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Hasta La Vista, Baby

Jul
29
2003

All this dithering around over Arnold — Will he? Won’t he? — is getting a bit tedious. Certainly, a lot of people — mostly white guys like Jay Leno, who all but salivated over Schwarzenegger when he was on the Tonight show — want him to run for the state’s highest office. But it’s never been very clear that Schwarzenegger himself wanted to be governor so his “leaning strongly against” decision isn’t exactly shocking.
Schwarzenegger’s appearances, calculated to promote his movie and his potential some-day candidacy, were heavy on signing autographs and light on any real give-and-take — even a question or two — with his audiences. It was Hollywood rules: the star shows up, he Terminates, you genuflect. Lots of people seemed happy to do just that for a movie star. But a gubernatorial candidate won’t get the same respect and Schwarzenegger has to know that. He is no dummy.
He’s also done his job — the job of promoting the idea of a recall — very well. The Republican Party owes him. He can collect his chits whenever he feels like it and, at 56, he’s got plenty of time to do so. So Arnold’s out. But he’s not gone. How much you want to bet he gets a nice bit of primetime air time at the Republican Convention?
And what’s all this wailing and gnashing of teeth over the idea of a recall? Dan Weintraub has a very good column, progressives. v populists, in today’s Bee. The state’s unofficial historians have been waxing eloquent about California’s Progressives but they seem unable to draw the important — then as now, as Weintraub makes clear — distinction between Progressives and Populists. The short answer: Populists are more pissed off, Progressives more patient. All this process-oriented stuff that political wonks like to talk about? It started with the Progressives. Throw the bums out? That was the Populists.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 6:16 PM | Permalink

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