Try this for a state slogan: California... Hey, it's not Iowa.
It sounds like the kind of state slogan you'd want if your state just gave up trying. It also sounded like something Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said earlier this week during a speech at a Silicon Valley conference Tuesday on infrastructure.
"No matter where you go in the world, people still want to come to California," Schwarzenegger said. "There's no one screaming like, 'I can't wait to get to Iowa.' That I can guarantee you. They want to come here to California."
It takes a lot to ruffle a Midwesterner. Instead of throwing manure on the fire, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver responded by talking up his state's balanced budget and quality of life improvements.
"We invite Californians and Governor Schwarzenegger to come to Iowa and see what the best state in the nation has to offer," Culver told the Associated Press.
The remarks set off a comments thread at the Des. Moines Register. Here's one from UsedtolivinLA: "I have lived in both IA and CA and I would choose IA everytime. I also take more vacations to IA than CA, maybe that is because I have family in IA. Oh wait I have family in CA too. I also noticed Arnold was talking smack about FL, and I love FL. In fact two years ago I went to IA on vacation and last year I went to FL. What does he know anyway he is from Austria?"
Lumpenprole said Schwarzenegger might have a point: "Can it really be considered a knock if it's true? I've lived in Iowa all my life and am perfectly happy here, but I'm not fool enough to think people are dyin' to vacation here either. Why go to California and see the ocean and mountains when you can come to Iowa and see and smell hog manure?"
As one commenter mentioned, the governor continued east and set his sights on Florida, calling it a place "for the old people."
Schwarzenegger's less-than-shining comments about the Sunshine State caught the attention of a gubernatorial candidate.
"I invite Governor Schwarzenegger to take a trip to the Sunshine State and see firsthand what brings people of all ages and cultures to visit and settle this," said candidate Alex Sink.
She added that California is known for "high taxes and a ballooing deficit."
You're next, South Carolina -- with your palmetto trees and charming port city.