Obama 2.0: John Chiang Might be California's Next Governor (As Long As Voters Don't Think Too Hard)

Obama 2.0: John Chiang Might be California's Next Governor (As Long As Voters Don't Think Too Hard)

Obama's election campaigns were wildly successful. In 2008, he won the Presidency by seducing 52.9% of the population with promises to revitalize the nation's economy, healthcare and education systems. In 2012, Obama repeated the feat, winning 51.2% of national support.

Despite President Obama's campaigning success, his Presidential term was an unmitigated disaster. The economy tanked as over 600 new trade regulations (each costing $1.6 billion on average) stifled growth and innovation. Health insurance premiums rocketed under Obamacare, adding $1.6 trillion to the national debt and leaving millions with no coverage. Educational quality plummeted with federalization and student loan debts doubled, adding another $1 trillion to America's debts.

Still, liberals cling to Obama's simple messages of "hope" and "change," pining for his return, praising his "legacy" and castigating anyone that even slightly dislikes him as racist bigoted anti-Americans. To the left, ideas are more important than actual results.

Flash forward to today, where a new report is suggesting California Treasurer John Chiang may be California's next governor thanks to a campaign chock full of feel-good ideas and the same grandstanding we witnessed during the Obama years.

From NBC News:

Born in New York City to Taiwanese immigrants, Chiang grew up in Palos Heights, Illinois, where he says they faced discrimination as “the first Asian-American family on the block.”

“You just see yourself as an any other American kid, right? Because it’s the only country you know,” Chiang said. “But when you’re treated differently and when you’re taunted because of the way you look…it’s incredibly painful.”

It’s an experience that he says shaped him into who he is today. “My leadership style is one of inclusiveness. It’s trying to make sure that those who are left out are in the process so that they understand that you get to be part of our society and that you’re important.”

If elected, Chiang would become California’s first Asian-American governor — a milestone for a state with the country’s largest population of Asian Americans. So far, contributions from Asian-American donors have helped boost his profile in a significant way: His fundraising puts him in second, behind Newsom, when it comes to campaign funds.

“The fact that Chiang is a viable candidate is due entirely to the fact that his fundraising has been so impressive. Without that kind of fundraising total, Chiang would not even be talked about as a contender because he doesn’t have the name recognition,” Karthick Ramakrishnan, an associate dean at the UC Riverside School of Public Policy and founder of AAPI Data, told NBC News.

Ramakrishnan notes that the political power of Asian Americans when it comes to campaign contributions has not gone unnoticed by candidates during the last election cycle, but relying too heavily on them for this race could be a double-edged sword. Affirmative action, Ramakrishnan said, could pose a challenging issue for Chiang to face, particularly among wealthier Chinese Americans who have been vocal in their opposition to affirmative action. Although data from the National Asian American Survey showed Asian Americans largely support affirmative action, dozens of Asian-American associations have continued to push the Justice Department to review the ways in which affirmative action hurts the community.

Obama's campaign relied heavily on identity politics, as does Chiang's. You can bet that in the coming months, any white voter that doesn't kowtow before Chiang will be labeled racist by progressives; Asians that refuse to drink the communal kool-aid will be similarly denigrated.

Chiang is currently second in fundraising, thanks in part to donations from developers that received millions in tax breaks from Chiang. This is the very definition of government corruption, a clear-cut case of quid-pro-quo cronyism.

From the SacBee:

Chiang is campaigning on a platform of fiscal responsibility and empowering the public to hold government officials accountable. Experts said the activity could undercut his credibility with voters and give ammunition to his better-known Democratic opponents. Among those Chiang is running alongside are former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“He’s in this weird place where he says ‘I know I don’t have the star wattage of my opponents, ‘but you can trust me with the (state’s) checkbook,’ ” said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School and president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission.

Donations and votes in close succession, she said, can raise questions and potentially some red flags. “The question becomes, was the donation given for a vote, or to say ‘thank you’ for a vote?” Levinson asked.

Taking a close look at Chiang's positions on hot-button issues reveals disturbing similarities to Obama's flawed reasoning, where optics and political correctness takes precedence over actual effective measures. He supports affirmative action despite its direct impact on Asian Americans. He encourages the dream of a "tuition-free education," despite the failing education system in California. He opposes President Trump's crusade against illegal immigration but has the nerve to say "We can't have a brilliant future with an empty wallet" while illegal immigrants cost California taxpayers $30 billion annually.

John Chiang doesn't care about the facts. He cares about the message.

Chiang's endorsements have come from similarly dubious individuals, in particular LA City Councilman Jose Huizar, who misused $1.5 million in public funds and Congressman Ted Lieu, a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

23-year-old Kevin Hayakawa is a California college student who attended a meet-and-greet with Chiang earlier this month. What he had to say about the candidate reflects the heart of identity politics and self-declared victim status:

“It really means a lot to me because California is one of the most diverse states in the U.S. and if a candidate is qualified for the office and they’re able to represent people who look like me, who are generally underrepresented, that’s something I can get behind.”
— Kevin Hayakawa, UCLA Undergraduate Student

Looks like California will have its very own Obama come 2018. All Chiang has to do is make sure voters don't think too hard.

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