Arnold Schwarzenegger Ends Term as Governor of California


After 7 years of governing California, Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped down after the end of his second term. On January 2, 2011 Jerry Brown, a Democrat, took over running Americas most populous state.

Schwarzenegger, a body-builder who came from Austria when he was 20, came to power in 2003 after a special recall election which got rid of Gray Davis who was very unpopular at that time.

Schwarzenegger was a media star from the first minute on. Reporters followed him every step of the way, everything he did was broadcast on TV and the internet. On the first day in office he cancelled the car tax which was supposed to go into effect.


The Governator had great plans for California. He promised the “Golden State” a golden future. Improving infrastructure, creating better schools, reforming prisons and protecting our environment were his visions, but he didn’t have the money to pay for everything.

When he came to office Schwarzenegger talked voters into borrowing $15 billion to do away with the budget problem he inherited from his predecessor. Instead of balancing the budget Schwarzenegger left California in a worse condition than when he started out in 2003. The state’s budget deficit rose from $6 billion in 2003 to over 25$ billion at the end of 2010.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010

Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010 - Dale Frost


Californians wanted to give the Governator a fair chance. They knew that it would take some time to learn how government in a state the size of California worked. Schwarzenegger had a Democratic Senate to deal with and he was surprised when they didn’t do everything he wanted.

Before his political career started, Arnold Schwarzenegger had been a body builder and actor. He started training with weights at the age of 15. At 20 he became Mr. Universe and left Austria for America, where he became famous as a Hollywood action star. He had leading roles in films like Conan the Barbarian and the Terminator.

During the 2004 Republican convention Schwarzenegger was at the height of his fame. Some Republicans even wanted to change the law to make it possible for a foreign-born American to become President.

But in the last years of the Governor’s term, his popularity faded. In the end only 30% of all Californians supported his work. They found out that Schwarzenegger was no superman that could turn around the state’s economy. They had the feeling that their lives had not improved since 2003. But Arnie, as he is nicknamed, also had good days, especially when he fought for preserving the environment.

What Schwarzenegger wants to do in the future is unknown. He is likely to spend more time with his wife Maria Shriver, niece of John F. Kennedy, and his four children.  Some people want him back in the film industry to do things that he can do best: action blockbustersHasta la Vista, baby!





  • balance = to spend as much money as you receive or get
  • billion = a thousand million
  • blockbuster = a very successful film
  • borrow = to get money for something which you must pay back later
  • broadcast = show on television
  • cancel = call off, stop
  • convention = when party members meet to decide on who will be the candidate for President
  • deal = work
  • deficit = the difference between the money you have and the money you spend
  • do away with = get rid of
  • economy = financial system
  • environment = the world and nature around us
  • especially = above all
  • fade = to go away slowly
  • fair chance = a lot of time to be successful
  • fame = being known and admired
  • foreign-born =  born in a different country
  • get rid of = to make someone go away
  • go into effect = become a law
  • govern = rule
  • governor = person in charge of ruling an American state
  • height =  climax,  highest point
  • improve = to become or make better
  • in office = as a governor
  • infrastructure = public buildings like schools, hospitals, as well as roads, railroad lines etc..
  • inherit = take over from
  • instead of = in something’s place
  • leading = most important
  • likely = probably
  • nickname = the name that friends or journalists give someone
  • niece = the daughter of your brother or sister
  • popularity = fame, status; being liked by people
  • populous = full of people
  • predecessor = the person who was governor before him
  • preserve = save
  • prison = place where criminals are kept
  • promise = to say that you will do something
  • protect = guard , save
  • recall election = American voters can remove a person from a high position when they get enough people to sign a list
  • run = rule
  • Senate = the representatives  who are elected by the people to govern a state
  • step down = here: to stop being governor
  • support = to be for
  • term = time in office
  • turn around = something changes and works the way you want it to
  • unpopular = not liked
  • vision = idea, dream
  • weight = objects that are heavy