Steve Poizner is in a hurry.
The latest political polls show he has trimmed the lead of Meg Whitman as the two battle for the republican nomination for California governor. Even though Whitman still holds a commanding advantage, Poizner believes her past ties to Goldman Sachs are dragging her down. He hammered away on that relationship during Sunday's debate with Whitman and he stayed on point during a series of interviews with reporters the day after.
What Poizner wants to plant in the minds of voters is that some of the millions Whitman is throwing at the campaign came from her associations with the big banks now under federal scrutiny. And Poizner sees that as his last best chance. He said to me, "I'm just really well positioned in this campaign so my strategy is just keep getting the message out like I did last night during the debate."
But is he positioned when it somes to his resources?
"Well, we have all the resources we need to get the word out. Now, Meg Whitman has spent $60-$70 million. That's an obscene amount of money. This is not an E-Bay auction. It doesn't go to the highest bidder here. We have plenty of money to get the word out, the message out, so the campaign's going just fine."
If money is not an issue, time certainly is. There are exactly five weeks left until the June 8 primary. But mail-in balloting begins in just seven days. It seems the Whitman camp was much more mindful of that deadline when it began filling the airwaves with anti-Poizner spots months ago. Poizner's response was to be strategic in his spending. By the time he fought back with his own advertising, Whitman had built what seemed an insurmountable lead. Even veteran politicos talked of a Jerry Brown/Meg Whitman race in the fall as an inevitability.
Now, there's some doubt. Poizner is busy making that point. And he told me, "I have plenty of time." That may be true only if there's truth in an old political adage. A week is a lifetime in politics.