Take Meg Off the Trail

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Jerry Brown has gone underground for a few days, and with good reason. He's ahead in the polls, and doesn't want to take the risk of saying something stupid that might put his lead at risk.

Maybe Meg Whitman should try this too.

Yes, it would violate the conventional wisdom for the person trailing in the polls to take herself off the trail. But Whitman has proven herself such a lead-footed campaigner that she may be better sticking to TV ads. This week has been a disaster. She bungled an appearance at the Women's Conference (Maria Shriver's annual estrogen extravaganza that fills the Long Beach Convention Center) so badly that thousands of women booed the would-be first woman governor.

On Thursday, Whitman, in an appearance on Fox News, revived the controversy about her former housekeeper -- an undocumented immigrant whose public complaints about Whitman damaged her candidacy -- by saying the woman should be deported. Whitman and her campaign had avoided saying that previously (they said that was a decision for the authorities), and appeared to have put the issue behind her. But then Whitman opened her mouth and trouble ensued, leading to stories on virtually every TV station in the state.

Both Whitman and Brown have several rallies planned for this weekend. But why bother? Meg and Jerry, why not do yourselves -- and all Californians -- a favor and take the weekend off? At this point, more speeches from the two of you aren't going to help anybody, least of all yourselves.

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