Doug Gamble- Contributor
Gamble is a former writer for President Ronald Reagan and
in Carmel. [go to Gamble index]
he never thought of the possibility…
[Doug Gamble] 3/16/05
Arnold Schwarzenegger is to be commended for spending his accumulated
political capital attempting a drastic facelift
of California governance and politics. It marks a sharp reversal
of the popularity-over-principle stance he adopted in his first
If all or some of
the governor’s bold reform proposals
on redistricting, public worker pensions, teacher tenure and
state spending pass in a possible special election this fall,
California will be the better for it. And with the shrewd Schwarzenegger
simplifying the issues for voters by portraying his reform package
as him and them vs. the special interests and politics as usual,
his chances for success have to be rated good despite stiff opposition.
Not only will Californians
benefit, something I’m sure
the governor genuinely wants, but so will he as he continues
to build a resume of accomplishments to showcase when he runs
for president. Not if, when.
For some reason,
Schwarzenegger has been disingenuous lately about his presidential
ambitions, pretending to back away from
them. When asked last month on ABC’s “This Week with
George Stephanopoulos” about the current drive to amend
the Constitution to allow immigrants to occupy the White House,
Schwarzenegger answered, “I don’t think the idea
is that all the push is because of me. I mean, I have never thought
of running for president, and this is not my vision.”
But much of the push is because of him; he has thought of running
for president and it is his vision.
Certainly the hope
of a Schwarzenegger presidency is the driving force behind
the organization “Amend for Arnold,” headed
by Silicon Valley money manager Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones, who
says the country needs a “moderate” in the Oval Office
instead of conservative Republicans who she calls “the
wing nuts running our lives.” And it’s unlikely that
one of four bills before Congress seeking a Constitutional amendment
would have been introduced by Orange County Republican Congressman
Dana Rohrabacher were it not for Schwarzenegger becoming governor.
of becoming president as far back as 1977 and when asked last
year on CBS’ “60 Minutes” if
he would consider a White House quest, said, “Why not?
With my way of thinking, you always shoot for the top.” Exactly.
It’s hard to believe he would back away now.
In a New York Times column on the proposed 28th Amendment allowing
foreign-born U.S. citizens to run for president, William Safire
predicted it would be ratified in 2007, in time for a Schwarzenegger
presidential run the next year. I agree. Although it takes approval
by two-thirds of the House and Senate and ratification by three-quarters
of the states, the Constitution has actually been amended every
12 years on average since establishment of The Bill of Rights.
And it isn’t
always a lengthy process. The 26th Amendment to lower the voting
age to 18 was whisked through to ratification
in four months. One can envision Schwarzenegger, after winning
reelection as governor in 2006 and with his presidential ambitions
then unabashed, campaigning state-to-state in favor the of 28th
With travels abroad in which he has met with the prime ministers
of Japan and Israel and the king of Jordan, and with trips scheduled
this year to Europe and China, Schwarzenegger is burnishing his
foreign policy credentials. And video of him schmoozing with
world leaders will look great in his presidential TV ads.
Schwarzenegger’s ego would never allow him to settle
for anything less than the top of his profession, and politics
are his profession now. He may be denying higher ambitions because
he does not want everything he does as governor to be viewed
through the prism of presidential ambitions. But don’t
be fooled. He’s running. tRO
California-based Doug Gamble contributed speech material to
Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and writes a twice-monthly
column for the Orange County Register and CaliforniaRepublic.org.
2004 Doug Gamble