Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Article: Insert Lame One-Liner Here

I'm sure this will be all over the news, but here's the BBC story on Arnold signing Warren Buffet on as part of his economic team. I have two reactions to this. First is that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the next governor of California. He was already the front-runner, simply by means of his name recognition, tremendous free publicity, and the money he has to throw behind his campaign. This gives him a huge boost in legitimacy. Buffett is a fricking genious, and if this is the calibre of people that Arnold will have working for him, that will serve to reassure many of his doubters. Buffett directly addresses the biggest criticism that has been leveled at Scharzenegger, his inexperience in handling California's economy (or the "World's Fifth Biggest Economy" as people have decided to officially title it now).

My second reaction is that I don't think I will mind if Arnold does win. Arnold's positions have already been widely publicized, and it is clear that he is pretty moderate. This week's TIME Magazine featured a cover story on Schwarzenegger and I was impressed. He is pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-gun control, clearly not part of the religious right, and clearly not a fan of the neo-con brain-trust. My biggest worry regarding him was that he is, after all, a Republican and who knows who he would bring to office with him. Take George W Bush, for instance. Obviously the guy is a moron, and a born-again Christian, but on his own I don't think he would be nearly as offensive as his administration has turned out to be. The problem is that he filled his staff with folks from a radical faction of the extreme right. Buffett is a moderate, a Democrat, and a very smart person for whom I have a great deal of respect. That reassures me considerably about Arnold. It is possible they are trying to use him the way Colin Powell was used. But I think Buffett would not fall into that. Buffett is not a team-player like Powell. He is fiercely independent and not easily used by anybody.

When this whole political mess blew up I was quite cynical about Arnold. My only political association with him was when we worked as the fitness advisor or some such thing for Reagan/Bush. That and the obvious parallels to Reagan gave a me negative gut reaction to the idea. Now I'm seeing more parallels to Jesse Ventura, of whom (and I know I'm in the minority on this) I am an admirer. Who knows, maybe this thing will work out for the best. And if not, well, Arnold being an immigrant, at least we don't have to worry about him running for President.

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