Garry South Quotes

Garry South is a Democratic political strategist based in California and principal of The Garry South Group and California Strategies, LLC, a public affairs firm headquartered in Sacramento. He is best known for managing Democrat Gray Davis’ gubernatorial campaigns in both 1998 and 2002. In 1998, the California Democratic Party had not been successful in electing a Governor for 20 years and only 3 Democrats has won previously in the 20th century. In 2011, the journal Capitol Weekly designated South among the top 50 most influential political players in California.

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Garry South


“This guy has a history of bringing forward these grandiose schemes that basically melt into a puddle of water on the floor.”

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“Roland was responsible for Gray becoming governor.”

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“They can't snap their fingers and do symbolic things and turn it all around. It ain't that easy -- particularly when you have the antipathy that now exists against him.”

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“We know how much we're going to have to spend. This is a (spending) level we think we can sustain.”

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“You do not come back from those depths just by making some shifts here and there and cherry-picking a few issues you think are popular. It just isn't that easy. The notion that you can just snap your fingers after falling from the high 60s to the low 30s, that you can give a speech, propose some infrastructure spending and say some things that you think pull you back to the center is naive in the extreme.”

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“In both cases, he did it with very strong bipartisan backing. But they wrongly and foolishly extrapolated from the recall and the Prop. 57-58 and 66 campaigns that this guy was a masterful campaigner who could sell ice to Eskimos and could sell pork pies in a synagogue.”

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“That's why Arnold has loaded up his campaign with a bunch of Bush-Cheney operatives. They really understand how to appeal to voters in the bluest state in America.”

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“Why would you pick someone who was director of press relations for the most disliked, discredited vice president since Spiro Agnew?”

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“He hasn't had the experience of running statewide elections, much less winning them. When you come from a district with 11 percent Republicans where the whole ball game is winning the Democratic primary, you don't develop the instincts you need for statewide politics.”

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“Phil better take notice. If he wants to try to replicate the Roberti campaign of 1994, he's up against a team that knows how to fight back. I've been accused of a lot of things, but not being willing to fight back isn't one of them.”

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“They feel he got rolled on the worker's comp agreement. They think he got rolled on the budget.”

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“They became active detractors and tried to do him damage.”

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“All the factors, all the indicators, look to me like they are pointing toward record spending.”

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“Only a handful of Democrats know either one of the candidates. Both of them are starting virtually from scratch.”

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“The timing was not accidental. There's more to come.”

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