Eulogy for the people’s governor

Published on

Very interesting article in the Los Angeles Times today:
The governor is calling himself a flip-flopper. But he thinks it’s a
good thing. He has a point, to some extent. A humble governor who can
recognize a mistake and learn from it could be an asset in stagnant

Unfortunately for the people who elected Arnold the outsider as a
different kind of governor, the changes in his political outlook have
moved him closer to, not taken him away from, the political status quo:

Once a loud proponent of term limits, the governor endorsed Proposition 93 this week. The measure on the February 5 ballot
would extend the terms of office of current legislative leaders and
much of the rest of the legislature. These are the same guys Arnold
used to revel in calling "girlie men." Now he can’t bear to part with

The man who called for sunshine in the Capitol — and claimed he would
not sign a bill that didn’t have a full, public hearing in both houses
of the legislature — quickly became the king of back room deals.

His first State of the State had the governor ‘blowing up boxes’ to
abolish a host of boards and commissions that outsider Arnold viewed as
Capitol waste. Now? It’s A-OK with the gov that "people just love to hold on to those because it gives them a chance to appoint someone…".

And perhaps the biggest theme of Arnold’s recall campaign was that when
money goes in, favors go out, and the people lose. This biggest
populist promise of all, to not take special interest money, was abandoned before he was even inaugurated, and Arnold quickly got on track to become the most prolific fundraiser in California history.

Schwarzenegger has changed his tune, but a lot of those ‘mistakes’ were the positions that endeared him to voters the most.

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