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Schwarzenegger: California can take a page from Irish conflict

January 7, 2009 |  5:26 pm

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, speaking to the media in Sacramento this afternoon for the first time since returning from his Christmas ski vacation, offered a few interesting analogies to show how he and Democratic and Republican legislators can keep the state from running out of cash and being forced to issue IOUs in a few weeks. If the Irish and Protestants could make peace eventually, he said, why not California politicians?

An extreme comparison, but perhaps more apt than the second one Schwarzenegger offered: an anecdote he heard Cardinal Roger Mahony tell this morning at the funeral of Robert Graham at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, about the sculptor’s long effort to make the building’s bronze doors. Unlike the state budget, after all, Graham was making something beautiful.

But, Schwarzenegger said, the lesson was to keep on trying:

“It took five years, five years, to come up with the idea of the door at the entrance of this cathedral. He went back to his studio after a year and said, ‘Show me what you have,’ and he didn’t have anything. He went back the second year, and he went back and he thought, 'Oh, my god, this will never happen.' And then all of a sudden, he saw, you know, Mary, this beautiful statue and the relief of the doors. ... You never give up, you continue working away. ... I’m going to go and try it again and do it again and do it again and bring the Democrats and the Republicans together. ... Let’s start a new year here. We have a huge budget deficit, and we have three weeks before we go off the cliff.”

-- Michael Rothfeld

Photo: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo