Until now, Arnold Schwarzenegger's legacy included chronic budget deficits, a landmark global warming law and some potentially significant political reforms on which the jury is still out - namely, redistricting and open primaries. The New America Foundation's Joe Mathews wrote a book about the Governator in 2006, after months of inside access. He says Schwarzenegger now risks having his policy record blotted out.
Mathews: "The problem for him is that he's about to become a national punch line. And that punch line could come to define his legacy in what he did and didn't do as governor in a way that's unfair, but that's the way things work."
Not that Schwarzenegger deserves any sympathy, Mathews says. He's worried politicians and voters might overlook Schwarzenegger's successes and failures - rather than learning from them instead.