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August 11, 2003

RECALL UDPATE....133? 155? 158? The LA Times reports today that the number of candidates appears to be nearing 200. Stay tuned for official results!

Elsewhere, the Times reports that Schwarzenegger invited Time and Newsweek to photograph him, but "refused to talk to their reporters." Apparently it didn't do him any harm since both magazines splashed him all over their covers this week. I know I shouldn't be surprised at this, but I would have thought that both magazines had (barely) enough integrity left to refuse to run a cover story on a politician unless he agreed to talk to them. I guess not.

You can run, Arnold, but you can't hide. You're going to have to start answering questions one of these days.

Posted by Kevin Drum at August 11, 2003 08:46 AM | TrackBack


Comments

Yes, but that might not be until after the election.

Posted by: Barry at August 11, 2003 08:51 AM | PERMALINK

Yikes, Barry. I had the same thought in the same words. :)

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at August 11, 2003 08:52 AM | PERMALINK

Oh sh*t. If you're eating popcorn right now, we're in for a world of strange :)

Posted by: Barry at August 11, 2003 08:53 AM | PERMALINK

What makes you think anyone's going to pay attention to his answers? They're voting for The Terminator, not for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Posted by: englishprofessor at August 11, 2003 08:54 AM | PERMALINK

Does it make me an Elitist East Coaster if i conclude, when Arnold is elected, that Californians are stupid?

Posted by: ChrisL at August 11, 2003 08:56 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps they should pose the questions in the original German.

Posted by: Sven at August 11, 2003 08:57 AM | PERMALINK

Does it make me an Elitist East Coaster if i conclude, when Arnold is elected, that Californians are stupid?

Most of us came to that conclusion when the Democrats and Republicans came up with Gray Davis and Bill Simon as the choices for the state.

Posted by: John Cole at August 11, 2003 09:01 AM | PERMALINK

Does it make me an Elitist East Coaster if i conclude, when Arnold is elected, that Californians are stupid?

Not necessarily, since he could conceivably be elected with a fairly small percentage of the vote.

I say we set the threshold at 40%.

Posted by: strannix at August 11, 2003 09:08 AM | PERMALINK

From Reagan to Davis to potentially Schwarzenegger, California has an innate talent for being able to cull the worst possible politicians from the largest possible pool.

Posted by: jesse at August 11, 2003 09:12 AM | PERMALINK

Until the weekend I really didn't think that you good Californians were actually going to elect Arnold. But after watching Cruz Bustamante on Sunday, I now suspect we're gonna be seeing Terminator 4:The Recall coming to a theater near you on October 7.

Gotta run out and get popcorn.

Posted by: spc67 at August 11, 2003 09:15 AM | PERMALINK

He can't hide? Really? Give him 54 days, Mr. Drum.

I should use that line every day for 20 years, sir.

Put something off long enough and people will forget it with no fresh news. You give the Bush felons the benefit of the doubt with unbelievable amounts of time, yet demand that Arnie pony up immediately.

There's nothing "extremely puzzling" about why people don't care about wmd, Mr. Drum. It's because individuals let them get away with explaining nothing for months at a time, by which time the news agenda has completely changed.

Arnie has to be a real politician, yet Bush can be the crooked, lazy liar. Give him 54 days, Mr. Drum, and Arnie will look mighty good. No problem.

Posted by: symbiosis at August 11, 2003 09:17 AM | PERMALINK

Symbiosis: wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?

I'm sure my conservative readers are immensely amused that you are under the impression that I've been going easy on George Bush over the WMD issue. Have you been reading anything I've written over the past two months?

Posted by: Kevin Drum at August 11, 2003 09:31 AM | PERMALINK

Please excuse me, sir. I'm one of those individuals who will never give Bush a microsecond of the doubt, all because of Bush vs. Gore. I childishly will not forget those who do.

Why do you think I show up here every day? Because my brain isn't remotely close to being in your league, and I need the direction and the wisdom.

Posted by: symbiosis at August 11, 2003 09:36 AM | PERMALINK

Related to this, will someone please tell CNN and MSNBC that *nobody cares* to see live coverage of every non-speech the Terminator gives? Let me know when he says something of value or substance. Until then, please stop wasting your airtime with hours of live coverage of his latest "news" conference … go back to reporting the News® that's sanctioned by those that at least already have muscled their way into power.

Posted by: kormal at August 11, 2003 09:39 AM | PERMALINK

Why not? Running and hiding is a tactic that has work well for Bush?

Of course it's harder to get away with this tactic in state government BUT if he can do this non-answer game for the next 60 days while maintaining at least a little higher poll rate by simply playing the Terminated card, who knows?

