The postmortems begin in earnest:
Arnold was spinning, Matt wasn’t buying it. Schwarzenegger gave himself an “A” for job performance, citing all kinds of progress on the environment, education and infrastructure. He suggested that California’s capital is a model for progress, whereas the nation’s capital is a sinkhole.
Lauer kept pushing back, trying to get the governor to admit that things hadn’t gone as swimmingly as he claimed, and that he didn’t conquer the political process. Arnold went as far as to say he was ”irrelevant” in the fall election — a pretty ironic thing to say considering he’s been the straw that stirs California’s drink ever since he jumped into the recall election seven-plus years ago.
Before Schwarzenegger took office, Sacramento was irrelevant to most Californians. Schwarzenegger changed that in a hurry. His wins and his losses were banner news. And when the reforms stalled, voters grew angry — at times with Arnold, but also with the bitterness and narrow-mindedness that dominates California politics.
So Arnold’s legacy: Sacramento is on notice — even Democrats, in this election, are running against the legislative institution they dominate. If things don’t change soon, and thanks to Schwarzenegger shining the spotlight on government, it will be possible to achieve epic political change, such as a part-time Legislature or a constitutional convention.