Lack of Political Experience May Serve Schwarzenegger Well

Article excerpt

Byline: Jack Mabley

Recently, I wrote that every politician is running for president. Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken the first big jump toward his ultimate goal. The next step is for Arnold's friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, to nurse through Congress his bill to allow foreign-born citizens with 20 years or more of residency in the United States to become president.

The bill probably won't pass.. But who knows?

Arnold is doing pretty well so far. He is smart enough to be making peace with everybody, and picking a transition team with a number of bright and experienced people. He might become a very good governor, if he isn't recalled.

Here's a provocative question. Who would you rather see in the White House, Schwarzenegger or George W. Bush?

I lean toward Arnold. He couldn't do any worse than the incumbent.

Another provocative question: What do Schwarzenegger and Gen. Wesley Clark have in common?

Neither one is a politician in the traditional sense. The electorate of this nation is getting fed up with politicians and will turn to men, or women, who appear to be leaders without the baggage of being politicians. I think that is why Gen. Wesley Clark is doing on a national scale what Arnold has done in one state. He is gaining support steadily.

A conservative Republican friend of mine is not an economist, but he is an experienced and very successful businessman and banker.

I thought I'd bait him about the enormous spending and debt of the administration. Here is his answer, paraphrased:

"The money doesn't bother me. Put it into perspective and it's a manageably small percentage of the economy.

"What does trouble me is the loss of jobs. Our work force is bleeding to other nations. We're no longer an isolated, self- contained nation. With instant communication and fast transportation, like it or not, we're players in the world economy.

"Suppose GM is paying workers $15.50 an hour to make mufflers. …