But under the celebratory mood lay a current of anxiety and anger about the country’s condition that could color the president’s reception on his first official trip to California.
Many in the crowd hoped for the chance to ask him tough questions: About the jobs they’ve lost. About deteriorating healthcare. Some wanted to hear the president’s plan for helping small businesses. Still more seethed with anger about the government’s bailout of Wall Street banks and insurance giant AIG.
Others just wanted to see the person they hope will somehow set the nation right.
“We want to see our president because we believe in him,” said Ontario retiree Miguel Garcia Verdin, 72, an immigrant from Mexico. “We have faith that he’s not going to defraud us.”
I conclude that this will be rockier than his journeys to blue states have been. But things are not quite as bad as all the anger indicates, and I believe the President will make a good thing out of a volatile situation.
Arnold Schwarzenegger looks to be an incipient Independent or even a Democrat. He broke the big GOP vow by successfully getting Californians to pony up enough taxes to patch the state’s looming mega-deficit. Within a few years that no-tax mantra may reduce the GOP to Eric Kantor trying to do hip hop in a vacuum somewhere below the Mason Dixon line.