How was it possible, back in 2003, for Hollywood superstar and political neophyte Arnold Schwarzenegger to suddenly become governor of the largest state in the United States?
UCSD political scientist Thad Kousser tells this story, with its many fascinating twists and turns, in lecture 2 of his new course on California government and politics (feed). You’ll hear about the ambitious and very rich congressman from Southern California, Darrell Issa, who decided to fund the initiative drive for a special recall election and give himself a chance to be elected governor. And then you’ll hear about how personal and political rivalries, combined with California’s strange political culture, resulted in the election of the man that Californians refer to as “the Govern-ator.”
In this election year in the US, Kousser’s course is especially relevant. If he reuses some of the lectures he used in his course last year, he will also give an insider’s account of what it’s like to work on a political campaign and what factors make the difference between victory and defeat.
The book list for the class is here. Like most UCSD course podcasts, the podcasts for this course will probably disappear in December, the end of the fall 2008 quarter.