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January 06, 2004

The California Empire

Dont' you just love the E word? Arnold does, and he ripped it up this evening, declaring California an Empire of Aspiration.

It's amazing to hear just how garbled AS' speech is with regards to delivery. But there was no masking the spirit and the intent of Our Governor's State of the State Address this evening. He's ripping up sod and changing the landscape.

Arnold has made California government sound almost manageable, and whether or not it's true, the distance he has taken public interest in the management of state business in just this one speech is astounding. Here is one candidate who actually sounds better in office than on the stump. I thought only GWBush had speechwriters that good.

Nevertheless, we have hired Arnold to do the roughneck job, which is the best condition under which to elect a leader as far as accountability goes. Here is a moment in which I don't really want to hear the wonks come rip him to shreds, because he has done in this particular moment what no governor in memory has done, which is to involve the people in a wonky issue over the dead bodies of the legislature. He has basically called them on the carpet to get the cost of Workman's Comp down to the national average. Now we're about double. If they don't meet his goals by March 1, he's going to take it to the streets with an initiative for the November ballot.

In this bold move AS has asserted that he is deadly at the polls and the wonks and bickering partisans will not be able to resist the will of the people as expressed in the mandate of Arnold's election. Will the people come out of the woodwork to support Arnold? That is precisely his history as a blockbuster actor, and by gum it could work.

I didn't catch the intonation of his voice on the early part of his address where he basically said buy the bond or go broke. I turned on the radio in the middle of a long stream of applause. I immediately thought, oh brother, the Democrats on NPR, but the applause seemed too loud and long, so I wondered which of the candidates got all that. Surprise.

I am hoping that we in the Bear Flag League keep up with these matters. As a small business man, I'm very interested to see how opening up school contracting might effect guys like me. And of course whatever we can do as bloggers to keep track of budget numbers etc, will be all good.

State politics just got interesting. Whoda thunk?

Posted by mbowen at January 6, 2004 09:26 PM

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