by Max Brantley
I hadn't been following it much, but I remarked yesterday at my wonder that Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed headed to easy re-election in liberal California, despite some huge disapproving votes on ballot issues and more than one screwup in leadership.
The answer (thanks to a veteran political observer) can probably be found in the Los Angeles Times editorial endorsement of the governor:
AFTER HIS HISTORIC ELECTION in the 2003 recall, followed by some early promise and a disappointing sophomore year, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a solid, pragmatic governor who has steered a moderate course for California. He deserves a sequel.
In the last year, the Republican has formed relationships with legislative leaders that focused the usually fractious and often obstructive Democrats on a productive agenda. Together, they have given Californians a historic law to combat global warming, a prescription drug plan and a reasonable increase in the minimum wage. If he is reelected, the governor says, "we're going to continue in a bipartisan way."
That's encouraging — and there's reason to believe it's not simply a sound bite. The governor says he now realizes he made a mistake last year in trying to strong-arm the Legislature and browbeat the voters with his ill-advised and ill-fated special election. And a look at his track record suggests that Schwarzenegger is more comfortable the closer he is to California's center of political gravity.
We don't know if our tipster had this in mind, but it occurs to us that you can see a little bit of Mike Huckabee in this description. And nary a bit of A$a Hutchinson.