No doubt the California Republican Party is down, but anyone who counts it out of big statewide races is a fool who disregards the ego-satisfying appeal prominent public office can hold for the very rich and very famous.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is Example A of a fabulously wealthy celebrity who seized an opportunity to run for high office – governor – and then had more fun while holding the office than he appears to have had as a muscleman movie star before or since.
This is relevant today not because there appear to be few or no immediate high-visibility opportunities today for celebrities or business people with big bucks. California offers no U.S. Senate races this year and Gov. Jerry Brown looks pretty secure as he piles up campaign cash while delaying any direct mention of reelection.
But one remark last month by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein suggests there may be plenty of chances ahead. Explaining her vote to end the U.S. Senate’s tradition of allowing minority parties to use filibusters to stymie presidential appointments, she said she did it because she wants “the remainder of my five-plus years to get something done.” As of now, she has just four-plus years left in her latest term...