Ro Khanna, Rep. Mike Honda
CONGRESS 17//2014 ELECTIONS | Rep. Mike Honda was ready to pounce on a potential distinction between him and his fellow Democratic challenger Ro Khanna. Social Security would be the issue marking a significant insight into Honda’s campaign strategy. If Khanna can seemingly conjure up $1 million with a snap of his fingers, Honda would have to make inroads with blue collar South Bay voters and race him to the left.
However, it’s kind of difficult to create daylight on any issue if you’re opponent easily matches your rhetoric. While Honda organized the campaign’s first showdown in the front of a Social Security office in Fremont for Wednesday, the runup the day before signaled he would call for Khanna to “scrap the cap” on the social security payroll tax for earners of over $113,000. Except, by 9:30 a.m. the next day, Khanna’s campaign sent supporters an email affirming his support for social security. In the email, he noted his parent’s enrollment in the program along with his opposition to Obama’s chained-CPI proposal. The cap could even be lifted, Khanna added. So much for that.
Although a local media report covered Honda’s event, they neglected to mention the daylight Honda attempted to gain had been closed. In fact, supporting increased monthly social security checks is hardly a difficult pivot for a Democrat to make. In addition, the rich and powerful contributors Khanna has courted over the past two years are hardly the captains of industry and One Percenters you equate with such economic prowess. Silicon Valley is the land of the nouveu riche, not the Vanderbilts and Carnegies of the world, at least, not just yet. These are nerds and geeks with greater memories of struggling to survive on Top Ramen than what they will achieve today and in the future.
This is what makes Silicon Valley such an interesting region to host an intra-party congressional race pitting an incumbent from the old school and a challenger somewhat from the future of California, in both race and idea. Like it has been mentioned before, social security or any other issue will not cut it for Honda. This race is still about immigration reform. Whichever, candidate notices the shift in the wind first and tacks correctly, will likely win next year..