"It used to be in California that we were afraid to speak out in a roomful of Jews, but now we're standing up and speaking up," said a jubilant Bruce Bialosky, who chairs the Southern California chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition. "Why, even the rabbis are changing their sermons."
Bialosky talked on his cell phone above the din at Arnold Schwarzenegger's victory party, minutes after Democratic Gov. Gray Davis had conceded his loss in the recall election, and the Republican movie star was chosen as his successor.
"This is akin to the Reagan revolution and we're going to make big inroads into the Democratic hold on Jewish voters," proclaimed attorney Sheldon Sloan, one of Schwarzenegger's earliest Jewish backers.
The optimistic outlook of the two Republican stalwarts was not shared by Democrats. Most political analysts did not foresee a basic change in the state's political culture.