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Judgment Day by Marc Ambinder
The Atlantic, October 2010

When Schwarzenegger leaves office in January after seven tumultuous years as governor, it will not be with high marks. "Pretty pathetic," wrote George Skelton, the dean of the Sacramento press corps; "opportunity squandered." Schwarzenegger will be lucky if his approval rating is near 40 percent and the state budget deficit is less than $15 billion. But Schwarzenegger's greatest accomplishments may not yet be apparent: if the political reforms he pushed through take hold, he will have managed not only to restore California's role as a policy innovator, but also to create the kind of political space that can incubate a future cadre of mini-Arnolds.
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Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is an Atlantic senior editor. More

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, an Atlantic senior editor, began her association with the magazine in 2002, shortly after graduating from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She joined the staff full time in January 2006. Before coming to The Atlantic, Jennie was senior editor of Moment, a national magazine founded by Elie Wiesel, where she remains a contributing editor.

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