Debra Saunders: Arnold a flop

by CalWatchdog Staff | January 8, 2010 10:55 am

One of my favorite columnists is Debra Saunders of Chronicle. She’s survived the ongoing demise of newspapers, at least so far.

Her take[1] on Arnold’s State of the State address is similar to mine (which was published yesterday[2] in our news section). She writes:

Mention Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – you need only say his first name – and many Californians respond with a long sigh, then with words like “squander” or “waste” or “missed opportunity”….

Close your eyes and think back six years. There was excitement as Schwarzenegger delivered his first State of the State address in 2004; international, Washington and Southern California media flocked to sleepy Sacramento in such numbers that Capitol workers had to put up a tent to contain the overflow.

The larger-than-life action figure garnered more raw votes in the crowded recall race than ousted Democrat Gov. Gray Davis won in the anemic 2002 general election. He could not exactly pronounce Cah-lee-fornia, yet he bounded into office with so much force that even before his first State of the State, he revoked the car tax and stared down the Legislature until it repealed a recently passed law to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

Democrats held comfortable majorities in the Assembly and Senate, yet six years ago, many were terrified – they lowered their voices when they talked about him – at what the muscle man might make them do.

Which turned out to be: waste and deficits as usual.

I guess that’s what voters get when they choose the contrived persona of a movie star over a truly strong, principled candidate — Tom McClintock, who would have been elected in 2003 if Arnold hadn’t barged in with his steroid-saturated body.

McClintock, now a U.S. congressman, would have solved the perennial budget problem by bringing back the Gann Limit [3](something he and I urged many times back in 2003-04) — instead of Arnold’s $14 billion in bonds, which Arnold wasted.

When Arnold leaves office in a year, he’ll return to his mansion in Malibu, the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, or his native Austria — leaving the rest of us to suffer the remainder of our lives from his 7 years of maladministration.

— John Seiler

  1. Her take:
  2. published yesterday:
  3. Gann Limit :

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