Arnold Schwarzenegger,  California,  Election 2006,  Politics

Arnold Schwarzenegger Watch: Is Arnold Better Off Without the GOP?

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (L) listens as his new chief of staff Susan Kennedy answers questions during a news conference in Sacramento, California in this November 30, 2005 photo.

Dan Schnur (a Republican political consultant who advised former Gov. Pete Wilson and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), teaches at the Annenberg School for Communication at USC and the Institute of Government Studies at UC Berkeley) has a commentary piece in today’s Los Angeles Times, Is Arnold better off without the GOP?

SHOULD GOV. Arnold Schwarzenegger run for reelection as an independent?

Schwarzenegger is a centrist — conservative on taxes, crime and illegal immigration, and moderate on cultural and environmental issues. That balance is what attracted the support of swing voters when he was elected two years ago. But it has also kept him from forming a stronger relationship with the most ideologically committed members of his Republican Party.

So, when the governor announced last week that he was hiring a longtime Democratic operative and abortion-rights activist as his new chief of staff, conservative Republicans erupted in anger. Already unhappy over his proposal for a multibillion-dollar bond measure and uneasy with his decision to hold a clemency hearing before deciding the fate of Stanley Tookie Williams, GOP activists were furious when Schwarzenegger tapped former Davis advisor Susan Kennedy as his top government aide.

Yes and the California Republican Party Board of Directors have sent this e-mail to all Republican activists.

The conservative California Republican Assembly has an online petition asking Schwarzenegger to rescind the Susan Kennedy appointment.

THE UNIQUE dynamics of the recall election had allowed Schwarzenegger to run from the center, helping him avoid a GOP primary in which his moderate social and environmental positions could have caused him problems with a right-leaning electorate. Running for reelection as an independent would allow him the same opportunity. State law would have to be changed to allow him to alter his party registration so close to an election. But leaders of both major parties would have a vested interest in persuading their supporters to approve such a change.

For California’s conservative movement, an independent Schwarzenegger candidacy would present its members the opportunity to support a more ideologically acceptable candidate. Could that candidate take 35% to 40% of the vote against Schwarzenegger and the Democratic nominee? It’s certainly more attainable than the 50% required in a traditional two-party race. Although Democrats would have to be wary of a centrist Schwarzenegger repeating his recall performance and attracting enough independent and moderate Democratic support to win reelection, organized labor and other party mainstays could support another candidate, one more strongly committed to their most important policy goals.

Who is Schnur kidding?

There is NO WAY the Democrats in the legislature nor would Schwarzenegger be suckered into this deal.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has already “JUMPED THE SHARK’!


Arnold Schwarzenegger Watch: California Republican Assembly Sponsoring an Online Petition Asking Governor to Rescind Susan Kennedy Appointment

Arnold Schwarzenegger Watch: Governor Names Partisan Democrat Chief of Staff – THE FLAP

Arnold Schwarzenegger Watch: Pat Clarey, Arnold’s Chief of Staff Resigns

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