I spent the last night's address leaning about real property instead of watching Schwarzenegger - though he's been properly DVRed for later enjoyment.
Falling back, as ever, on my favorite quick-and-dirty on state events, The Roundup, here's a little analytical scrap to chew on:
The LAT's Michael Finnegan writes that the governor's move to the center will make it more difficult for Phil Angelides and Steve Westly to gain traction with the voters. "By neutralizing some key issues, his political shift also heightens the likelihood of a gubernatorial race defined as much by disputes about character as by partisan divisions, analysts say. A central question is apt to be whether Schwarzenegger is motivated more by core beliefs or a quest for personal success."[Insert shriek of frustration here].
Come on now. Why must we either give Schwarzenegger the benefit of his words - like magically beacuse he said he'd do one thing in his speech he's actually going to do so - or assume voters a) listened, b) processed, c) cared about what ideological indicators Schwarzenegger presented to woo them back to the fold? I will admit I'm guilty of a multitude of sins in attempting to write about a speech I haven't yet watched, but then again, I'm in the same position as 90% of Californians picking up the Times this morning. So how, then, did he "neutralize key issues?" We - voters AND media - are going to just allow him to say "whoopsie, I get it, hey let's build a freeway" and presto! instant credibility revival?
The central question is right on the mark - but it will be interesting to see how that question is answered. I'd say it was answered pretty clearly in the polls last November, but certainly with less than the optimal amount of help from the media who - per tradition - spent far more time relaying talking points than carefully evaluating the facts.
I'm not holding my breath - with this guy, and this state - anything can happen.