As I attend a conference this week (that I won't name), whose host state is California, I have been treated to some speeches by elected officials here. I am struck by each speaker, mostly by their performance. They all have the same ability to enrapture the crowd with great stories, quick witted one liners and general effusiveness.
At their core, they are performers, plain and simple. I suspect performers have been elected to office long before (and long after) the governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I suspect their electability is directly related to their stage presence. In a state the size of California, that's the only way to capture the attention of the masses.
Not that the officials aren't smart or worthy of the office, but I don't think most would have gotten there without their performing skills. Some might call those same skills leadership, but I'm not one of them. Leadership is not how well you can work the crowd but about giving your people the tools to succeed.