Billy Crystal watching Meg Ryan faking it was one of the most memorable movie scenes in recent memory.
It’s fair to say that’s how engaged Republican primary voters are feeling as they evaluate whether upstart Christine Jones is faking her espoused conservative bona fides or whether she really has the financial resources to become a player in the 2014 Arizona Governor’s race.
Fife Symington clearly had the personal dough to be competitive. He actually became an Arizona Governor. He wasn’t faking it. Buz Mills appeared to have the jack too, before pulling out of the 2010 Governor’s race because of the unique circumstances of SB1070.
Wil Cardon was soundly defeated for the U.S. Senate in 2012 but he too showed a real bank account. If Christine Jones doesn’t have the same depth she is an immediate also ran.
Judging from her very aggressive fundraising efforts we question how much there is really there. The 2013 financial reports due Friday should shed some light. But so too does a refresher course on Buz Mills’ effort.
Outside of Yavapai County Mills was an unknown, so he aggressively took to the airwaves and mail boxes about this time four years ago. By March, 2010 a Rasmussen poll had Mills in a three-way tie with Gov. Brewer and then State Treasurer Dean Martin. And then SB1070 hit and the non-Brewer field was history.
While Mills came up short his early, well-funded insurgency largely worked. He spent millions toward his cause.
To be clear there is a case for waiting. After all, we are 7 months away from the primary. Trent Franks showed one can use personal dollars later than sooner to capture the prize. And Steve Moak almost did too, finishing second to Ben Quayle.
No matter her strategy Jones will soon have to reveal it, and whether she’s a Sally, or a Fife.