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Schwarzenegger’s State of the State Recipe: Moderation


When California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger takes the stage Thursday evening for his 2006 State of the State speech, “moderation” will be the recipe the cooks in his political kitchen — but doing so may cause him the same indigestion it caused his predecessor, Gray Davis, three short years ago.
As I stared, blurrily, into 2006 Sunday morning, one word kept going through my head: moderation, moderation, moderation. To New Year’s reveler’s like myself, “moderation” is as much a dirty word as it is to California Conservatives who would rather stand by their guns than win elections in this state.
As key elements of Schwarzenegger’s speech have leaked to the press, a common theme is developing of embracing liberal proposals, but making them more tolerable to his Republican base.
One example of Schwarzenegger’s meet-in-the-middle strategy comes in his proposal to raise the minimum wage. Rather than face a two-dollar increase and permanent, automatic hikes in the Minimum Wage, the Governator will propose a one-time dollar increase.
Eating my traditional Saturday bacon breakfast burrito, ez potaoes, at Astro Burger and reading the headline about this announcement, I could overhear two of my West Hollywood neighbors ranting about the Governor: “He’s only doing these liberal things so we’ll vote for him, then he will go an do everything the right wing wants.”
Republican activists are even more incensed. Steve Frank gives the typical reaction: “This is a phony, political answer, that creates more problems than it solves,” in his long diatribe on the matter.
In serving heavy doses of moderation during his State of the State speech on Thursday Schwarzenegger risks falling into the same trap as Gray Davis: By trying to make everyone happy, he appeals to no one.

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 1:29 PM | Permalink

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