Arnie is a true McCain phenomenon. The media is going to love him because he has a brash, “I’ll fix up those lunkheads” attitude, and almost seems to be doing this on lark. Maybe you can spin that into irresponsible and unserious, but it’s more likely to be just plain lovable. Unless there is something nasty lurking out there, he’s just got a pop image that will not die, and a ready-made stock of those painful, painful movie references and puns that tabloids just love to make in their headlines.
There are still a couple of things they could spin at him, but none seem really that meaningful. He’s so far not publically gone on record as disapproving of an associate he’s spoken kindly of who was a Nazi, but frankly that’s just sort of a loony angle (he’s stridently anti-Nazi, so why fault him for not specifically repudiating one particular guy’s past?). He’s so far not revealed any particular plan for what to do (Davis certainly screwed up in many places, but not as bad as people made it out to be, and its not clear that the alternative proposals would have done better. Worse, the real question is how to fix what’s already done: which is way harder than criticizing someone in hindsight). But this is sure to change.
If he keeps his nose clean and a wide smile on, I’d say that he’s not really spoiling for any backlash that I can see.
The real question is: will he stop making movies while in office?
But how many times can you reply “Asta La Vista, Baby” to questions of managing the deficit before the news press (a different animal than the entertainment press) starts getting pissed?
And also, if Bill/Hillary make a trip to the Golden State to prop up Davis, the shine also gets sullied.
I think Arnold is wading in the sweet pool of his media honeymoon phase, comfortable enough to make those puns without being called on them. Kinda reminds me of the Simpson’s episode when Bart becomes a fad hit by being the “I didn’t do it” kid.
Enjoy the good times now, Arnold, cause they don’t last.
I don’t understand why Arnold gets a pass for being a Loudmouth Wannabe-Politician Celebrity. I keep waiting for people to complain about celebrities who think their opinions are superior just because they’re famous, but I haven’t heard from that corner yet.
Why should Californians take Arnold more seriously than, say, Gary Coleman? “Whatchoo talkin bout, Gray Davis?” is a much better slogan that “Hasta Lavista”.
I have a feeling we’re going to be learning a log about Arnold in the next few weeks. My gut feel, though, tells me that the public will give him more of a pass than they would a typical politician. (As for his investments in tobacco, that’s nothing. He was just on the cover of Cigar Aficionado recently.)
BTW, it’s Hasta la vista. Both earlier posters got it wrong.
Arnold has a hostory of being interested in business and politics. I don’t anything about Coleman, but I’d be surprised if he has any of the successes outside of Hollywood that Arnold has had.
But the fact is, people love celebrities, and Arnold is one of the biggest (in more ways than one). You can think it’s stupid, but that’s just burrying your head in the sand. People vote for all kinds of reasons, and Arnold seems to be hot right now.
As for the press, there were 4 or 5 articles about Arnold in the SJ Mercury News today, and they were all negative in tone. So, it’ not at all clear to me that the press is giving him a free ride. Unless you count on the old saying: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”.
The current Dem leader on the ballot, Bustamonte, is on record severl months ago saying he would definitely not run. That he was sticking with the unity of the Dem party. So perhaps people are not too fired up about a guy like that.
Goheels: Don’t confuse your desire (that Arnold gets sunk) with what is inevitable. People here hate Davis and they like Arnold. That’s where we are, and it’s not likely to change.
I’m waiting to hear some details, myself, on what Arnolds specific plans are. I’m expecting he’ll have something meaty for us all to mull over very soon.
I’m sure his womanizing will show up in the media very soon, but i don’t think that will hurt him much. And he will never run out of bad puns for question responses, he’s had 25 years making them, expect 25 more years of him repeating them.
Don’t underestimate Arnold. He’s not the typical actor. For one thing, he’s got an extremely appealing personal history. He came to the U.S. in 1968 with the clothes on his back and almost no English. Through shrewd career management and even shrewder investing, he turned himself into the quintessential American success story. Horatio Alger couldn’t have written it better.
Nor is he a political lightweight. He’s thoughtful and well-connected. How many other members of the Kennedy family have given speeches at the Republican National Convention? He’s also been quite active in California politics, is a close friend of Richard Riordan – whose political machine he will inherit – and Pete Wilson, who is acting as his campaign manager. He was the moving force behind a successful California initiative on after-school activities so he’s familiar with the players and the system.
Finally, the scope for blow back is sharply limited by Arnold’s colourful past. He’s been a champion body builder, hung out in Venice and, in addition to his big budget films, done some incredibly cheesy movies in which he said some incredibly embarassing things, often as himself.
