I truly wish Schwarzenegger were more serious about cutting state spending and curbing out-of-control pension benefits for state and municipal workers, as they threaten to consume a huge chunk of government budgets years from now. Pensions are the ticking time bomb a true hero would stop.
Then again, even on the campaign trail, the Austrian Oak is more fiscally responsible than his Democratic rival, Treasurer Phil Angelides. Despite the shortfall, Angelides promises voters today's government plus more spending and a middle-class tax cut. By over-promising, Angelides has deprived state Dems of at least being able to point to their nominee as the serious candidate.
In his third year -- in his sequel to the recall campaign -- the governator is the serious candidate. He knows how to work across the aisle, how difficult the job is and that he has to accomplish more hard stuff if he wants to leave behind a legacy worthy of his star power.