Arnold: I Forgot, Am I Supposed To Scare People Or Reassure Them?

Jackfolsum alludes to it, but I wanted to highlight it as well.  Arnold got tripped up a little bit today in front of the Jesusita Fire, caught in between telling Californians what they wanted to hear, or telling them they’re all going to die.  It’s pretty amusing:

One of Schwarzenegger’s strengths has been to respond to emergencies and assure local residents he will provide all support necessary. But that message clashes with his statements earlier this week that fire services would be jeopardized if voters reject the ballot measures on May 19.

Because he declared a state of emergency for the Santa Barbara fire, he said he was able to get the federal government to pay for 75 percent of the costs.

“This is very helpful for us because as you know, we have a financial crisis in California,” Schwarzenegger said. “But I wanted to make sure you all know, even though we have this crisis, we will not be short of money when it comes to fighting these fires.”

Oops!  But Arnold’s “strong leader/warrior/protector” shtick clashes with his “vote for my spending cap or you will BURN BURN BURN!!!” shtick.  So he backpedaled.

“First of all, let me just make it clear, because there’s always the question that comes up, what happens to the fire departments and to the budget if those initiatives don’t pass,” Schwarzenegger said. “The first thing you should know is, I will always fight and get every dollar I can for public safety, that is the important thing you should know.”

“No. 2, it is very clear that when the initiatives fail there will be $6 billion less that will be available, so therefore there will have to be additional cuts made, if it is in law enforcement, fire, education,” he added. “…But I will fight for every dollar, and will always make sure we have enough manpower and enough engines and helicopters ready to fight those fires.”

Interesting use of “when the initiatives fail,” not “if” there.  Arnold reads the polls, I guess.

He really has no idea what he’s doing.  He wants to scare and please at the same time, so it comes out like mush.

Come to think of it, Arnold sounds a lot like the Californians seduced by the Two Santa Claus Theory, who want to cut services in general but protect services in particular.  So maybe he’s just giving the people what they want.