Meg Whitman and Voting

California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is under fire for her noted lack of participation in elections.  Not that she didn’t vote in EVERY election, but that she hadn’t registered to vote until 2002 according the Sacramento Bee.

At the California GOP Convention, Whitman said:

“Every citizen should take time to vote, and on more than one occasion, I didn’t,” the former eBay chief told the GOP activists. “Voting is a precious gift handed down by generations of Americans. I regret not having delivered my vote on several occasions.”

Whitman was in our area today speaking to a group in Davis, and was quoted as saying:

“I was focused on raising a family, on my husband’s career, and we moved many, many times,” she told reporters. “It is no excuse. My voting record, my registration record, is unacceptable.”

She’s getting closer to where she needs to be, but my advice, because I know you were waiting for it. Stop apologizing.  Say what I think is the real answer:

“I wasn’t focused on becoming a politician. I focused on helping build a business and on my family.  I’m not going to apologize for not voting. I’m going to say that the expertise I gained building a billion dollar business is valuable for California and I want to use that expertise to help us be the California that everyone dreams about.”


6 thoughts on “Meg Whitman and Voting

  1. I’m always a “turn your weaknesses into strengths” kind of person. I thought she should say:

    “I am one of the millions of Californians who haven’t been active voters before, who have focused on family life to our own detriment. And we have been awakened by the sheer incompetence of a sluggish, overgrown government that cannot seem to live within its means or accomplish its basic job. We should have voted before – but doggone it, we’re all gonna vote now and we’re gonna save California.”

  2. Sorry, Josh, but even your well-crafted, thoughtful statement doesn’t cut it. She clearly does not respect our system of democracy and, therefore, isn’t cut out to be a part of it.

  3. Thank you Jami,

    I’m not making a statement on whether her voting or not disqualifies her in my mind for office. I am critqueing her statement.

    For disclosure, I did not vote in the 1992 election. During my first year at college my parents moved (yes, insert jokes here) and I didn’t get home to register as I had planned. That election in Marin was coincidentally the one where Barbara Boxer took over Cranston’s vacant seat.

  4. People who don’t vote and don’t keep up on government don’t understand politics. You look at it from the outside, and it just looks like a mess. It is, to some extent, but a certain level of mess is inherent in democracy.

    Frustration with “the system” is what led people, myself included, to vote for term limits. Well, that turned out to be a huge failure. You can tell, because things have gotten progressively worse in the past 20 years. Term limits on politicians caused power to shift to the behind the scenes bureaucrats.

    Term limits also seem to have led to the development of a more partisan politics. Because these politicians have to appeal to new constituents every few years, they keep their voting record and political rhetoric polarized. (The Whitman ads are a great example.)

    This is great when it comes to getting tax cuts and spending increases — everyone wants those. It really fails miserabily when you need some tax increases and some spending cuts, like we do today.

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