Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Amending the Odds: Arnold Says No Run

A frequent comment by visitors to Decision '08 is that I have Schwarzenegger's odds well on the generous side, given that an amendment to the Constitution would be required for him to win (technically, I suppose he could run even without an amendment, but he couldn't receive any electors or assume the Presidency).

I have always intended the odds to be fluid, and a work in progress. (I haven't even profiled such heavy hitters as Rudy G., McCain, and Hillary yet, after all...). Certainly, given the length of time an amendment procedure would require, the passage of the months decreases Arnold's chances exponentially.

Arnold says no run; that means something, but not much. I think what it does mean is that he recognizes the inherent difficulties and doesn't think much of his chances. Arnold' s other point is the more important one, anyway; I think it would be quite healthy for a national debate on whether this provision is outdated. Do we really mean to say that Noam Chomsky of Philadelphia is better suited to be president than Albert Einstein of Germany? The geographical location of one's birth is an accident of fate; I prefer to judge by what a person has done with his life since then.

We'll revisit this issue again, I'm sure; but for now, I'm dropping Arnold back considerably.


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