California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promises bipartisan cooperation as he enters his second term in office. Mike O'Sullivan reports, the former Hollywood star was inaugurated Friday, for the second time, to head of the most populous U.S. state.
The Republican governor recovered from low approval ratings in 2005 to win reelection by a wide margin in November. He did it by cooperating with Democrats who dominate both houses in the California legislature.
They worked together on a measure that would limit greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming, and another to promote medical stem-cell research. Together, the governor and Democrats persuaded voters to support a measure that will improve the state's highways.
In his inaugural address, Schwarzenegger promised to look for effective ideas on both sides of the political spectrum. "At one time, the greatest public policy innovations came from the liberals, such as during the New Deal (of President Franklin Roosevelt). Then the most innovative ideas came from the conservatives, such as Ronald Reagan. It is time that we combine the best of both ideologies into a new creative center," he said.
Schwarzenegger is temporarily on crutches after breaking his leg during a recent ski vacation.
In the spirit of bipartisanship, the inauguration was hosted by Democrat Willie Brown, a former legislative leader and one-time mayor of San Francisco. Honorary co-chairs for the event included former governor Gray Davis, the man Schwarzenegger replaced in a special recall election in 2003. /// END OPT ///
Schwarzenegger's aides say that in his second term in office, the governor will work to provide healthcare for uninsured children, clean up the state's air and upgrade its water system.
Political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe says obstacles include a $5.5 billion budget deficit projected for next year, and lawmakers from his own Republican party who are reluctant to spend money. "It looks like the opposition party for the governor in Sacramento this year will not be the Democrats. It will be the Republican caucuses, his own party in the state legislature," she said.
She says California Republicans are sending the governor the message that they want to balance the budget before they invest in new projects.