Going Dizzy with Deja Vu

Seven years ago, a candidate for California governor emerged with an appealing message.

After a successful career as an action film star, this gubernatorial hopeful pegged himself as a political outsider. Claiming to run the government like a business, said candidate declared himself void of special interest influence and argued the state needed a fresh perspective. Californians elected him wholeheartedly.

Two terms later, Governor Schwarzenegger's approval rating has sunk to a mere 22 percent. The state is in shambles, facing record unemployment and imminent debt. The legislature recently squeaked out a budget--four months late.

Enter Meg Whitman. Armed with the same throng of Republican consultants Arnold engaged during his run, Meg is dominating airwaves and stump speeches with a familiar claim that California needs an outsider with a business executive's mind to lead us toward better times.

It's befuddling just how similar her campaign rhetoric is until looking at the list of strategists on Meg's payroll. Of her record-shattering $140 million campaign, $14 million of the pot has been doled out on the same folks who advised Arnold.

You'd think someone with Meg's self-proclaimed business sensibility would have the good sense to spend her fortune on consultants who do more than mold her into Governator Part Deux. But she's insistent on portraying herself a certain way, thus exposing Californians to the same empty words they heard during the early aughts.

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