Peter Grigsby, Governor's Office
Governor Schwarzenegger was at President Barack Obama’s side as he appeared in Los Angeles Thursday. It's clear that the Governor and the President are looking to the each other for help during this fiscal crisis.
In truth, the event was a bit of a love-fest. Schwarzenegger was bubbling over with praise for the President and the economic stimulus plan:
“Now this economic solution can only come from a strong partnership between the federal government, the state and the locals. And so our state here the state of CA has a fantastic partner in President Obama.”
And it seems to be ancient history that Schwarzenegger campaigned for Republican candidate John McCain during the election. President Obama was only too happy to have the Governor introduce him:
“Somebody who has been leading CA through some very difficult times, and somebody who has turned out to be an outstanding partner with our administration. I’m grateful for him. I’m grateful for the first lady of CA. Please give it up for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver….”
During the event, the President said California would get an additional 145 million dollars to help areas hardest hit by foreclosures. He also pledged to reform health care and work on reversing climate change. He even mentioned the measures on the May ballot that Governor Schwarzenegger is traveling around the state campaigning for. They’re part of the budget deal lawmakers passed last month.
“I think it is a marriage made in heaven and it will produce results more quickly than if the Governor decided to just fight it.”
Barbara O’Connor is Director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at Sacramento State University. She says the Governor and the President need each other. She says their priorities mesh: Schwarzenegger can help the President sell his health care and green jobs agendas. And she says the Governor gets something out of the relationship too:
“I think he is very concerned about legacy items and much of what he wants to leave when his term is over can be funded by federal stimulus money.”
O’Connor says she expects the relationship between the Governor and the President to continue to grow. Schwarzenegger is one of the few republican governors to strongly support the economic stimulus package.