CPAC Report: Grenell Hints at Run for California Governor

February 27, 2021 Updated: February 28, 2021


I missed the beginning of Richard “Ric” Grenell’s speech at CPAC—one that I had pencilled in as a must-see—because I was buttonholed on my way by a friendly reader, as happens at the conference.

But the part I saw was excellent and well received.

Grenell has had an amazing career, starting at the United Nations, going through his ambassadorship to Germany where he was virtually the only person to face down Angela Merkel and restrain her on Iran and then his important stint as acting Director of National Intelligence.

He was also a frequent, highly-articulate, defender of the Trump administration on television, possibly the best in my estimation.

I knew him slightly, would run into him occasionally, when I lived in California where he also lives.

And therein was the most notable part of his speech because, unless I was deceiving myself, he was teasing, hinting, something, that he was, of all things for a Republican, going to run for governor of that state, aka the World’s Capital of Woke.

He slid into the tease or whatever it was by talking about the value of change from the outside in Washington, Brussels (hq of the EU that he knew well) and… er… Sacramento.


Next step was term limits, which Grenell supports and has ramifications in California where Jerry Brown kept popping up as a perpetual governor like some new version of a Zen Burger at Jack-in-the-Box. (Was the state ever better for it? How’s that high-speed rail from LA to SF?)

But finally and inevitably he segued into the current recall petition for Gavin Newsom that is on the edge of success.

Grenell put it succinctly, stating he “never saw a better case for recall.”

And that’s from the state that gave us Gray Davis.

Grenell reminded the CPAC audience that among Newsom’s many malfeasances—he mercifully didn’t mention the scandalous, thousand-dollar a head, mask-free dinner with donors at the poshest restaurant in Napa Valley during COVID—that the current governor of California made a one billion dollar deal with a Chinese company to provide masks and other medical materials when other companies in his own state could have done the same.

That alone makes a good case for recall.

But could a Republican actually win the governorship in Wokeland in this day and age?

Beats me, but if anyone could, it would be Ric, although I have to admit he wouldn’t stand much of chance in Berkeley, known locally as Berserkly.

Nevertheless, it would be fun if the first “out gay” to run for governor of our most populous (for now) and “progressive” (never were scare quotes more deserved) state was a Republican.

In actuality, Grenell is more sophisticated in the deepest sense with all his international experience than anyone who has ever run for California governor.

The state likes to think of itself as a country of its own. And indeed its economy (again for now) is larger than almost all but a handful of nations.

It was once a great place, a beacon to the world. Now it’s a mess, replete with homelessness wrecking its biggest cities and economic deprivation ruining its rural areas, not to mention a ridiculous level of taxation and more illegal immigration than the Syrian border.

People are fleeing for Red States (Please don’t bring your politics with you).

Someone’s got to fix it.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on Parler as @rogerlsimon.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.