Tom Steyer’s next big push: ‘Too Small to Fail’

Yesterday’s editions carried my story about what the future might hold for billionaire hedge fund mogul Tom Steyer, fresh off his win with Proposition 39 and about to turn his full attention to public policy.

Today we’re starting to see what Steyer’s next big push will be.

Tom Steyer (photo by Karl Mondon)As described in a Mercury-News op-ed piece he co-wrote, the Center for the Next Generation – a philanthropic effort founded last year by Steyer and his brother, Common Sense Media Founder and CEO Jim Steyer – today is launching Too Small to Fail, a national movement to focus attention on the need to invest in children and address the challenges they face in leading healthy, happy, productive lives, particularly in areas of education, technology, health, parents’ work lives and social mobility.

Too Small to Fail’s website went live today, and this ad – produced by Obama advisor Jim Margolis and Bush advisor Mark McKinnon – has begun airing on Fox, MSNBC and CNN:


From Too Small to Fail’s website:

The world is changing faster than any parent can predict. We have 21st century technology and a 20th century mindset; the slickest smartphones with the dullest outlook for our kids.

Parents work longer hours for smaller paychecks. Kids are weighed down by schools that don’t work and bombarded by media meant for people twice their age. Governments across the country have done less and less to lay a foundation for future success – a future where we build our society from the smallest up and where all kids have the opportunity to thrive.

Too Small to Fail is a movement. One built to change the conversation around kids in this country. We mean to create a groundswell to prompt Americans to rise to the challenges facing our nation’s children.

We can build a stronger future for our children.

The site indicates partners participating in Too Small to Fail include the Children’s Defense Fund – California, Common Sense Media, the Families and Work Institute, First Focus, Moms Rising, Opportunity Nation and Voices for America’s Children.

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.

  • Publius

    The Hedge Fund Hero!

    I thought these were the bad guys that caused the financial melt down?

  • Elwood

    My the stock market certainly is glad the chosen one was re-elected.

    Dow down another 185 today as I watch my net worth disappear.

    Is there a bottom somewhere? I guess it can’t go lower than zero.

    Thank you, illustrious leader.

    Please stand by for a paean to illustrious leader’s financial acumen.

  • Elwood

    Illustrious leader inspires no confidence:

    ” After the first-hour slide, the benchmark average (S&P 500) held near the 1,365 level until President Obama held a press conference to further discuss the fiscal cliff. During his remarks, the commander-in-chief said he is “hoping for compromise and hoping for new ideas.” The president’s statements failed to inspire investor confidence, thus resulting in an afternoon sell-off which saw the S&P 500 settle lower by 1.4%.” –Yahoo News

    Gee, it’s not just me!

  • John W

    Re: #2

    Why would someone who is convinced that Obama’s presidency of the past four years and his re-election are terrible for the stock market expose himself to the ups and downs of the market? If you are so convinced that the market is doomed for the next four years, shouldn’t you be selling?

  • Elwood

    When there’s blood on the street, it’s time to buy.

    Nothing lasts forever.

    Not even illustrious leader.

  • Truthclubber

    @5 —

    Yes, not even you (will last forever).

    Thank you, Yahweh!

    But I would not be a buyer just yet — the GOP hasn’t blinked in this game of fiscal chicken just yet… 😉

  • John W

    “Fiscal Cliff” was a guest on Letterman Tuesday night. Cliff didn’t have much to say.

  • Elwood

    Fiscal Cliff is Cliff Bar’s cousin.

  • Truthclubber

    Talk about delusional sore losers (besides Elwood) who don’t have a clue — see Romnuts try to spin why he isn’t the “45th GOD of the U-S-A!”

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is telling top donors that President Barack Obama won re-election because of the “gifts” he had already provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters and because of the president’s effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant.

    “The president’s campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift,” Romney said in a call to donors on Wednesday. “He made a big effort on small things.”

    Romney said his campaign, in contrast, had been about “big issues for the whole country.” He said he faced problems as a candidate because he was “getting beat up” by the Obama campaign and that the debates allowed him to come back.

    In the call, Romney didn’t acknowledge any major missteps, such as his “47 percent” remarks widely viewed as denigrating nearly half of Americans, his lack of support for the auto bailout, his call for illegal immigrants to “self-deport,” or his change in position on abortion, gun control and other issues. He also didn’t address the success or failure of the campaign’s strategy of focusing on the economy in the face of some improvement in employment and economic growth during the months leading up to Election Day.”

