Why would so many Republicans fall in behind Arnold Schwarzenegger, a movie actor with no experience who is somewhere to the left of Joe Lieberman on the political spectrum, when they had a perfectly good conservative candidate like Tom McClintock standing in the wings? That is the question that has vexed many right-wing radio talkers and bloggers these past few weeks.
Even when Arnold was being exposed as a serial groper with enough accusations of sexual misconduct to make even Bill Clinton blush - Republicans stood by him, unwavering in their support.
The reason is quite simple really and it was clearly evidenced by the results of Tuesday's recall election. Arnold has the kind of star-power that every Republican operative in the country would love to tap into. Unless California is falling into the ocean next year, you can bet that Arnold will be the No. 1 invitee to appear at Republican fundraisers and to speak on behalf of Republican candidates at their campaign rallies.
And the topper will be when Arnold gives the nominating speech for George Bush at next year's Republican National Convention.
That was the GOP's goal in this race. They don't really care about what happens to California. Anything that goes wrong from this point forward will just be blamed on the Democrats who still control the state legislature. The real point was to annoint the newest Republican superstar: "Conan the Campaigner" coming soon to a political rally near you!