When I visited NYC this past Thanksgiving holiday, a few friends joked with me about Governor “Ah-nold” and what a joke it was to have him be California’s newest governor via special elections. I admit yes, it’s rather bizarre and it could only happen in California, uniquely (and sometimes fondly known as) the land of fruits and nuts.
On the other hand, one had to have lived in California for a little while to appreciate why this could ever happen. Knowing this history, it’s not hard to understand that this was the only possible result due to a chaotic and broken political process. Viewing it from the lense of the common citizenry, this is nothing short of a citizen’s revolt against the political establishment. Both Republicans and Democrats fully participated in these elections — the outrage, the desire for change, or whatever was palpable. This was more a testimony against the California political establishment, not a right vs. left. Many conservatives voted against Arnold because he was too “left” for their tastes. Many Democrats/liberals voted for him because Gray Davis and his Latino side-kick Bustamente were just too Establishment and the California mess was blamed on the long-time politicos and needed someone new and not beholden to the usual constituencies was going to trump anything resembling a “professional politician”.
Arnold is a centrist and my prototypical Republican candidate. I can’t wait to vote Bush out of office.