Big man, bigger shoes to fill: Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes California's 38th Governor. Will he be, like America's most popular president Ronald Reagan, a champion of liberty and peace? Today, celebrating with his wife Maria Shriver.
California's 38th Governor was sworn in on November 17, 2003: Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 56-year old German from Austria, who was accepted into the Kennedy clan by marrying Maria Shriver, first came to the US as an immigrant at the age of 21, speaking only a little English at the time.
He was catapulted into politics virtually overnight, as Californians rose up in revolt against their Democratic Governor Gray Davis over high taxes, growing unemployment, broken pre-election promises and a huge financial budget deficit.
Schwarzenegger thanked Eunice Kennedy, sister of J.F. Kennedy and the matriarch of the Kennedy clan, for supporting his efforts. To his fellow citizens, he said "I am humbled, I am honored and I am moved beyond words to be your governor. I enter this office beholden to no one except you, by fellow citizens. I pledge my governorship to your interests, not to special interests."
Maria Shriver was always fully behind her husband Arnold SchwarzenEgger. People's revolt in California, the most progressive and politically active state, was unexpected and swift. Will this set a new trend, which Americans in other states will follow in the years to come?
Copyright 2003 West-Art, Prometheus 90/2003