And he’s not the least bit ashamed of it and makes no effort whatsover to hide it. In that respect, he’s bullet proof. It’s old news. Anyone who is the slightest bit inclined to listen to him won’t hold his past against him. On the contrary, it makes him likeable and gives him a range of experience to draw on that most politicians don’t have. You’d get more mileage making fun of his accent. Unless Arnold’s got some big skeleton in the closet, his rather unusual path to the top isn’t going to count against him.
It would be a serious mistake to lump Arnold in with Gary Coleman. He’s a very serious player who actually brings a lot to the table. He doesn’t have, say, Bustamante’s political experience but he doesn’t have the restrictions inevitably imposed by that experience, either. He certainly has the native ability to be a decent govenor and he may well have the drive and the political freedom to BBQ some of California’s sacred cows if elected.
By the way, the womanizing is a non-starter, so long as he doesn’t lie about it. All Maria has to do is get on Larry King and say, “Listen, you pathetic little weasels, my husband is running for govenor, not pope. His commitment to my marriage is MY business, not yours. When I’ve got a problem with the state of my marriage, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’m not going to discuss my personal life with the media, and that includes whether I put cream in my mother-fucking coffee. Is that clear?”
My guess is Schwarzenegger will ride into the Governor’s mansion with minimal problems (and I further predict he’ll get more opposition from his fellow Republicans than he will from the Democrats). The backlash will occur a few months after his inauguaration when it becomes clear that he will not be able to resolve California’s problems as easily as the outcome of his movies.
I actually thought you meant “a log”, as in a shitlog…
Which may actually be coming. I have the feeling that he has no more indiscretions than any other politician, and quite possibly a lot less. But rest assured, Gray Davis will go down kicking and screaming. He is well known for his rather nasty campaigns, and I doubt this will be any different.
Arnold has yet to outline his plan – he has only made vague generalizations and bold statements. Personally, I look forward to hearing what he has to say…in detail. I don’t think much can be done at this point, considering all the budget woes and restrictions, but any plans that might encourage new (and returning) businesses and address some of the corruption we’ve recently experienced is welcome news.
But no matter what, though, Davis will go after Arnold – and it won’t be pretty.
Now here’s an interesting tidbit. Davis is in the doghouse because of his role in the energy crisis, right?
Well, apparently, Arnold is in good with the other people responsible for the crisis. Pete Wilson, Arnold’s campaign chairman, is the man who originally SIGNED the ill-fated deregulation bill. And Arnold was also one of the people Ken Lay (of Enron fame) rounded up to figure out what to do about the market (which, as it turned out, his company was manipulating so as to exploit it).
Amusingly, Richard Riordan (Republican candidate for governor who helped start this whole recall deal) originally attacked Davis because Davis apparently had merely talked to Lay on the phone. When Davis pointed out that Riordan, Arnold, Michael Milken had all been called together by Lay, Riordan dropped that line of attack. Begs the question though: if merely talking to Lay on the phone is enough to attack Davis, what is attending one of Lay’s covert plotting sessions worth?
All in all, while Arnold isn’t clearly at fault with anything here, it seems pretty odd for someone claiming to want to fix the energy mess to have so many ongoing professional and political contacts with some of the chief culprits.
There’s a good article on Salon about how Arnold’s liberalness actually makes him a problem for the Bush wing too. Even Bush suggesting that Arnie would make a good governor has gotten him in hot water with the conservatives, and as the article points out, Bush could be just as bad for Arnie’s chances as Arnie’s pro-choice, pro-homosexual, anti-Ken Starr, iffy-on-the-2000-SCcourt-decision platform is for Bush.
Indeed, you can think that the Clintons might sweep in and knock Arnold down, but seriously: Arnold is politically much much closer to the Clinton than he is to Bush, even down to the accusations of womanizing. Of course, if rumors are true, then Arnold has way better one liners than Clinton ever did. Instead of “is is,” Arnold has “Eating is not cheating.” In any case, Democrats that defended Clinton by saying that his personal life was not relevant had certainly better keep their mouths shut on this one.
I can just see Hilary winging into California to warn the electorate about voting for a philandering candidate who has smoked pot, smokes cigars, and is married into a family with a Democratic Senator.
I’m sure Davis will go after Arnold hard. But he really has to devopte his time trying to make sure that the recall is voted down. And I’m just dying to see how Bustamonte runs his campaign: “Don’t for the recall, but in case you do, be sure to vote for me afterwards.” Thankfull, it’s a relatively short campain, at least by US standards.
I can well see Arnold opening his mouth and saying something, um, unelectable. He’s under a spotlight, he doesn’t have much experience with having to say things that are actually substantive. I’m betting on a dreadful foot-in-mouth moment sometime soon. Whether that derails him or not, I expect it’ll be a doozy.