It's about the tie.
It was all about the seating arrangements. And the ties. As Fabian Nunez delivered his remarks on the opening of the state Assembly session, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made a rare opening-day appearance in the chamber, sitting up high, to the speaker’s right. He wore a pale green tie, perhaps because Maria thought it looked nice, or perhaps as a conscious gesture to the historic pale green that colors the walls and carpets of the Assembly.
Balancing the governor, to Nunez’s left, sitting up high, wearing the brightest, reddest, most conspicuous power tie you can imagine, was Los Angeles mayor and former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa. It’s fine to say that all ex-speakers would get such a prominent roost, but you didn’t see Herb Wesson, Bob Hertzberg, Curt Pringle or even Willie Brown in the chamber. As Villaraigosa hugged, kissed and squeezed his way down the center aisle toward his perch next to Nunez—and as new lawmakers reached out for their hugs, kisses and squeezes—his influence and clout in this chamber were unmistakable. On days when Nancy Pelosi is in Washington D.C., Schwarzenegger, Nunez and Villaraigosa—not necessarily in that order—are the most powerful politicians in California.