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California Special Election Watch: Will FLAP Between Bush and Schwarzenegger Affect the Election?

President Bush and wife Laura at the dedication of an Air Force One exhibit at the Reagan Library.

The San Francisco Chronicle has Bush visit stirs election anxiety Governor skips event — his backers call trip ill-timed

President Bush sought to draw a link between himself and former President Ronald Reagan on Friday, comparing his war on terrorism to the Cold War — even as a political cold war continued between Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was a glaring no-show during the president’s two-day California trip.

Reagan “recognized that freedom was opposed by dangerous enemies,” Bush said at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library here. “And … America has always prevailed by standing firmly on principles and never backing down in the face of evil.”

But Bush’s visit, at a party fundraiser Thursday night and at the dedication Friday of an Air Force One exhibit at the library before an audience of high-profile state and national Republicans, was termed “ill-timed” by supporters of the governor, who is facing a difficult special election in just over two weeks.

So, what affect will this FLAP have on the California Special Election?

Well, at least the Governor did not have to witness the Bush/Arnold hybrid protesters.

“The governor’s got challenges, and it’s a very tense time for both of them,” said Ken Khachigian, a former Reagan speechwriter and longtime political adviser. “I think they’re both extremely focused on what they’re doing, and as a result, the challenges are higher and the emotions rise.

“… The president’s trip to California will have no effect on the outcome of the special election, and the governor’s not showing up here will have no effect on President Bush,” Khachigian said. “Staff people just got carried away on both sides.”


The President had a good event and the Governor had a few bad press pieces but the FLAP will all but be forgotten by Monday’s press cycle.

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Cross-posted to the Bear Flag League Special Election Page


Cross Posted to the SoCal Law Blog

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