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September 25, 2003

Arnold Fails to Impress

I have asserted, and continue to believe, that a recall vote with Arnold Schwarzenegger winning may be worse for the Republican party than would simply leaving Davis in office. It could hardly be worse for California citizens, but it may be very little improved under Schwarzenegger.

Well, the debates last night certainly didn't impress George Neumayr of The American Prowler.

Why Schwarzenegger took the unserious Arianna Huffington so seriously isn't clear. He certainly didn't show the gentlemanly touch of Ronald Reagan, who would never have bothered to descend to the level of a hideous opportunist like Huffington. Schwarzenegger's reliance on canned cheap shots -- "I just realized that I have a perfect part for you in Terminator 4," he said to Huffington -- led the host to say at one point, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is not Comedy Central."

Schwarzenegger enjoyed his juvenile jousting with Huffington enough to say at a press conference afterwards that he and Huffington could travel as a "comedy team." Schwarzenegger has undeniable comic gifts, as seen when he ends practically every other sentence with the phrase, "...and all those kind of things."

Schwarzenegger's performance was more superficial than serious. He never strays too far from his cliches, and when in doubt repeats a few words he likes over and over again, such as "gone, gone, gone." But since he didn't do anything fatal, his performance will be rated by establishment Republicans as a stunning success.

I've got nothing personal against Arnold--except maybe a few movies that I'd like refunds for--but I don't think he's the right answer for Republicans in California right now. That would be acceptable if I felt that the people of California would be markedly better off with Arnold in office than with Davis, but I don't feel that way. All else being equal, the only thing I see coming from this recall if Arnold wins is a continuation of bad economic policy and a long-term hit to the Republican party in California.

Yes, he would be more conservative in a few areas (immigration, for instance), but would there really be a large difference in the most important California issue (the economy)? I don't think so.

Of course, like Wesley Clark, it's hard to pin Arnold down on policy since he doesn't have a well-defined stand on many issues or a track record to judge. Star power only gets you so far. Sooner or later, you have to have strong will, vision, and policies to be elected and be successful.

Read the Prowler article.

Posted by zombyboy at September 25, 2003 11:07 AM | TrackBack

I tend to agree about Arnold. But people absolutely eat that shit up. All the talk in the office this morning is about how funny he was. Unfortunately, there's nothing funny at all about the state of the state, and all the clever zingers in the world won't fix it. If he wins and flops...*shudder*...I don't want to think about it.

Posted by: Deb at September 25, 2003 12:02 PM

I didn't watch it, but am wishing that I had.

Posted by: zombyboy at September 25, 2003 02:38 PM
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