How to spend $80 million of your own money in the primary and render yourself unelectable in the process.
LOS ANGELES -- As California Republicans wind up a costly party primary election, they'd do well to remember how Arnold Schwarzenegger became the only Republican elected to a major statewide office since 1994.
It wasn't his celebrity. It wasn't his program. It wasn't his opponent (though Gray Davis was certainly an unpopular governor). It wasn't even his accent.
Schwarzenegger was elected governor in 2003 chiefly because he didn't have to enter a Republican primary. The contest in which he won the statehouse was that most unusual of electoral animals, a recall election, in which candidates of all parties, and voters of all parties, participated. Arnold never had to careen rightward to win a plurality of Republican voters in a Republican primary. The electoral recall process eliminates primaries altogether.