Schwarzenegger Takes Role As Governor
"I say to everyone here today and I say to all Californians: I will not forget my oath and I will not forget you," Schwarzenegger said, according to CNN.
"In recent years, Californians have lost confidence. They felt that the actions of the government did not represent the will of the people," he added. "This election was not about replacing one man. It was not about replacing one party. It was about changing the entire political climate of this state."
Despite the actor's inauguration, Sacramento was not expected to go Hollywood for the occasion, and Schwarzenegger, 56, planned to bypass the usual parties. Celebrations just didn't seem right after such a bitter recall election against incumbent Gray Davis, and considering the state's bleak financial picture. (The state budget deficit has been pegged at $25 billion.)
Not that there isn't some uncharacteristic new glamor in the state capital, the Associated Press reports. Among the celebrities spotted in town for the inauguration were Rob Lowe, Tom Arnold and Rob Reiner (the latter is known for being a liberal Democrat).
Though Schwarzenegger is a Republican, he has been pegged as a social liberal and fiscal conservative. Some observers have even called the Schwarzenegger administration "a hybrid." Bill Whalen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, tells the San Diego Union-Tribune: "It's like his Humvee with the hydrogen cells. He's picking from the left and the right and the middle."
Among his plans as governor, Schwarzenegger is expected to make good on his campaign vow to issue an immediate executive order repealing the increase in the car tax.
Schwarzenegger also has said he will call the state legislature back into session to deal with a range of issues including midyear budget cuts, reform of the state's worker-compensation system and a repeal of a new law that lets undocumented workers get driver's licenses, says AP.
Whatever bills come across his desk, though, the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger is likely to be influenced on all sides. He is, after all, a Kennedy by marriage.
Meeting with his transition team last weekend, Schwarzenegger still found time to acknowledge his mother-in-law, Eunice Shriver, sister of the late President John Kennedy, says AP. (Shriver's daughter, NBC newswoman Maria Shriver, is married to Schwarzenegger.)
"I want to thank my mother-in-law, who has come out so many times since I announced my candidacy," he said, adding that Eunice Shriver had said that even JFK would have voted for the Republican.
But then the new governor paused and added with a laugh, "I'm just making that up."
Check out PEOPLE.com's photo gallery of Arnold's Road to Politics.