California Democrats can’t fail downwards. There’s a law against it.
Rep. Adam Schiff had his moment in the sun attacking President Trump. But now, like CNN and the New York Times, his star is fading. But Schiff has a career move or two still tucked up his sleeve.
Rep. Adam Schiff’s fundraising take went from below a million in 2016 to $6.25 million in 2018.
It’s not like Schiff’s seat is competitive. But he also doesn’t have much a shot at the Senate in a state where every job below that of the governor now comes with an identity politics quota.
So what’s a hack gonna do to cash in on his 15 minutes of fame before he’s yesterday’s news?
Rep. Adam Schiff is quietly lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies to appoint him California’s next attorney general, according to people familiar with the matter.
The attorney general’s job also would better position Schiff, a high-profile Democrat who led the Russia investigation into then-President Trump, to run for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat, should the 87-year-old decide not to run for reelection in 2024.
The AG’s job is being vacated by Xavier Becerra, who President Biden has nominated to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services.
Newsom, whose approval rating on the pandemic has plummeted to 31% and who faces a recall effort, has not publicly indicated who he is inclined to pick for the attorney general job, but lobbying campaigns across the state are heating up.
Two obvious issues here.
1. Newsom, aside from his general unpopularity, faces all sorts of potential legal issues. He needs an AG he can count on.
2. Considering his recall problem, he needs to double down on identity politics. And Schiff is an old white man. Newsom has been juggling Latino and Black interests for the Senate. Since he gave the Senate seat to a Latino crony, he needs to give the AG position to a black candidate.
But he also needs someone he can trust not to stab him in the back or come after him. Schiff is a pretty solid bet. Schiff doesn’t have a shot at Newsom’s seat anyway. And he’s arguably prepping for a Senate race anyway.
Newsom can trust Schiff to cover his back. The question is will he go with the identity politics pandering or a Schiff umbrella? My bet is on the pandering.
It is California.