A political consultant named Bob Shrum quipped that a political rally in California is three people sitting around a TV set.

He wasn’t far from the truth. Iowa- or New Hampshire-style retail politics is long gone in California. It’s largely gone in Iowa and New Hampshire, too, just played out for the cameras. In Santa Rosa this week, however, there isn’t just one but two old-fashioned political rallies.

Attorney General Jerry Brown, the Democratic nominee for governor, appears tonight at the Veterans Hall and, Democratic Party chairman Stephen Gale announced today, Sen. Barbara Boxer will be at the Democrats barbecue this Saturday. Sonoma County is almost home turf for Boxer, who used to hold the House seat now filled by Rep. Lynn Woolsey of Petaluma.

California candidates usually stick close to the big TV markets once the primaries have passed, but both Brown and Boxer face tough campaigns this fall, and it looks like they may be trying to shore up the base.

— Jim Sweeney

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