Arnold: Hollywood beckons

31 July 2009 |permalink | email article

The actor-turned governor elected at a recall election, who once had approval ratings approaching 70 percent, has now plunged to just 28 percent of all adults. It is the lowest that any governor had been ranked since August 2003, when hapless then-Gov. Gray Davis, facing a recall, sank to 26 percent.

Deciding to be an action governor his popularity sank in 2005 when he arrogantly tried and failed to win voter approval of a package of “year of reform” ballot measures, before rebounding in a 2006 landslide re-election win.

But Schwarzenegger, termed out next year, has proved to be a disastrous leader, incapable of coping with a downward slide in the state’s economy as its budget problems steadily worsened to the point where California is almost certain to face another crisis within the next six months.

He refused to raise taxes on the wealthy, unlike former Gov. Ronald Reagan, and decided instead to make deep cuts affecting students, elderly, children and the poor.

In a classic public-safety misjudgment the budget signed Tuesday by the governor canceled the contract for California’s largest firefighting tool, a DC-10 jet, to save $7 million. Instead, the budget replaces that contract with-as needed use of planes at a higher rate.

The Los Angeles Times reported that an analysis by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection found that using a DC-10 on an as-needed budget could wind up costing 50% more than currently spent.
The only good news for Californians, angry about the implosion in Sacramento, is that President Obama’s job approval rating still stands at 65 percent. “Those who supported Schwarzenegger two years ago are now looking to Obama to help get them out of this deep recession,” pollster Mark Baldasarre said.

Read ‘em and weep

“By late fall, I expect we will look back at the passage of health care insurance reform and most of the commentariat will suggest they knew it all along. Today’s prevailing forecast, of course, is decidedly different, ranging from stormy weather to a gathering dark night of defeat.” Robert Shrum, a veteran Democratic strategist and longtime adviser to Senator Edward Kennedy.

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