The Common Ingredient Between the Davis and Schwarzenegger Administration: Susan Kennedy

PhotobucketWhile at this point it seems pretty clear that comparing Arnold Schwarzenegger is kind of like comparing diseases that you could get, Gray Davis does come out a winner. But really, only just. The failures at the end of his administration made his hold on the office even weaker.  So, yeah, Davis was a better governor, but kind of like how falling in a prickly pear is better than sleeping in a fire ant hill.

But, while there were many differences between the two administrations, there is at least one commonality: Susan Kennedy.  In an interview last year, Kennedy compared herself to a CEO:

Susan Kennedy likens her job to being CEO of a large corporation. In this case, though, the company is the State of California, “with the governor being chairman of the board.”


“Actually, the governor’s office is run like a corporation,” Kennedy says. “I have a legislative secretary who handles the governor’s legislative matters; a cabinet secretary who oversees health and human services, prisons and education; a legal affairs secretary; {and} then we have finance and research departments. Governor Schwarzenegger, as chairman of the board, makes final decisions and we carry out his directives.” (Marin Magazine April 2008)

Well, I qon’t quibble with her metaphor and argue that the Governor is supposed to be the CEO, and she is the COO or what not. But, if she claims to be an officer of the state as corporation, wouldn’t she have been fired by now?

The fact is that the state is a mess, and her “corporation”,  the Governor’s shop, has caused much of said mess. And her record as Davis’ deputy chief of staff was hardly stellar. What kind of corporation would stick with somebody with this kind of record?

2 thoughts on “The Common Ingredient Between the Davis and Schwarzenegger Administration: Susan Kennedy”

  1. Would somebody who has flamed out twice pull down hefty salaries and command media attention. But it isn’t just Kennedy. When was the last time Bob Mulholland won an election? Or Joe Trippi? Yet you’ll still Mulholland listed in the staff directory for the state Democratic party. And Trippi keeps getting candidates and book deals. Would this happen in business? Ask Meg Whitman and Carley Fiorina.

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