Disappointment. Since ex-HP CEO Carly Fiorina was announced the winner of the GOP U.S. Senate primary, I am dealing with feelings of immense disappointment.
Allow me to explain.
This state has a projected deficit of $19 billion.
We don't have a whole lot of time or money — mostly money — to spare for failure again. And while I have little faith in the cheeky, fake, teleprompter smile of Meg Whitman, who only proved that a great marketing campaign works, I have no faith in Fiorina.
At least Whitman was successful in what she did for many of the major companies she worked for. Fiorina proudly boasts that she worked her way up from receptionist to CEO of Hewlett-Packard. But were you aware that under her leadership HP took a nose-dive, and due to her poor performance Fiorina was forced into resignation?
In fact, when news of Fiorina's departure hit, HP's stock jumped. What a testament to her ability to achieve results, eh?
She served as the top economic advisor for John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. A campaign he lost, by the way.
The reason I'm really fuming is because the one man who was the most obvious choice on the primary ballot didn't win.
This man is State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.
DeVore, whom I interviewed last year about his desire to jump into the senate race, led an incredible grassroots campaign in which he garnered the support of the Tea Party movement and was the fed-up Californian's candidate.
It's rare to find a politician as transparent and honest as DeVore. He has strong conservative roots that date back to his time in the Reagan administration, and a phenomenal comprehension of the United States constitution. He cites it during casual conversation or debate, and supports his verbatim citation with the paper copy in his shirt pocket.
When it came to big-spending environmental bills or any form of new taxes, he stood alone in front of the state Assembly in disbelief, scolding them and using his "no" vote to combat the idiocy.
The thing about DeVore is that he's remarkably refreshing. From his proven conservative track record in the Assembly to his bold stances on immigration, the economy and even the Obama health care bill, DeVore says what he means.
DeVore, a retired National Guard lieutenant colonel, would have let GM and other collapsing businesses go bankrupt rather than bail them out. He wants to keep Guantanamo Bay open and have enemy combatants tried there. He opposes cap and trade, supports nuclear power and voted against California's massive global warming bill.
He pulled no punches and didn't have the aura of a typical politician. He expressed the same frustration over the expansion of government as the average citizen.
Fiorina adopted more of DeVore's stances as his popularity increased. And personally, I'm trying to understand why Fiorina is running for the Senate at all when she just doesn't seem to have any passion for what she says she wants so bad.
But the most telling moment of Fiorina's campaign happened when the former governor gone rogue, Sarah Palin, publicly endorsed Fiorina for some reason. Oh, wait, Palin also endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. That makes sense. A little back-scratching never hurt, right?
Even Palin's supporters were stunned and started their own counter-endorsement of DeVore in protest.
DeVore — not a millionaire like Fiorina — was labeled the dark horse of the race because his support is coming from the grassroots level. With no Big Business or Big Union money flowing into his campaign, DeVore was running a campaign free of the special interest shackles that have enslaved our current roster of politicians.
DeVore was California's last, best hope.
Now we will watch as Fiorina, with no political experience, track record or opinions of her own, attacks Barbara Boxer from now until November because that's all she has.
As President Obama would say, "Let me be clear." Anyone is better than Barbara Boxer. It's just that the very best candidate didn't win. And that's disappointing.
Columnist Wade Heath can be contacted at reachwade@ lycos.com. Follow him on Twitter @Wadewire.