Sunday, April 15, 2007

Walters on Green Governor

Sometimes the issue is what is important and in this case the focus on technological solutions to environmental problems drives the popularity of the already popular screen star in his new persona of politician.

Dan Walters: Governor on roll, but is it earned?
By Dan Walters - Bee Columnist
Published 12:00 am PDT Sunday, April 15, 2007

Arnold Schwarzenegger is on a big-time political roll, not only in California but globally -- befitting a man who achieved worldwide fame as an action movie star.

Voters like the governor's tireless peddling of global warming remediation and political "post-partisanship." His approval ratings in California are once again above 60 percent. And he's drawing fawning media attention, including the cover of Newsweek magazine and a cable television segment on an "environmentally hip" automobile makeover.

Schwarzenegger swept through Washington and New York last week for high-concept speeches and splashy media appearances. He'll jet off to India, Canada and Britain later in the year, the latter to address the British Conservative Party and presumably instruct the Tories on political success.

It is all, one is certain, very gratifying to Schwarzenegger's expansive ego, since he's always seen and presented himself as a larger-than-life, historic figure destined to achieve greatness in whatever venue he chooses to function. But is there any substance to Schwarzenegger's current notoriety -- any lasting benefit to the little people, as it were -- or is it all about him?