RO KHANNA Sometime in the summer Khanna’s campaign decided it would focus more generously on moderate and conservative voters in Fremont and the South Bay. Highlighting the endorsement of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed snugly fit this strategy. But, calling Reed, who is viewed as a pariah by labor, an “American hero,” was too far off the rails. Khanna is obviously a Democrat and presumably tacking from the moderate left to the moderate right also means an occasional turn to the left. However, placing Reed on a pedestal might make any forays to left to seem disingenuous. In the meantime, Khanna’s Election Day may not be Nov. 4, but Oct. 6. That’s the date of the locally televised debate against Rep. Mike Honda. Khanna needs a knockout in addition to some sort of funky Admiral James Stockdale antics ("Who am I? Why am I here?") from Honda. There's no story here to tell until this occurs. That’s a low-odds, high-pressure scenario that does not bode well for Khanna. Taking out an incumbent member of Congress is like winning a heavyweight title fight. You not only have to beat the champ, you have to do it in a decisive manner. Khanna goes into the Oct. 6 debate losing on almost everybody's scorecard. Khanna desperately needs an unforced error from Honda, but the incumbent is showing all signs that he's willing to win re-election with a defensive approach.
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