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Calif.: Arnold Beefs Up Campaign Team

As he prepares for a major reelection fight, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is turning to two battle-tested veterans of the Bush campaign to lead the effort.

Steve Schmidt, who is currently a senior adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, will head to California next month to take over as campaign manager where he will have a broad mandate over spending and strategic decision, according to a source familiar with the arrangement. Matthew Dowd, a senior Bush campaign strategist, will take on a similar role for Schwarzenegger.  Both Schmidt and Dowd were part of the Bush campaign inner circle credited with delivering a second term in 2004.

With Schmidt and Dowd moving in, some insiders wondered about the fate of GOP media doyenne Mike Murphy, who has long been a close political adviser to the Governator. Murphy will remain in the Schwarzenegger universe as an adviser but in a strictly volunteer capacity, according to a source familiar with the situation. Murphy has a full plate down the line as he counts Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) as clients. Both men are considered likely to run for president in 2008.

Regardless of his campaign team, Schwarzenegger faces a difficult fight to win a second term. While his poll numbers seem to be on the rebound, he still is viewed more unfavorably than favorably by the state's voters.  The two Democrats seeking to defeat him -- Controller Steve Westly and Treasurer Phil Angelides -- are well-funded but little-known.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 20, 2006; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Friday Line: GOP's Statehouse Challenge
Next: Karl Rove -- Back From the Missing


Arnold now has an authenticity problem. All politicians are inauthentic to one degree or another. But some take it to another level. A Brezhnev Republican such as Arnold is just as inauthentic as Republocrats such as Hillary Clinton. Each are of a piece cut from the same cloth.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | January 22, 2006 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Arnold has a more immediate political problem his very own right wing Republicans who control the GOP here in sunny Calif. They are not going to let a pro-Abortion, pro Gay Rights and pro-Minimum wage increase guy be renominated without a fight. The Dems will sit back and enjoy the weakening of the incumbent Gov.

Posted by: Peter L. | January 21, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Wonder how McCain wil use the spying issue to his advantage???

Here a quote from an article in teh Colorado Daily? G. Bush on wiretaps!!!!

Quote from Bush in 2004 --

"A wiretap requires a court order," President Bush declared in a statement in 2004. He added, "When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order when we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand [that] constitutional guarantees are in place... because we value the Constitution."

Posted by: john | January 20, 2006 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Arnie lost his way after the Republican convention in 2004. The big dope thought he was going to become a national candidate, so he began to act in stupid ways such as his current hiring of Dick Cheney's advisor. Earth to Arnold: The Bush/Cheney ticket never won California in past elections. Again, Arnold is thinking he's running nationally when in fact he's running statewide. Tom McClintock could trash Arnold in the primaries; Instead, he's running for Lt. Governor.

Posted by: ErrinF | January 20, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how this benefits Arnold. If I were running against him I would get photos of this guy and Cheney togethor and then pictures of Arnold and this guy togethor. Then run an ad pointing out that Arnold likes how Dick Cheney runs things so he's hiring the same folks and end with what's next Karl Rove? Arnold won California because he was a social liberal and fiscal conservative who could bring both sides togethor in Sacremento. How does hiring the chief aid of a partisan hatchet man like Cheney portray that image?

Posted by: Andy | January 20, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

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