The three-way race for the GOP nomination to take on Barbara Boxer will also carry enormous clues to the fall. Former Congressman Tom Campbell is slightly ahead in polling now as the two conservatives in the race --former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and state legislator Chuck DeVore are dividing the conservative vote between them. The intervention of Sarah Palin on the side of Fiorina could break the race decisively toward Fiorina. If it does --and in a telling televised moment CNN's inhouse conservative Erick Erickson began to shift from DeVore to Fiorina this week-- the importance of Palin's blessing in GOP politics will grow even greater than its already considerable size.
California seems ready to have a serious campaign on the state's fiscal collapse and a referendum on those special interests that have brought the state to its knees. It may already be too late to avoid the bankruptcy that looms, but rebuilding the engine of the American economy needs to start somewhere. A serious challenge to the Sacramento special interests is that place.