From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Outfoxed by the Terminator

August 7, 2003 9:48 AM

Arnold Schwarzeneggar masterfully outfoxed the Democrats. In a matter of hours, he established himself as the man to beat. A man who has never run for public office.

Not content to simply issue a statement (like, oh, say, Feinstein?), he scheduled his announcement on Jay Leno after convincing everyone he wasn't going to run. He even issued an embargoed press release stating that intention, which he pulled at the last minute just to make sure the reporters were paying attention. The press corps dutifully assembled at the Leno taping in LA at 4:30pm. By 5:02pm the news was on KIIS FM. Schwarzeneggar then had 7 hours of breaking news coverage before Leno aired on the west coast which led to 26% of televisions in Sacramento and 23% in LA tuning in.

They heard a message of populism and the American dream, with a promise to clean house in Sacramento.

Sheer brilliance. Incredible.

Can he fix California's problems? The jury is out on that one, but we may just get to find out. He certainly has California's attention, and young people are excited about California's politics in the middle of Summer. No other politician has been able to pull that off.

The Davis camp is relying on their ability to spend money trashing the people behind the recall. I've been very outspoken in my opposition to such a strategy, and it appears to be unraveling as we speak.

Cruz Bustamante is the first high profile Democrat to break ranks with the faltering Democratic "we won't run" alliance. Labor has a lot invested in Davis, so they've threatened any Democrat that runs. Cruz deserves some respect for standing up to them.

Is he strong enough to beat back the Terminator? Probably not, particularly with Arnold's media savvy. Plus Arnold's a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, Republican - basically a Libertarian. Sounds like a lot of California to me.

The Democrats have made a colossal mistake, and I don't see how they can fix it now.

I've been advocating a strategy that flips the recall against the Republicans. It was a perfect opportunity for Democrats to scapegoat Davis and ride him outta town, along with all the blame for California's mess. With a strong Democrat on the ticket, they could start over with a clean slate of public opinion and have a new mandate to use against the Republicans in the legislature to get their agenda passed.

I don't see how they can scapegoat him now since they've already shown him so much support. That opportunity has passed, and the Democrats are fucked.

More from the archive in California, Media, Politics.

Outfoxed by the Terminator (08.07.2003)

Next Entry: Billionaires Against Bush (08.07.2003)
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Read the 2 comments.

Paul in OC:

Here's who I would vote for, in order of preference:


I don't think Schwarzenegger is as smart a guy as Jesse Ventura. I don't think he is very well suited to be Governor.

Thu Aug 7 2003 11:46 AM


Don't go putting Jesse down, men with low IQs don't last long in SEAL training. I also think Arnold's dumbest move has been to run for governor. I do agree, he will make a poor governor for California and end up being a scapegoat for the Davis adminstration. Given two years nobody in California will remember that Davis was recalled or even governor.

Thu Aug 7 2003 3:08 PM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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