Cigar-Smoking Democratic Chief of Staff Susan Kennedy Attempts to Break California Government Impasse

The Wall Street Journal paints a vivid picture of Susan Kennedy, the nonpartisan, no-nonsense chief of staff to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Kennedy smokes stogies with the gov in California’s capitol grounds smoking tent, and she plays paintball. In a gesture unthinkable to most American businesswomen, Kennedy has a picture in her office of her sitting in the governor’s lap after lawmakers passed last February’s budget.Schwarzenegger calls her ‘his partner’, although Kennedy already has one with whom she lives in Marin County.

Kennedy’s job now is to keep California from sinking into the Pacific Ocean in a gridlocked partisan impasse, more serious than the one in New York state.