Posted by: Cheryl at August 11, 2003 09:44 AM | PERMALINK

"You can run, Arnold, but you can't hide. You're going to have to start answering questions one of these days."

Bush has avoided it for 3 years, and didn't get any hard questions before his election.

The media are going to be covering him from their knees.

I would think they'd also like the prospect of covering an Arnie governorship.

Posted by: Jon H at August 11, 2003 09:56 AM | PERMALINK

Arnold has already come out against Davis' increase in the vehicle license fee. The SF Chronicle had an explanation of the bond financing scheme on Sunday. It has the Attorney General's imprimatur, but if the courts say it is invalid because it is really a debt bond that should have ben submitted to the voters, there goes another 10 mil in revenues. If growth doesn't pick up, there goes some more. Prop 98 gives education a stranglehold on revenues. Whoever is Governor will be saddled with a real, real problem, and there is no way out but raising taxes--unless we close the prisons, the state colleges and UC campuses. Someone better begin talking about this. If people wanted to recall Davis for not coming clean about the deficit last year, what about this group? They aren't either.

Posted by: Mimikatz at August 11, 2003 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Excuse me--10 BIL from the bond scheme could be lost.

Posted by: Mimikatz at August 11, 2003 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Add me to the list of folks who think it's entirely possible for him to continue to hide behind platitudes and vague rhetoric.

That doesn't mean it will happen that way; just that it's possible. If his opponents press him, if the media organizations press him, if his polls start dropping, then he may very well have to actually say something. Until then, it's in his best interest to not do so and I believe that's precisely what he will do.

Posted by: PaulB at August 11, 2003 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Count me in the " amused " column.

You can be critical or even highly critical of a politician's position while not making, for example, nonsensical analogies to the Third Reich. Avoiding the ridiculous or the unreasonable while constructing an argument is not the same as giving someone a " pass ".

Posted by: mark safranski at August 11, 2003 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

A question for the California punditry -- let's say Davis narrowly loses the recall and a non-Democrat gets elected. Can Davis and his supporters just start another petition to recall the newly elected governor? If so and if the next petition is successful, how would anything get accomplished in California with constant petitions, recall elections, and campaigns? If I'm right then this recall election is just a bad precedent waiting to happen.

Posted by: Lisa at August 11, 2003 01:18 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, there's nothing to stop anothr recall. All it takes is a number of signatures equal to 12% of the people who vote in this recall.

If it happens more than a couple of times, though, there's going to be a movement to amend the state constitution to either (a) prohibit recalls within six months of an officer taking office, or (b) raise the signature limit.

Posted by: aphrael at August 11, 2003 01:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Avoiding the ridiculous or the unreasonable while constructing an argument is not the same as giving someone a " pass ".

Giving somebody 54 days when the answer is screaming at you in the face is not reasonable. If there are no wmd Bush is completely finished. That's why they plead for delay, anything to get the story out of the news and hopefully forgotten.

I know it's just my opinion. After Bush vs. Gore I give that drunk little Texan precisely zero quarter. How any sane person gives Bush the benefit of the doubt on anything is just pure lunacy to me.

Still, I'll listen. Impatiently. Where are the wmd? Heya? What's that? An Answer? Only another lie, I'm sure. Get a clue: Bush is no longer trusted by the majority of the public. The...lying...will...not...work...anymore.

Posted by: symbiosis at August 11, 2003 03:06 PM | PERMALINK

Symbiosis,

Your outburst is similar to those made by outraged conservatives who once thought Whitewater or the 1994 election or Monica or impeachment(!) meant that Clinton was " finished".

Even if I were to accept all your implicit premises regarding Bush, lying and WMD's it does not follow that Bush therefore will lose the next election much less be " finished" as a politician. If the general electorate shared your interpretation of events they'd have risen in revolt over Bush v. Gore long before the invasion of Iraq could have taken place.

Posted by: mark safranski at August 11, 2003 04:23 PM | PERMALINK

So, will Arnold have to deal with the same sort of "bimbo eruptions" that plagued Clinton? I'm sure repubs couldn't support a candidate who wasn't 100% faithful to his wife.

Posted by: Dave at August 11, 2003 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

If Ahnold takes a sufficiently centrist stance at some point (before or after his election), he can surivive in California politics for quite some time -- look at Ventura, who was equally and absurdly fuzzy during his campaign as to what he'd actually do, but after his win ran Minnesota close enough to the political center to stay very popular for 3 of his 4 years in office.

But if he DOES veer sharply to the right at some point, there will be Consequences. California -- thanks to its Hispanic influx -- seems to have tilted definitively toward the Democrats at this point (the same reason Arizona is rapidly moving toward the center).

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