Still, just the idea of moving up the primary has induced presidential candidates on both sides to court the state more publicly. Even before the Legislature passed the bill by Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Monterey Park, candidates were adding public events to California trips that might otherwise have been consumed with private fundraising events. Republican candidates John McCain and Rudy Giuliani have appeared at Schwarzenegger’s side. The events were designed to draw attention to issues the governor cares about but that might not ordinarily interest a presidential candidate, such as congestion at the port in Long Beach and gang violence in Los Angeles. “This bill … has already done its job,” Calderon said during the ceremony. “Before the election, it’s already accomplished what we set out to do: The candidates for president are already in California. They’re already talking with us. Before they would just come, raise money and leave.” 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday moved California’s presidential primary to Feb. 5, an attempt to give the nation’s most populous state a greater say over the nominating process. “Now California is important again in presidential nominating politics … and we will get the respect that California deserves,” Schwarzenegger said during a bill-signing ceremony outside the historic Leland Stanford Mansion, a former governor’s residence and orphanage. California has not played a prominent role in a presidential primary since 1972, when George McGovern beat Hubert Humphrey for the Democratic nomination. Schwarzenegger is hoping that by moving the presidential primary from June to early February, the state will again play a significant role. But California’s bid for more clout has pressured other states to move up their contests, as well. That may diminish California’s influence by turning the day into a sort of national primary, with elections being held in as many as 19 states.