It's been interesting to observe the metamorphosis of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Governor of California. After the circus of the recall election that placed him in Sacramento, Arnold was full of the swagger and arrogance that embodied most of the Republican majority. Then he pressed on with his ill-fated Special Election (that had he considered polls beforehand, he would have realized he had little chance of prevailing). Despite running with a significant lead over his opponents for his second term, there's no question that Arnold felt the sea change away from the Republican arrogance of the last ten years. Duly chastened, Arnold started his second term embracing centrism and calling for true bipartisanship.
Rather than empty rhetoric, it really does look like Arnold means it. He's demanding a raise in the emissions standards. This week, he introduced a proposal that is near and dear to many liberals: Universal Health Care. While neither proposal is perfect, it's certainly more concession towards bipartisanship than we have seen in a long, long time.
Does Arnold bode a change nationally? Certainly, as the WaPo article suggests, the timing of his health care bill in combination with what's happening in Massachusetts couldn't be better to bring forward a national dialogue on Universal Health Care. And while Massachussets and California have well-earned reputations as being liberal states, these changes are being made by Republican Governors.
Do you think that what's happening in California signals the pendulum moving back towards the left?"
Let's hope Nicole is right.