About 'Governator' shuns Bush ahead of California election battle
|October 5th, 2006||#1|
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'Governator' shuns Bush ahead of California election battle info
Two years after lending star power to George W. Bush's re-election campaign, Arnold Schwarzenegger has distanced himself from the US president ahead of upcoming polls, analysts say.
The Hollywood actor-turned-Republican politician is a strong favourite to win November's gubernatorial race in Democrat-dominated California, where Bush's approval ratings have slumped to record lows.
But even while Schwarzenegger enjoys a commanding lead over his Democrat rival Phil Angelides in recent polls, analysts say the incumbent is wary of being associated with Bush.
Schwarzenegger did not meet Bush during his trip of California on Tuesday. A spokesman for Bush said the focus of the visit was the congressional races, while Schwarzenegger said there was "no reason" for a meeting.
"President Bush is coming out here not to help California but to do fundraising in California. So there's no reason for me to meet him because I am attending to business," Schwarzenegger said.
Asked if he viewed Bush as a liability, Schwarzenegger replied: "Absolutely not." Privately, however, Schwarzenegger's campaign will be only too aware that Bush is bad for the electoral box office, say analysts.
"If I were running Schwarzenegger's campaign I'd do precisely what he's doing -- and that's avoiding the president," said Ed Costantini, a professor of political science at University of California Davis.
"It would feed right into the Democrats strategy of trying to link Schwarzenegger to Bush if they are suddenly seen at photo-opportunities together," he added.
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior scholar at the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California, echoed the view.
"Schwarzenegger has been very careful to put all the distance he possibly can between himself and the president," she told AFP.
"The approval ratings for George W. Bush in California are at an all-time low -- but the Governor's are going up."
In a series of hard-hitting television adverts, the Democrats have aggressively sought to portray Schwarzenegger as a loyal Bush cheerleader.
But Jeffe said voters were not being swayed by the Democrat campaign.
"Voters are aware of the fact that being governor is a completely different job to being president, and that Arnold Schwarzenegger has very little in common with George W. Bush," Jeffe told AFP.
Jeffe said Schwarzenegger's shift to the centre ground on issues such as the environment and rebuilding California's infrastructure had left Democrats without much room for manoeuvre. Attempting to tie Schwarzenegger to Bush was an obvious line of attack, she said.
"I can understand why the Democrats are doing it -- there's very little else they can do because the Governor has been extremely smart in terms of peeling issues away from Angelides," she said.
"The Democrats are betting the wad that they can bring down Schwarzenegger, or at the very least energise their own base."
New research released by the San Jose State University Survey and Policy Research Institute on Monday indicated that Democrat tactics were failing.
A survey showed that two-thirds of voters in the nation's most populous state -- including 57 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of liberals -- say Bush's leadership will have no bearing on their vote for the next governor.
"Angelides appears to have been pursuing a futile strategy in trying to use President Bush as a weapon against Governor Schwarzenegger," said Professor Melinda Jackson, the director of the survey. "California voters dont like the president or the war in Iraq and they don't even believe Bush tells them the truth. But little of that appears to be having a corrosive effect on Schwarzenegger's vote," she added.
|October 5th, 2006||#2|
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Oh no, Bush isn't a liability...Even though this IS a Democratic state and I AM running...I like how down there near the bottom of the article "The Democrats are betting the wad that they can bring down Scwarzenegger, or at the very least energise their own base."...Last time I checked it was energize...
|October 6th, 2006||#3|
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well i'm a californian and arnold our dear governator has done an OK job so far. I really can't think of anything he's done lately that would count as republican, but he has increased jr college funding and that's a plus since i'm at one of those. Yeah, not much to complain about the man to be honest.
bella! Horrida bella!
War! Horrid war!
There are no warlike people, just warlike leaders
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