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Transition of Power: Similarities Between Brown and Schwarzenegger

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, November 29, 2010

The contrasts are clear.  Governor-elect Brown is a frugal Democrat with forty years in politics, including as head of the state party.  Governor Schwarzenegger is a Republican movie star with expensive tastes who's often had trouble working with the GOP.  But they both have reputations for thinking and acting independently. Leo McElroy is a political consultant in Sacramento:

"In terms of their sense of self being as important as their sense of policy or their sense of political duty, I think they're very similar."

Brown and Schwarzenegger are both iconic - though in different circles. They're both charming in a self-deprecating way. Jack Pitney is a Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College.  He says they both also like to call the shots:

"Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown are headstrong.  They're quirky.  I think that's an adjective that could apply to both of them in different contexts. Each follows his own drummer and we're not going to see the typical get-along, go-along governorship."  

Pitney says California voters are attracted to unconventional leaders - perhaps hoping for new solutions to chronic problems like the state's structural deficit. 
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