After earlier this week defining what a moderate Democrat is, on Saturday CNN tried its hand at defining what a moderate Republican is. CNN Newsroom featured a segment on governors who are refusing stimulus funds because of the inevitable Federal strings. Anchor Fredricka Whitfield had this exchange with CNN deputy political director Paul Steinhauser:
WHITFIELD: Well, that's interesting, because perhaps one other Republican whose name has been tossed into the whole could he run for president, but he can't, he did accept money for his state, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
STEINHAUSER: Exactly. That is very -- a very different case there, too, because Arnold Schwarzenegger is very much of a moderate Republican. He's kind of on the different end of the spectrum from Sarah Palin and Mark Sanford and Bobby Jindal.
OK, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a moderate Republican. That may come as a surprise since he's widely been deemed a liberal by a variety of sources. In 2003, the San Francisco Chronicle's Washington bureau chief titled a column "Schwarzenegger's liberal views leave GOP flummoxed: Actor is pro-choice, pro-gun control and pro-gay rights." At about the same time, National Review editors determined "Schwarzenegger, it seems clear, does not merit conservative support."
The following year, columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote: "No matter what Schwarzenegger's boosters may claim, at the end of the day Schwarzenegger is a liberal Republican." Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, who knows a thing or two about matters leftist, has written the "fact is that Schwarzenegger is for all intent purposes a Democrat to the consternation of Republicans and quiet glee of Democrats in the great Golden State."
The Sacramento Bee reported in 2007 that the UK's Daily Telegraph compiled a list of America's 100 most influential liberals and conservatives. Schwarzenegger made the list - as a liberal.
Then we have today's Arnold, the one who commends Barack Obama "for the courageous leadership and the great commitment that he has displayed over these last few months." The one who calls Obama a "fantastic partner." The one who counsels fellow Republicans: "You know, you've got to go beyond just the principles."
So that's what a moderate Republican looks like. If CNN hadn't told us, we might still think Arnold Schwarzenegger is a liberal. Oh, that's right. At CNN there's no such thing.