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Attention New Arrivals: Your Party is Waiting

Nov
18
2004

The idea of amending the constitution to let Arnold Schwarzenegger – or any of the 12 million people like him who were born outside the U.S. – become president is one that should be taken seriously.
Not because it’s going to happen. It’s far too early in this idea’s little wacky-but-feasible lifecycle to make any predictions. Democratic opposition – he’d win the presidency in a walk – is stiff.
It should be taken seriously for a couple of reasons that have only a little bit to do with Schwarzenegger. First of all, the headquarters for the whole AmendForArnold she-bang is at 3000 Sand Hill Road. For those of you on the East Coast in politics this might not mean very much. For those of us on the West Coast with a more-than-passing acquaintance with things Silicon Valley, it speaks volumes.


It says that Silicon Valley’s Republican establishment – which is moderate, rich, and not real happy with the way things are going economically or politically – is looking for change, locally and perhaps nationally. 3000 Sand Hill Road was built by real estate developer Tom Ford. Ford died a few years ago but his family has made a point of carrying on his good works and gentle political activism. Which is a nice way of saying that AmendForArnold is probably getting a deal on some normally very pricey and very desireable office space.
Here’s another reason to pay attention. This campaign is a brilliant way to tell immigrants in California and other states that their party is the Republican Party; it’s the party of American success. Given the split in the Hispanic vote, this is important. A number of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have offices or investors with offices within spitting distance of 3000 Sand Hill Road so the message is also aimed at highly educated, technically trained immigrants many of whom are just getting into the swing of things, politically.
That Arnold himself has decided to start “writing” a column for the state’s ethnic newspapers only underscores how determined Republicans are to take so-called ethnic voters away from Democrats. Arnold is going to make sure California becomes a Republican state. And he’s going to do it one naturalized citizen at a time.
UPDATE:The LATimes surveys the terrain Arnold has mapped out for a potential presidential bid, including his quiet co-operating with AmendArnold and finds — in what might be the understatement of the year — that Schwarzenegger “is not easily deterred by conventional wisdom.”

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 3:07 PM | Permalink

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