Schwarzenegger delivers final weekly address

In this Nov. 17 2003 file photo, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger smiles after signing an executive order to repeal the car tax just a few minutes after taking the oath of office as California' governor in Sacramento, Calif. Schwarzenegger will be leaving office in January 2011 with a mixed record, winning praise for his precedent-setting environmental activism and criticism for his failure to tame the fiscal mess as promised when voters elected Schwarzenegger to replace Gov. Gray Davis in the historic 2003 recall election. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

January 2, 2011 6:43:23 PM PST
Sunday brought a close to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's seven years in Sacramento. He admits that history will be the judge of his administration's accomplishments, but says he is confident he did what was best for California.

Schwarzenegger was a bit sentimental as he delivered his final weekly radio address to Californians. He took office seven years ago, replacing Gray Davis in a historic recall election. On Sunday, he marked the end of his term by thanking Californians for allowing him the honor of serving as governor.

"My family, my career, all my successes, I owe to California. The opportunity to give something back as governor has been an immigrant's dream come true," he said.

The entire address was over four minutes. Schwarzenegger talked about how California is still "the golden dream by the sea" and continues to be the entertainment and innovation capital of the world.

He also touted his accomplishments during his seven years in office. Although he was unable to solve the state's budget crisis, in his address, he talked about what he did do for California.

"I mean, working together with Democrats and Republicans to begin to rebuild California with the largest investment in infrastructure in a generation, has been a fantastic success," he said. "We returned $50 billion to taxpayers through our workers' compensation reforms. We made California a world leader in clean energy and environmental protection. With redistricting and open primaries, we passed the greatest political reforms since Hiram Johnson."

"He came in saying he was going to solve the fiscal crisis in California and he hasn't, so I think sort of the big bottom line has got to be that he didn't do what everyone hoped he would do, which was to solve that problem, and the reason why Gray Davis was recalled and set out to pasture," said UC Berkeley Prof. Henry Brady.

Schwarzenegger did say history will be the final judge of his administration's record. He concluded his address by wishing the very best to his successor, Democrat Jerry Brown and his wife Anne.

One thing he did not mention was what he plans to do now that his term is up. There has been talk about Schwarzenegger working for the Obama administration in some environmental role or behind the camera in Hollywood.