    Talk about a campaign “by the whites, of the whites, for the whites!” — but, Yehwah, I love it so — it means that Rick Santorum and/or Paul Ryan will most likely be the GOP nominee and get their @sshats handed to them by either Hillary or Joe in 2016… 😉

  • Truthclubber

    @9 —

    Before Elwood drops another delusional and self-protecting “ad hominem bomb” on me to try to shut me up when his logic fails him yet again, I thought I would add the following to that story in #9 above, from the same exact source:

    “Asked about Romney’s remarks, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential contender for the GOP nomination in 2016, strongly condemned those in the GOP who classify voters based on income, race or age and said the party cannot concede wide swaths of voters and expect to win elections.

    “We have got to stop dividing the American voters,” Jindal told reporters in Las Vegas, where the Republican Governors Association was meeting. “We need to go after 100 percent of the vote, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote.”

  • Elwood

    @ 10

    “Before Elwood drops another delusional and self-protecting “ad hominem bomb” on me to try to shut me up when his logic fails him yet again,”

    Won’t you please give us examples, o paranoid one?

    You really shouldn’t post when you’ve been ingesting mind-altering chemicals.

    You seem to have these fits in the evening more than during the day.

  • Truthclubber

    @11 —

    Want an example of your “ad hominen bomb” attacks?

    I reference “November 14th, 2012 at 8:54 pm”, circa @11, aka the post directly above this, where you try to eliminate the credibility of your opponents through spurious, snide and personal attacks on character, such as accusing me of “ingesting mind-altering chemicals”, since you can’t outwit them through superior logic, and you know it.

    As I’ve said before, we’re not laughin’ with ya, we’re laughin’…I’ll let your kindergarten teacher fill you in on the rest of THAT sentence — since you clearly failed THAT grade.

    As Clinton said to G. H. W. Bush during the the 1992 debate when Bush accused Clinton of being a Soviet spy since Clinton had traveled to Moscow while a Rhodes Scholar…”I feel sorry for you” (and did not mean it in a kind way…), so:

    I feel sorry for you, Elwood. I really do — but I feel even more sorry for whatever partner or spouse has to put up with the likes of you — they must REALLY suffer.

  • Elwood

    @ 12

    Just reporting.

    Read your own posts.


  • AlcoaHead

    Don’t put up with that clap trap from Toothsucker, brother Elwood — Here’s Proof!!! that Bubba Clinton WAS a Spy for the Russkies!

  • Truthclubber

    @13 —

    So you’ve become almost monosyllabic now in the face of superior intellect, eh?

    Certainly no longer willing to reference anything resembling, say, facts, eh?

    Must be very confining inside that precious and delusional egoshell you protect, eh?

    Not even able to reply within the intellectual confines (5-7-5) of haiku, eh?

    “Elwood — low wattage,

    Tries to denigate all those,

    Who do not suit him.”


    Sayonara, Elwon’t.

  • Truthclubber

    As I said earlier (@12), I feel sorry for you, Elwon’t.

    I really do — but I feel even more sorry for whatever partner or spouse has to put up with the likes of you — they must REALLY suffer.

  • Elwood

    @ 15

    See #11

    Ipso facto.

  • Truthclubber

    @17 —

    Small, delusional, fragile, egotistic minds uttering smaller and smaller comments in the wake of the tsunami of logic attacking them…

    Take need, students — this is how you (the progressive who won the elections of 2012) get your opponent to STFU when all that is left to them is to spout a DEAD language (e.g., Latin) to try to puff up their own inflated sense of self.

  • Truthclubber

    @17 —

    BTW, you LOST the election of “the mighty whites vs the rest of America”.

    Just thought I would remind you in case your wait staff was too afraid to bring you the latest headlines from the “fourth estate”…so start writing those bigger Federal tax checks to Unka Sambo, unless, unlike me, you don’t make ENOUGH to be a member of THAT exclusive club… 😉

  • Truthclubber

    No one is coming to your defense, Elwon’t — I wonder why that is?

    The silence from YOUR side is, well, overwhelming.

    In a word?


  • Truthclubber

    Are you taking notes, “John W”?

    This is HOW it is done (silencing a clown).

  • Josh Richman

    ENOUGH. Can’t I even take a night off to see a movie without one of you stinking up the joint? GROW UP. Discuss issues here without personal locker-room taunts. Behave like adults or leave this blog – by your own accord or mine.