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Schwarzenegger Revelations May Affect Political Legacy

Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 9:58am

The State Capitol is still reeling from the news that former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a household employee before he ever ran for office.

Until now, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legacy included chronic budget deficits, a landmark global warming law and some potentially significant political reforms on which the jury is still out – namely, redistricting and open primaries. The New America Foundation’s Joe Mathews wrote a book about the Governator in 2006, after months of inside access. He says Schwarzenegger now risks having his policy record blotted out.

According to Mathews, “the problem for him is that he’s about to become a national punch line. And that punch line could come to define his legacy in what he did and didn’t do as governor in a way that’s unfair, but that’s the way things work.”

Not that Schwarzenegger deserves any sympathy, Mathews says. He’s worried politicians and voters might overlook Schwarzenegger’s successes and failures – rather than learning from them instead.

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