Meg Whitman showed a clear disconnect with California voters when refusing Jerry Brown’s offer of taking down all but the two positive ads from both candidates. People in this state are not looking for the best smear agent, we are looking for the person best qualified for the job as governor.
Another aspect to Whitman’s reaction to this proposal that I have not heard discussed is that of the huge sums of money she has spent on the political attack ads flooding the media–they have effectively committed her to the political strategy of negativity since she decided to make the majority of the ads negative instead of positive. Now that they spent millions trying to convince people the “other” is so awful it would be somewhat like throwing all that money away to suddenly switch stance to a “I’m the better choice” position.
If Whitman was a smart, pragmatic leader she would have taken up Brown on his offer to cut the TV ads down to the two positive ads from each. It appears she lacks the ability to think in terms other than dollar signs, or so it seems.
I find this sort of thing very typical of the conservative-Republican side of things. They never want to actually agree to being held to ethics and standing against the smear season tactics. When the chips are down and both sides are ready to deal on how negative things are getting, it always seems to be the right-winger who simply refuses to make it more civil. Perhaps because they understand that the Republican base seems to be fueled by negativity, scapegoating and fear mongering.