Most governors wouldn't dream of leaving the state in the midst of what promises to be the longest and worst budget crisis in California. Most wouldn't dare leave at the height of bill-signing season.
Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't most governors.
So as Gov. Schwarzenegger prepares for his trip later this week to Asia -- funded by foundation and corporate donations, as the San Diego Union-Tribune documents -- it's worth remembering why such a trip isn't such a bad idea. After all, California is an export-oriented economy, and Asia is thus crucial. Plus, there hasn't been much progress on the budget talks with the governor around. Maybe his departure might spark... something.
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But most of all, it's worth reminding Gov. Schwarzenegger how lucky he is to have managed to secure the appointment of Abel Maldonado, a fellow Republican moderate, as lieutenant governor. Maldonado, as acting governor, won't do anything Schwarzenegger wouldn't want him to do. If a Democrat had been in that position, the temptation to sign or veto a bill might have been awfully strong. The governor, as a lame duck, would have found it difficult to enact retribution.
So bon voyage, Governor. And remember to bring back a nice present for your lieutenant governor.