World likely to follow California's footsteps

Posted: Thursday, October 09, 2003

You shouldn't mock Arnold Schwarzenegger; what California invents, America adopts and Europe ends up imitating.

You can laugh at the ''Terminator,'' running for governor of America's most populous state, stomping through his speeches with the strongest teutonic accent since Henry Kissinger. ...

You can denounce the populist wave (that supported) Schwarzenegger's candidacy as an example of a democracy gone mad. ... But this is the same kind of groundswell that made Ronald Reagan the first actor to be elected governor of California, and then president.

Celebrity isn't Schwarzenegger's only asset. He's in tune with a changing political map ... voters from Latin America ... represent 30 million Hispanic citizens nationwide. ...

Yet California can't just be reduced to the glitter of Hollywood; for the weak, the poor and blacks, it's a tough place to live. ... Schwarzenegger must not forget this truth: like all promised lands, California is also a place of hardship.

Le Figaro, Paris

Oct. 7

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