Republican John Cox is nothing if not persistent. He's run for office five times in California and never won. Now he is vying to be the Republican replacement for Gavin Newsom -- if the state recalls Newsom, which they won't.
Nevertheless, Cox persists. He kicked off his campaign in Sacramento on Tuesday with a Kodiak bear intended, I suppose, to be a metaphor for him as some sort of beast. Of course, the California state flag also has the now-extinct California grizzly bear on it, so it's more likely that the Kodiak bear was intended to be a substitute. Or a beast. Or something.
The bear was supplied by Steve Martin's Working Wildlife (not THE Steve Martin, don't panic!). This animal factory has had lots of complaints in the past. Newsweek reported on them and other Hollywood animal factories in 2018:
The disreputable Steve Martin's Working Wildlife regularly offloaded animals through a sleazy swapsheet—even offering free bears, wolves, a lion, and a leopard—and has also been cited by the USDA for locking chimpanzees and orangutans in "night housing" for up to 18 hours a day with no enrichment items, denying animals adequate space, and failing to provide them with necessary veterinary care, shelter from the elements, ventilation, clean cages, and proper food.
It was 91 in Sacramento Tuesday and John Cox is subjecting a bear to this humiliation:
— Emily Hoeven💫 (@emily_hoeven) May 4, 2021
The bear is understandably bored and hot:
Tag the Kodiak bear munched on chicken and cookies as Republican John Cox ripped into Gov. Gavin Newsom this morning. It was quite … something. (Deleted initial tweet to fix a typo) pic.twitter.com/ngzFWlMbGC
— Phil Willon (@philwillon) May 4, 2021
Reaction was what you might expect:
i'm really struggling to believe this is actually a serious campaign branding. like, who advises this guy? who said, "you should totally rebrand as "BEAST John Cox" and start doing campaign stops with a bear, the people are gonna love it!" just incredible. https://t.co/GqnM5NzBUY
— robert (@wassolldermuell) May 4, 2021
John Cox has now made the gubernatorial recall a bigger circus than 2003's version when 135 candidates did the most bizarre things to get attention. No one will remember Cox's policy statements, only that he brought a bear to a news conference. @BeastJohnCox pic.twitter.com/XVIyujQfIP
— Jim Boren (@jboren4507) May 4, 2021
What's the message John Cox hopes to convey through a stand-in for a California Grizzly Bear? Which is extinct.
— Calbuzz (@CalbuzzBlog) May 4, 2021
Here's the message: John Cox knows he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of actually succeeding in this farce of a recall election against Gavin Newsom, who has done a great job of getting this state through the pandemic without bankrupting or killing an inordinate number of our citizens.
Caitlyn Jenner and John Cox. I've heard that Ric Grenell wants to play here too. Republicans are not sending their best to California. Or maybe they are, and this is it.
UPDATE: LOL, Cox is very sad that the bear stole the show.
“The coverage yesterday was all about the bear,” bemoans @BeastJohnCox, who brought the bear. Says focus should be on issues making California “unlivable and dangerous.”
— Guy Marzorati (@GuyMarzorati) May 5, 2021
California is doing fine, all things considered. But if John Cox thinks it's "unlivable" he's welcome to head over to Texas, or Florida maybe.