Arnold SchwarzeneggerCaliforniaPolitics

Daniel Weintraub: Governor Finally Gets the Message

Is California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger finally getting the message? Daniel Weintraub, a featured speaker at the Bear Flag League Summer Conference today (actually in a few hours) has this piece, Governor finally gets the message.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision on Friday to stop taking money from two bodybuilding magazines closely tied to the nutritional supplements industry was smart, even if it hurt his pride and his pocketbook. Although he still doesn’t plan to give back the money he has taken from the magazines since becoming governor, this move is at least a small sign that Schwarzenegger is starting to realize how bad he looks to the people who elected him and hoped that he would be a force for reform.

Flap is not so sure.

The Governor’s apparent squishiness on the special election he called, his lack of response to devastating union protestors and television commercials and the behind the scenes deal making on special election initiatives that worries Republicans.

Arnold has to decide he wants to be a POLITICIAN not a Hollywood Star. Otherwise, he will emulate another Predator actor, Jesse Ventura, the failed and former Governor of Minnesota.

Ventura has been criticized for privately profiting from his heightened popularity. He was hired as host for the failed XFL football enterprise, served as a referee at a WWE wrestling match, and published several books during his tenure as governor. On his weekly radio show, he often criticized the media for focusing on these deals rather than on his policy proposals.

Dan Walters in Schwarzenegger, Cunningham: Conduct crosses ethical line supports this thesis.

Nevertheless, the flap was another example of the governor’s somewhat tone-deaf approach to politics. He has assumed from the onset of his governorship that because he was a famous bodybuilder and movie star entering politics as a civic gesture, the ordinary – if unwritten – rules of political conduct didn’t apply. That attitude has manifested itself in what can only be described as sloppiness, whether it be in his often contradictory public pronouncements, his inartful drafting of ballot measures that he says are vital policy reforms or his raising huge amounts of campaign money while decrying the influence in the Capitol of special interests.

Somehow, Schwarzenegger convinced himself that he was immune to the political effects of that sloppiness – that the purity of his motives would be obvious and compelling – but each instance provided his enemies, who never wanted him to succeed as governor, with more ammunition to undercut his standing with voters, a standing that now is only slightly more than half of his sky-high approval nine months ago.

Perhaps Schwarzenegger finally understands that he’s fighting for his political life, and arrogant disregard for the niceties could be his undoing.

Calling Steve Westly and Phil Angelides……..Flap bets Lockyer is kicking himself.