How other campaigns see Bobby Shriver for AG

The Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert had the scoop this morning that Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver – brother of California first lady Maria Shriver and nephew of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy and the late President John F. Kennedy – is mulling a 2010 run for California Attorney General.

If he’s in, Shriver would join a crowded Democratic primary field including San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who has been busy raising money from many of the same people with whom she rubbed elbows in the Obama campaign last year; Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, who entered the race with the biggest pot of money already in the bank; Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, who might’ve gained some valuable experience while taking a drubbing from Jerry Brown in the 2006 primary; Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance; and Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara.

If someone can clearly break from the pack as a front-runner in the next few months, he or she could benefit from having so many others split what’s left of the pie.

“We expect there are going to be more people who will be entering this race,” Torrico campaign consultant Phil Giarrizzo told me today – they’d expected Shriver, he said, and they still think Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly will jump in, too.

As for Shriver, with whom Giarrizzo said he has worked on environmental issues, “he’s a talented, bright, articulate person, but we’ve seen many times, in the sense that ‘he’s a Kennedy,’ that people look to accomplishment, they look to a record,” Giarrizzo said. Primary voters tend to be very discerning, he noted, and “it doesn’t work that you can just pass along a family name; he will have to run on his own merits … a level of experience he’ll have to communicate. I don’t think we look at him as ‘a Kennedy’ – I think we look at him as Bobby Shriver, an activist and city councilman.”

“Politics is a debate of ideas and we’ll see as we go forward what his ideas are,” he said.

Harris campaign manager Ace Smith said Friday that “As the only career prosecutor in the race, District Attorney Harris looks forward to having a spirited debate about all the issues of law enforcement.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • jd

    Ace Smith is sadly mistaken regarding Harris being the only career prosecutor in the race with real world experience prosecuting criminals.

    Assemblymember Pedro Nava was a Deputy District Attorney in the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office–working in targeted narcotics prosecution; He also was a Deputy District Attorney in Santa Barbara County.

  • joe blow

    Rocky Delgadillo is really the only one with experience as a prosecutor. The rest are all pretenders.

  • John Que

    Why would we only want a prosecutor. I would rather have someone into environmental justice, or civil justice background. Prosecutors are usually lawyers who can’t cut it in private practice but have big ego’s or power trip.

  • Josh Richman

    This isn’t intended as commentary on the AG current candidates, but given the previous comments it might be worth noting that the California Attorney General hasn’t had prosecutorial experience since Democrat John Van de Kamp (a former Los Angeles District Attorney) left the office at the start of 1991; Dan Lungren, Bill Lockyer and Jerry Brown all are career politicians.

  • Mike Feinstein

    For those who want to follow Bobby’s time on the Santa Monica City Council, there is an excellent local news source called the Santa Monica LookOut, at http://www.surfsantamonica.com.

  • David

    Bobby Shriver’s California bar membership has been inactive for 25 of the last 26 years. He joined in 1983, became inactive in 1984, and only became active again in January 2009. Has he ever really practiced law in California? When? Stacked up against the legal careers of some of his opponents, that’s a pretty weak starting point.

  • the real truth

    take a look at how the murder rate jumped under harris. harris set so many killers free in san francisco the city is swimming and drowning in its own blood. over 400 murders remain uncharged. most of the offenders and suspects are criminals she set free by either failing to charge them with a crime after a lawful arrest or by charging them with a felony and giving them, no jail time. this was obvioulsy done to boost her conviction rate. look at the articles “let it bleed”, “trials and tribulations of kamala harris” and “grave injustice”. harris is incompetent and a complete farce. she was quoted in the san francisco daily journal as proclaiming that drug dealers have to be arrested three times before they will even be charged with a crime. “Harris never saw a murder she wanted to charge”. Dont be stupid people. Harris is not qualified to be the ag of this state or any state.