I wrote that a "dark horse" candidate may emerge to beat Perata, and we talked about that person: Robert Bobb.
If the former and now some say "De Facto" Oakland City Manager threw his hat into the ring to run for Mayor, he would clobber Perata, and that's even if Perata got the endorsement of California Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, and most of the other members of the Ron Dellums / Sandre Swanson / Barbara Lee endorsement machine. Bobb could beat that machine. Bet on it.
Well, let's take a hard look at this. California Senator Perata would have more negative press than any other candidate, and in the Internet age, a constant drum beat of such messages kills a campaign: just ask Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, where her flip flops and "Bosniagate" gaffe were a powerful, YouTube filled one-two punch.
One of the divisions of my company specializes in something called "Online Reputation Management " which asks the question "How do you look in a search on Google, or any other search engine?" and then we fix the problem using various tools in our network.
In Perata's case, he doesn't look so good. A simple Google search reveals the East Bay Express article called "Laundering Money with Don Perata" written by Chris Thompson, and that's just four results down. Yikes!
That extends to YouTube, where a search for "Don Perata" brings up not just his speeches, but this "flip flop" captured by KRON and YouTuber "BloomTV" (Johnathan Bloom of KRON):
There's a lot of material there for opposition research and one could have a field day picking Perata apart. On the flip side, Perata's got to look at all of this because it's his real message and determine how to enhance the good and reduce the bad, and how it may be used against him.
By contrast, there's no youTube or any easily found videos on any system about Robert Bobb. That means Bobb can fill this void with his own carefully managed videos and make a search better for him.
All of this will be enhanced several fold during the heat of a campaign. But that's not the only reason I think Bobb can and would beat Perata. Bobb would bring together two still relevant Oakland groups, insiders and people of color. Oaklanders would see Bobb in the mold of President-Elect Barack Obama, a professional, smooth, competent professional public official who seems to know the answers and has little baggage. He's got a track record of "fixing" Oakland, and would be seen as a Mr. Fix-it candidate. That's a message Senator Perata can't easily match.
Robert Bobb would clobber Don Perata and become Mayor of Oakland.