With less than two months left in office, Schwarzenegger has begun his farewell tour, pumping up his legacy. On Tuesday, the Central Valley threw him a tribute, giving him a thank you gift for his service.
"I'm proud and happy about what I've done, but there's a lot, a lot of work ahead of us," he said.
On Monday night, Schwarzenegger stopped by the Tonight Show, the same place he made a surprise announcement in 2003 that he would run for California's top office. He's happy about the things he accomplished, namely, reform that changes how politicians are elected and investment in public works projects, the first in decades, and he's especially proud of his green credentials.
"There's an endless list of environmental laws of reducing our greenhouse gasses and of having our energy come from 33 percent renewables," Schwarzenegger said.
But with a worldwide recession during his watch, Schwarzenegger had to steer California through a financial mess that's still not over. It meant a lot of unpopular cuts and record late state budgets that caused his approval rating to plummet from a high of 65 percent six years ago to a dismal 23 percent now.
"The real legacy will be the budget stalemates, long periods of budget deficits and actually among the lowest job performance ratings in the history of the 50 or 60 years we've been polling on governors," Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said.
Even Schwarzenegger acknowledged the painful choices he had to make.
"You can't go around and declare victory about all of the things we have done when, in fact, there are still too many people out of work, and too many people suffering, and too many have no homes or losing their homes," he said.
Schwarzenegger said in an online chat with his Twitter followers last month, he expects to write a book or two and maybe even return to movies if a great script comes along.