Debra J. Saunders

But soon, Schwarzenegger is going to have to do things people don't like. He'll have to find a way to pay for the $4 billion in revenues lost from canceling the car-tax hike, which will raise this year's shortfall to $14 billion. He'll have to issue an executive order cutting programs. Or he'll have to squeeze local governments, which he said he wouldn't do. Or cut school funding, which he said he wouldn't do.

Team Arnold is floating a proposal to ask voters to approve a $20 billion bond to cover debt he inherited. If that's all the heavy lifting he does, the governator will be no different than Davis and the state pols who kept racking up debt because they couldn't cut spending. The past three pitiful budgets were a monument to Sacramento's fear of doing anything unpopular.

"I have never been afraid of HARD WORK," Schwarzenegger told the thousands of well-wishers. But he didn't say if he was afraid of angering the public. If he is, he should watch footage of the last inauguration -- and take a long look at the anxious face of a man who was elected to lead but didn't.

Debra J. Saunders

TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Debra Saunders' column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.