Arnold’s Oval Office Moment
President Obama’s schedule for Monday, Feb. 22:
9:15 a.m. POTUS/VPOTUS receive presidential daily briefing
10:05 a.m. POTUS delivers remarks at National Governors Association mtg.
12:40 p.m. POTUS meets with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
1:15 p.m. POTUS meets with senior advisors
Wait a second, let’s back up to that 12:40 meeting with Schwarzenegger.
Actually it’s a make-up for a meeting that didn’t go down in January, when Obama cancelled on Schwarzenegger at the last moment. Arnold wanted the face time to press his case for an extra $7 billion in federal aid to help the Golden State to dig out of its present $20 billion budget shortfall.
So, seeing as California hasn’t stumbled across $20 billion in lost money in the past few weeks, let’s assume money is the topic of discussion. Let’s also assume that Schwarzenegger will be on his best behavior.
He certainly was on the Sunday talk show circuit, going out of his way to take a jab at his fellow Republicans — the kind of jab the White House likes to hear, especially after a weekend of conservative brickbats and insults at the CPAC conference.
“Anyone who says (the stimulus) hasn’t created a job, they should talk to the 150,000 people who have gotten jobs in California,” Schwarzenegger said on ABC’s This Week.
“I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around and pushing back on the stimulus money and saying this doesn’t create any new jobs, and then they go out and they do the photo ops, and they are posing with the big check.”
It’s not the first time that Schwarzenegger has defended Obama during a D.C. visit. Eleven months ago, while in town on a hunt for infrastructure money, Arnold let the President off the hook after that unfortunate quip on Jay Leno’s show about bowling and the Special Olympics.
Hopefully, for the Governator’s sake, Obama doesn’t use the one-on-one to critique last month’s State of the State speech, especially this passage:
“Now, as you know, while I enthusiastically supported health care reform, it is not reform to push more costs onto states that are already struggling while other states are getting sweetheart deals. Health care reform, which started as noble and needed legislation, has become a trough of bribes, deals and loopholes. Yet you’ve heard of the bridge to nowhere. Well, this is health care to nowhere.
California’s congressional delegation should either vote against this bill that is a disaster for California or get in there and fight for the same sweetheart deal that Senator Nelson of Nebraska got for the Cornhusker State. (Applause) Because that senator got for the Cornhusker State the corn and we got the husk.” (Laughter)
No hard feelings, Mr. President. We’d like to see the Governator come home with a real cash in hand — not a promise that the check’s in the mail.