Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Arnold Schwarzenegger brings his "A" game to a "meet and greet" with retirees at a shuffleboard court in Palm Springs.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is thinking ahead. Way ahead.
Conservatives have their suspicions about Arnold's candidacy. While they tend to gripe about Schwarzenegger's lack of devotion to the Unborn or his tendencies towards gun control, they have not been able to argue that his economic heart isn't in the right place. His advisors include Larry Kudlow, Arthur Laffer, and Arnold has been known to give Milton Friedman's popular argument for markets, Free to Choose away as gifts. This cast of characters should have signaled to conservatives that Arnold's head is in the right place.
Now Mr. Schwarzenegger is signaling that he is actually thinking about how he will govern. Yesterday, he brought Warren Buffet on board. This was an extremely smart move, in that it signaled that Schwarzenegger is serious about budgetary reform and that the Moody's rating for California state and municipal bonds was one of his chief concerns. Arnold was basically telling the Press that he had gravitas. But what's more, he told the economic community in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco that he is deadly serious about the State's fiscal crisis. This is very important, as it will begin to dawn on the money people in the State that Arnold isn't some ignorant prat who will fiddle as Rome burns.
This development, an alliance between one of the wealthiest Democrats in the country and California's most famous public figure, has been some time in coming, I suspect. It helps that the two have been friends for some time.
Meantime, President Bush has bounced back. Or, as the Washington Post likes to put it, Bush's numbers have stabilized at 59%. After the beating he has been taking from the liberal Democrats this summer, the fact that his approval ratings remain at 59% is a testiment to the bond that remains between the President and the nation. His reelect numbers hover around fifty right now, precisely because of the economic difficulties that are still with us. However, it's a good rule of thumb that any President going into the election with those numbers has a damned good chance of bringing home a landslide.