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Politics following art

I said something flippant early this week about West Wing setting unreasonable expectations for a Presidency. Stephen Kaye (nice new blog location and layout) noted that some people do ask why President Bartlett couldn’t be president, which actually doesn’t surprise me.

All this in preamble to today’s California recall news: Schwarzenegger asked Rob Lowe to join his campaign. Lowe is in fact a Democrat, and of course was a regular on West Wing. George Schultz and Warren Buffett are already on board the campaign.

This suddenly strikes me as a really well-financed and well-thought out attempt to nail down the middle of the political spectrum and take it away from both the Democrats and the Republicans. Schwarzenegger is running as a Republican, but that’s so pro forma it’s not even funny. Buffett has been criticizing Bush recently.

If Schwarzenegger stays Republican, it’s a good thing. It could help stop the party’s drift to the right. If he goes third party — which I’m starting to think could happen — it’s an interesting thing. The Reform Party is probably too damaged to serve as a useful vehicle, but it’s not as if Buffett couldn’t fund a serious third party effort.

If, of course, he’s putting together a vehicle for personal power, that’s a bad thing. Gonna be an interesting fall.

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