Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Don't Worry, Meg; The Boss' Opinion Doesn't Much Matter

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Meg Whitman appeared to suffer a blow this week when the founder of EBay, Pierre Omdiyar, said he couldn’t vote for Whitman, whom he had brought in as CEO.

This diss by a friend and former boss seemed like a particularly personal blow, though Omdiyar added that he thought Whitman would do a good job. Omdiyar said he disagrees with Whitman’s opposition to same-sex marriage and what he characterized as her Pete Wilson-style hard line on illegal immigration.

Reaction: Could this be a tiny bit of a boost for Meg?

OK, this theory is far-fetched but here goes. For all her money and TV ads, Whitman has been unable to connect personally with the electorate. This is because she’s a space alien – a billionaire who has spent her life in high-powered jobs that many of us can barely comprehend. What do any of us have in common with her?

Omdiyar’s statement gives an answer to that question: Who hasn’t had an ungrateful boss, maybe even someone we’ve liked, who has said something unhelpful? Or cut us off at the knees?

That's not the only good news for Meg here. Anyone who has ever worked knows that you can’t trust someone who the boss loves without qualification. A full-throated endorsement from Omdiyar wouldn’t have much value. It might even have seemed weird.

No, the fact that her ex-boss isn’t sold makes Whitman more credible. Because you know what: I don’t think my former bosses would endorse me for governor either.
 

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