Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“Does Gov. Schwarzenegger have a role to play in this year’s race for governor? Does he endorse a candidate and go on the campaign trail? Or, given his approval rating, does he stay out entirely?”

He will endorse Meg at a strategic time – sooner rather than later so it can be buried.

The question boils down to which candidate would have him? Seriously, for the Whitman campaign it seems that, even scripted, he might be a little too much of a wild card – why he might talk to the media or otherwise answer a question.  

He was a dilettante who ran as an inexperienced outsider and has since managed to make himself as feckless and unpopular as the guy he replaced. I don’t see how he can help his party’s nominee, since whatever he does will remind people of the striking similarities between them.

Just what Meg Whitman needs – a visual reminder that her governorship is four more years of Arnold. And without the entertainment value.

He won’t be able to help himself. He’ll endorse Whitman and her handlers will cringe for the 24-hour news cycle it will get.
Each candidate is praying that he endorses the other.

He stays out entirely. Neither Brown nor Whitman would welcome the help of a governor with the same approval rating as Gray Davis on the day he was recalled.

You’re kidding, right? Of course he stays out. The only person speculating that he’ll play a significant role is some columnist in Politico. I rest my case.

He stays out of it. He’s so unpopular, he would hurt Whitman. And he may even like Jerry brown a little bit.

In 2003 Arnold was a rock star. In 2010 he is a millstone, and would do well to remember the old adage that it is better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.

Think he would be an asset on the campaign trail for Whitman, but I bet he doesn’t engage because of ongoing budget and pension reform issues.  I am also not certain that he is that supportive of her and the agenda she promotes.  It is probably smart to maintain distance from the campaign.  

If he endorses one or the other, all the stories will speculate on whether the endorsement helps or hurts the candidate. The speculation is itself a negative. Remember when Schwarzenegger was pushing his big reform package? You guys did that story about every time his image appeared on TV, public support for his proposals dropped. The same thing would happen now if he does some sort of endorsement campaign.

He is playing a major role by setting policy that both candidates will be running against.

Yes, our governor has a role in this year’s race – but not as the lead in anything involving action. Instead, he’s earned a small, walk-off role as the would-be hero who sought to lead California to recovery but instead fumbled his lines, missed his marks and equaled (so far) the low approval ratings of the man he replaced. One can only wonder if Arnold’s portrait to be placed on the fourth floor of the Capitol will be similar to the cartoonish painting of Jerry Brown.  

Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Morgan Crinklaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South,

Want to see more stories like this? Sign up for The Roundup, the free daily newsletter about California politics from the editors of Capitol Weekly. Stay up to date on the news you need to know.

Sign up below, then look for a confirmation email in your inbox.


Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: