Last spring, Khanna attempted to tap into the local Bay Area media’s thirst for knocking progressives off their perch. Like with Stark in 2012, the media pounded away at Honda’s disinterest in facing Khanna in debates. When that didn’t work, some editorial boards shaded their criticism of Honda with ageism. However, Khanna’s team neglected a major part of why Swalwell’s strategy was effective and why it doesn’t work on Honda. A series of flub by Stark and a propensity for worsening his bad boy image turned off many voters. Honda has no such reputation. This criticism towards Khanna’s primary campaign has been charged by others in recent months, so, why is Bird recycling it again in the general election?
Once again, voters are hearing about the “Great Debate Debate” in the local media, except nobody is really paying much attention. Another meme is Honda’s camp is running scared by not debating Khanna. But, what kind of winning strategy is predicated on getting the incumbent to have a debate with you? What exactly is going to occur at this debate that is going to make it a race? This sort of investment does not appear sound. Most likely, Honda will try to get-in and get-out of the debate without any damages and the odds say this is a good bet. So, what's Khanna's next better move?
In addition, Khanna again seems uncomfortable over how far to the right he needs to go without alienating liberals. An off shoot of this uncertainty may be the connections Khanna has made with two Republicans, in particular, both of whom might be described as the “crazy Republican grandpa.” First, there was Joel VanLandingham, who may or may not have conspired with Khanna to dilute the primary field, and now this ill-advised link to former Rep. Ernie Konnyu. Furthermore, the New Yorker profile last week on the November race is almost a facsimile to the Time piece last year, but fails to take into account how the June results completely reshaped the race. Pitching a profile in the New York media works in a national race, not one taking place on the other side of the continent.
Meanwhile, we hear nothing of this secret predictive model contraption Bird claims have at his fingertips. Is it no more than a simple notetaking phone app or just high-tech snake oil? It’s hard to say if you presume Bird calculated the effects of receiving the endorsement last week of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, the arch enemy of working people, and after a few boop boop beeps, it spit out an electoral scenario in the South Bay of 50 percent plus 1. Instead of Bird's help in spending $3 million, Khanna could have been better served by renting a ramshackle office on El Camino Real, spending a 100,000 on the primary and still won as money votes as he did in June.
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