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February 7, 2010; Washington Post| Arnold Schwarzenegger is yet another governor who isn’t able to or won’t stand for reelection. His possible successors, former governor and current attorney general Jerry Brown, former eBay executive Meg Whitman, and state insurance commissioner Steve Poizner will confront a state budget and state economy in tatters. Unemployment is 12.4 percent, 2.4 percent higher than the national average. The state has a $20 billion budget deficit to close; that’s smaller than last year’s, but the gimmicks used last time won’t be available this time. Schwarzenneger is pitching woo at the federal government for permanent federal relief, not one-time capital infusions, but publicly discussed numbers in negotiations with the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress would meet barely one-tenth of the gap. Strikingly, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are all overwhelmingly and equally pessimistic about the state’s future—and apparently about the capabilities of the state’s political leadership for solving the budget problems.—Rick Cohen