Schwarzenegger – playing chess with the budget

by ChessBase
1/11/2004 – "An opening move in the fiscal chess game" – that is how one journalist is describing Governer Arnold Schwarzenegger's recently announced budget plans for California's ailing economy. The analogy to chess is not accidental – the action star is known to be a chess enthusiast. Here's the full story...

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In this article in the Sacremento Bee columnist Dan Walters describes Arnold Schwarzenegger as "not just another chiseled face, but is serious about governing -- and about repairing the state's disastrous fiscal condition". The Governor of California, an Austrian action-movie star, is faced with a $14 billion deficit in next year's budget, and has laid out a plan that, "while not entirely gimmick-free, is refreshingly straightforward. He may be a political novice, but so far he's dealing with the budget like a professional pol."

Walters continues:

It is possible that Republican Schwarzenegger, for all his anti-tax rhetoric, will cut a tax deal with the Democrats next summer. But as an opening move in the fiscal chess game, the Schwarzenegger approach is a strong one. He's taken control of the board, forcing other players to react.

The analogy to chess is not accidental. Schwarzenegger is a devotee of the board game who kept a table in his dressing room while shooting movies, and considers himself to be a strong player who can think several moves in advance and lure opponents into making mistakes that lose pieces and, finally, the end game.

Schwarzenegger, in fact, appears to be playing a three-dimensional game on the budget -- maintaining the friendly, we're-all-in-this-together face to the public, directly bargaining with major interest groups on specifics, and confounding both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature.

The above article is quoted in full on the Free Republic forum, a web portal that describes itself as an "online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America. And we always have fun doing it. Hoo-yah!"

Hoo-yah indeed! In the forum discussion of the Walters article we see hotlinks to pictures from the ChessBase news pages. This is understandable, since a Google search for "Schwarzenegger – chess" which brings two ChessBase pictorials to the top.

This one is our favourite. It shows the original Terminator inserted into a screen shot of the 3D Fritz chessboard.

You may decide to surf the Free Republic web site, maybe buy a U.S. Flag balloon (53 feet tall, 78 feet wide, 29 feet from front to back, 530 pounds, and yes, it really flies), contribute to the U.S Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, or simply offer a prayer for President Bush. But please don't neglect to read the other interesting conservative chess discussions on this site.

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