December 28, 2006

BENCH STRENGTH:

GOP Rising Star Set To Take Calif. Post (Josh Richman, Dec 29, 2006, The Forward)

Steve Poizner is the Republican to watch for California’s 2010 gubernatorial race, according to many pundits — awfully good press for someone who won’t be sworn into his first public office until January.

The California insurance commissioner-elect has made a splash as the only Republican to win a statewide office here this year, besides re-elected incumbent Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. [...]

“I call [Poizner] the Energizer Bunny of the 2006 election cycle,” said former California Republican Party executive director Jon Fleischman, now a conservative blogger. “I’ve never met anybody who worked harder or was more diligent about doing everything he could to win a public office. He’s blessed with a very disarming demeanor, and he is refreshingly candid with people. I think the strength of his personality oftentimes helped ideologues put aside their personal differences with him.”

Poizner sits on the Republican Jewish Coalition’s president’s council.

“I had identified Steve very quickly and early as a talented and hardworking guy,” said RJC California state director Larry Greenfield, who described his “very warm relationship” with Poizner since the 2004 Assembly race. “Here’s a guy who’s not a career politician; he’s a problem solver, he’s a businessman…. It just all added up to be exactly the kind of guy I and many RJC folks wanted to get behind.” [...]

With an electrical-engineering degree from the University of Texas and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University, Poizner founded SnapTrack, a company that developed technology to help pinpoint 911 emergency calls from cell phones. Qualcomm bought SnapTrack in 2000 for $1 billion in stock, catapulting Poizner’s net worth into the hundreds of millions.

Arriving for the White House Fellows program shortly before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he wound up becoming the National Security Council’s director of critical infrastructure protection. After returning to California, he volunteered to teach government at a high school in San Jose, Calif.

Veteran GOP campaign strategist Kevin Spillane, who briefly worked for one of Poizner’s two nascent rivals in this year’s primary, agreed with Fleischman that Poizner’s new bully pulpit and personal wealth would leave him “well positioned to be the Republican candidate for governor in 2010.”

“But of course,” Spillane noted, “he has to perform in office.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 28, 2006 9:03 PM
Comments

Why should Steve bother with a detour to the governor's mansion? He should go for the gold and run for president in '08.

He's not a bad looking guy -- http://www.joinsteve.com/about/ -- scroll down for a family photo. All he needs to do is to ditch the grecian formula and get a good haircut, then voilà, he's good to go.

Posted by: erp at December 29, 2006 7:53 AM
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