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Arnold and Tom

Two years ago, when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom McClintock were the leading Republican candidates for governor in the nationally watched recall election, the thought of the two of them teaming up was almost inconceivable. Schwarzenegger took liberal stands on social issues such as abortion, while stalwart conservative McClintock made no secret of his strong pro-life views and other conservative social positions. While Schwarzenegger was vague about what he would do to solve a budget crisis that had put California close to insolvency, Ventura County lawmaker McClintock displayed his passion for budget details and spelled out just where he would make cuts to avoid any tax increase. Schwarzenegger ducked any tough talk about illegal immigration, while McClintock called for the state to re-start the Davis-halted court battle over the constitutionality of Proposition 187 — the statewide measure to deny benefits to illegal immigrants that was enacted resoundingly in 1994 but was later struck down in federal courts.

What seemed inconceivable in ’03 is happening in ’06. Although the governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately in California, Schwarzenegger has signaled that he wants the 51-year-old McClintock as his unofficial running mate. The legislator, perhaps the best-known conservative in the Golden State after two close races for state comptroller and the recall election for governor in ’03, is now assured of nomination for the second spot in the June primary. "Arnold and Tom. Victory ’06" posters that plastered the convention appeared to close the deal.

"I don’t agree with my wife on absolutely everything, but I still love her," McClintock told an overflow luncheon crowd at the convention, "I don’t agree with the governor on absolutely everything, but I still support him."
 
Schwarzenegger’s alliance with the conservative McClintock is clearly the most compelling reason for conservatives to forgive his apostasies and work for his re-election. As San Luis Obispo County Assessor and longtime conservative activist Tom Bordonaro told me: "This is what the ‘big tent is all about — the left and the right of the party coming together." Former Placer County Party Chairman Ken Campbell predicted that the party would be "fired up to elect the Schwarzenegger-McClintock ticket. Conservatives will be brought back into the party as they see a 2010 with Tom McClintock well-positioned to be elected governor."

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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