In the lead up to a re-election bid, Arnold Schwartzenegger is clearly testing a series of positions designed to distance himself from an unpopular Republican President, and to appeal to moderate Democrats whose support he will likely need to retain the Governorship.
After billing himself as a pro-business union buster during a failed initiative campaign, he tried to repackage himself as a visionary builder of California’s infrastructure, taking credit for thinking about future generations, but also making it clear that the current generation wouldn’t foot the bill. He trumpeted the need to sell billions of dollars worth of bonds (creating massive future debt load) to fix a long list of problems with the State’s roads, levees, prisons, schools, etc. At the same time, he claimed that “taxes have never fixed any problem,” in explaining his position on taxes – although it could just as easily have been his explanation for why California has so damned many problems!
Ultimately, however, this repackaging effort didn’t work because it is clear to most Californians that, just like George W. Bush is not a “compassionate conservative,” Arnold Schwartzenegger is not an “economic visionary.” He’s a f**king actor, and a bad one at that! His supporters like to talk about what a shrewd businessman he is, but in reality, everyone knows that he came to prominence by taking steroids, and made his fortune by selling violent movies, mostly to impressionable teens. That he invested money in real estate during a period of rapidly rising property values in California says less about his business acumen than it does about his good fortune that Hollywood, CA is the focal point of the movie industry.
Failing to pull off the role of “economic visionary,” Arnold is now trying to play the role of conscientious steward of the environment, by talking about making California the leader in the fight to reduce global warming. Good luck with that act, Mr. Hummer! As much as Democrats might like to hear a politician seeming to take the environment seriously, I doubt that they will buy it from Schwartzenegger.
When that doesn’t work, I guess he can always try to jump on the rid baseball of steroids bandwagon to see if he can pull in the anti-Barry Bonds vote!
All I can say is that come election day, I certainly hope California voters will remember that no matter what Arnold’s “popular issue of the week,” he has conducted himself in office as no less of a liar than George W. Bush. And his campaign team, described here, literally comes right out of the Karl Rove school of “anything to get elected” politics.