and, to be honest, it's been far too long since I've been inspired. More to the point, his star power could put some real momentum behind some truly progressive ideas, and restore California's rightful place as the progressive cauldron of the country.
Now, I am, unfortunately, a busy guy lately. I can do a lot of the writing and content delivery, but building the site, keeping it constantly updated, and so forth is more than I can take on. Later today, I'd like to register the web address http://www.draftwarren.com, but only if I've got some folks able to help me make something of it. I'm talking web designers in particular, but also California politicos willing and able to write, collect news articles, and generally push this forward. If you've got the skills to help, read the speech (most of it is excerpted after the jump, full text can be found here, video here) and, if you're moved to pitch in, let me know.