Forget Going Rogue. More like going gone. Yesterday's news. The new Republican blockbuster is Meg Whitman's The Power of Many. It arrives in bookstores Tuesday and as I write this, Monday morning, it's already reached #42,873 on Amazon. It's like a prairie fire.
And she's only spent nineteen million dollars so far, getting her name out.
Last week Meg Whitman announced she was putting an additional $20 million into her campaign for Governor of California, on top of that $19 million, for an election that won't be held for ten months. Her platform: Frugality.
At least that's what she says in her radio spots. In the ad campaign that the San Francisco Chronicle estimates costs half a million dollars a week.
Maybe she should make an ad that mentions the book.
It's been a rough winter for the Multiple Meg. She did manage to scare off her closest Republican challenger, Tom Campbell, without ever debating him. (He's running for senator now. His platform: Eliminate government jobs. I'm not making that up.) But that was about the only good free press Meg has had.
All the other stories have been kind of iffy:
Even though his mother gave the school $30 million, Whitman's son, Griffith R. Harsh V (The Final Frontier) was recently suspended at Princeton for being a dick.
More.com asked Whitman's mother for some insight into her daughter's character:
"When she was little, she was extremely determined. Whatever she decided to do, she was going to do," says Margaret, recalling that swim meets in particular brought out the competitor in her younger daughter. "Meg was a pretty good swimmer. But at meets, I had to be there, because if she wasn't at least first or second, she'd be screaming with rage."
A lingering lawsuit from her eBay days produced testimony from former associates calling her "evil" and, when frustrated, a "monster."
Central Valley farmers - whom Whitman has been courting, obsessively -- found out she once gave $100,000 to the Environmental Defense Fund to defend their enemy, the Delta Smelt.
And even iffier:
The $100,000 represented 4/5ths of the total "charity" bestowed in 2007 by Meg Whitman's $46 million "charitable" foundation.
And still iffier:
The Griffith R. Harsh IV and Margaret C. Whitman Charitable Foundation seems to have hidden $3 million in hedge funds in the Cayman Islands.
And iffiest of all:
The candidate is comfortable in the company of people with names like Griffith R. Harsh IV and V.
This on top of the unpleasantness about the insider trading thing at Goldman Sachs, the Chinese child labor sweatshop stuff, and the conveniently sketchy memories of a voting record. In general, if you had to sum up Meg Whitman's weaknesses as a candidate, they would be blind greed, a compulsive need to win at any cost, and a lack of consistency that borders on dissociative. But that's just how it looks today.
The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and Life comes out tomorrow.