The morning after

Arnold and Maria celebrate

Be careful what you ask for

Californians have spoken: They're mad as hell, and they want a change. As my momma used to say, "Be careful what you ask for!"

Body builder. So-so actor. Now governor. By wide margins, California voters decided that as far as Gray Davis was concerned, it was one-and-a-fraction strikes and he's out. Although California is facing monumental problems, they chose Arnold Schwarzenegger, a complete political neophyte, to replace Davis. Well, I wish Arnold luck. He's going to need it.

Arnold after his victory speech Governor-elect Arnold after his victory speech. That looks like Rob Lowe, Arnold's advisor on how government works, in the background

Tally the votes. You have to wonder if Jeff Probst, host of Survivor, was the one to "go tally the votes" last night. After all, look at the results:

Top 20 Vote count, as of Oct 8, 2003 at 9:10 am
99.0 % (15090 of 15235) precincts reporting

CandidatePartyVotesPercent
Arnold SchwarzeneggerRep3,603,27548.2
Cruz M. BustamanteDem2,395,63932.1
Tom McClintockRep991,82513.3
Peter Miguel CamejoGrn208,6242.8
Arianna HuffingtonInd42,2350.6
Peter V. UeberrothRep21,5690.3
Larry FlyntDem15,1150.3
Gary ColemanInd12,5180.2
George B. SchwartzmanInd10,7600.2
Mary CookInd9,8160.2
Bruce Martin MargolinDem7,8530.2
Bill SimonRep7,7220.2
John Christopher BurtonInd5,8480.0
David Laughing Horse RobinsonDem5,6740.0
Van VoRep5,3670.0
Leo GallagherInd4,7750.0
Cheryl Bly-ChesterRep4,4510.0
Lawrence Steven StraussDem4,3130.0
Ronald Jason PalmieriDem3,7240.0
Calvin Y. LouieDem3,2010.0
Results: California Secretary of State

The top five vote-getters are to be expected; they were always treated by the media as the serious candidates, and all but Arianna Huffington stayed in the race until the bitter end.

What I find too-delicious is that Bill Simon, who ran against Gray Davis in the last election and was narrowly defeated, ended up in 12th place. It says a lot, I think, that polling ahead of Simon were:

  • Larry Flynt — publisher of Hustler and purveyor of porn
  • Gary Coleman — has-been TV actor, best known for asking "What choo talkin' about, Willis?"
  • George Schwartzman — owner of a medical services company treating urological diseases (not that there's anything wrong with that)
  • Mary Cook — also known as "Mary Carey," porn star whose solution to California's budget deficit was to tax cosmetic surgery and breast implants
  • Bruce Margolin — marijuana legalization attorney (campaign bio)

The good news about the election returns is that both propositions failed by wide margins.

Hang on to your hats and keep an eye on your womenfolk. It's just beginning to get interesting.