Over the weekend, Gail Sheehy over at the Daily Beast posted a piece that takes Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina to task over their expensive, failed campaigns. (And also Linda McMahon, but we're talking California here.) Instead of taking cheap shots at the candidates endorsed by Mama Palin herself, Sheehy calls out Meg and Carly for what turned out to be "mostly about ego" for the candidates who did their best to seem selfless, matronly and concerned with the well-being of their fellow Californians (and their kids, obviously.)

The numbers are familiar by now: over $143 million of Whitman's own eBay gold and Fiorina's $16.7 million in ink cartridge profits, but when you line it up against what those dollars could have purchased, it starts to get interesting. To wit:

Whitman’s spending could have bought full tuition for 23,553 California residents at the University of California-Berkeley, which would almost double current undergraduate enrollment... Or, if she wanted to be known as the Savior of San Jose, she could have wiped out the megalopolis’ budget deficit twice over.

OK, maybe doubling UC Berkeley's enrollment isn't such a good idea since those cutbacks and fee hikes are causing such a stir already, but it sounds like one nice donation on Meg's part could have prevented that mess altogether.

There's a similar story for Fiorina, whose personal campaign spending "could have fully funded Pajaro Valley Unified School District for a year, saving the schools' sports programs." That would have been nice for a candidate who quoted one of her supporters in Bakersfield as saying "I'm voting for you because I'm afraid for my children's future."

[Daily Beast]