OK, the headline is not meant as a tease.
It is a serious question.
Sure, I know. Conventional wisdom says that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney should not even bother to make any attempt here in the once Golden State. The Dear Leader, President Obama, has it in the bag.
Well, stories like this one last week will not help bring the Cali GOP back from the brink of the disastrous tenure of one Governor Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger. A tenure that saw some real promise end up being the remainder of former Democrat Governor Gray Davis' second term and a third term as well.
Lets face it. We Republicans saw what a "moderate" can do and it is not pretty.
But in this presidential election year, a year in which the Republican party can all but get the White House redecorated for the Romney's, California's GOP looks really bad.
In fact, the reality is that if Mr. Romney is going to make even a half-hearted effort in Cali, he will not do it with direction from the Cali GOP. It looks like Mr. Romney will make any effort on his own.
Also in the article, and this may be a key as to if Mr. Romney can be at least competitive here, is that a cluster of local county GOPs that are filling a void. And there is the "Young Guns" GOP super PAC that House majority Whip, Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) is heading trying to get several new GOP congressmen elected.
In other words, at this point, there is a shell known as the California Republican party, but what is needed are some wins somewhere for it to regain relevance.
The Cali GOP chairman, Tom Del Beccaro makes a valid point that there is only so much money going around. And that donors are putting it, to be blunt, in other vehicles than the Cali GOP. But even with money woes, what is needed is a wholesale restructuring of how the Cali GOP will work, strengthening the county parties and not wasting valuable cash.
But at the end of the day, this state party desperately needs strong, no-holds barred leadership. Not just a wonk. But in the absence of high-elected officials, is willing to take it to the state Democrat leadership and the national party in Washington. This is not a job that can be outsourced. It needs to come from someone like Mr. Del Beccaro.
To make it any kind of race in November, the California GOP needs to get it finances in order, its leadership on the same page and stronger county parties could make this state competitive at the presidential level and definitely at the congressional level. And even at the state assembly and senate races.
If we do not, Hello Massachusetts GOP!*
*At this writing, the Massachusetts GOP has only 11% of the total registered voters in the state. They are a third party.