Arnold thinks she’s quite a pick

It didn’t take Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger long to zero in on what he liked about a John McCain-Sarah Palin Republican ticket: He likes the gender balance.

When asked about McCain’s running mate choice at an appearance in San Diego on Friday, Schwarzenegger said it would be “terrific” to have “a man and a woman running things together” for the first time in the White House.

“I’m a big believer that women can do just as great a job if not a better job than guys can do, and I’ve seen this in my own house,” Schwarzenegger said, slipping in the usual plug for his wife, Maria Shriver.

Schwarzenegger said he’d met Palin at a national governors conference. “She is a very effective leader, and she is a reformer, and I like her very much because she has the strength to go and push back,” he said. “I think she is cleaning up the mess up there, and I think that she has tremendous courage.”


Schwarzenegger was referring to Palin’s ethics-based campaign for governor two years ago. He also said she had fixed the state’s budget problems while resisting efforts to build Alaska’s derisively nicknamed “Bridge to Nowhere,” a national symbol of pork barrel spending.

“Even though she’s new . . . she’s very, very smart and she’s a reformer,” he said. “So I like that pick.”

-- Michael Rothfeld