Arnold Schwarzenegger was used to playing action heroes strong-arming his opponents. So in 2003, with California in a budget crisis, the bodybuilder announced he wanted to muscle into the governor's office.
"This is why I'm going to run for the governor of the state of California," said Schwarzenegger on "The Tonight Show."
CBS News correspondent Terry McCarthy reports with a heavy dose of Hollywood he won easily, promising to knock heads and crack down on government spending.
"I really liked the enthusiasm, the different approach," said Republican assembly leader Connie Conway.
In front of the cameras he mocked legislators but behind the scenes he ran into unflinching opposition in the legislature to both spending cuts and tax increases. Schwarzenegger caved.
"He not only cut taxes he basically raised spending and made the budget deficit worse," said Sacramento Bee political columnist Dan Walters.
Even Schwarzenegger's considerable celebrity power couldn't take on the fundamental contradiction of California, a state whose citizens want to live the dream life without paying for it.
If he failed to control the budget he did push through limits on greenhouse gases and electoral reforms. Even former governor Gray Davis, whom Schwarzenegger replaced in the 2003 recall election, concedes he had some success.
"He pushed for and got political reform that will make it possible for Gov. Brown and ensuing governors to balance the state budget," said Davis.
Schwarzenegger was forced to make some unpopular cuts, furloughing state workers and cutting school funding. His opponents say he was simply out of his league.
"He really thought that he could change things for the better," said assembyman Tom Ammiano. "He was sincere about that but I don't think he really had a clue."
After seven years he has one of the lowest popularity ratings of any governor of California. The state has a ballooning deficit and the worst credit rating in the country. For the action hero who thought he could solve anything, California's squabbling politicians were opponents he just couldn't terminate.