Enter the ‘Governator’

Mother Jones — Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-born body builder turned actor (who once championed a Mr. Universe contest) is relinquishing his barbells and cheesy one-liners for… arguably even cheesier one-liners. But this time his scripted punch-lines are not about tumors or robots who have taken over the earth — this time, Ah-nold’s talking politics. And no matter how amusing his delivery, he has managed to scare some Democrats into breaking rank with embattled Governor Gray Davis. … Schwarzenegger’s announcement last Wednesday that he would join the recall mania put the first cracks in Davis’ united front. His colleagues, fearing Schwarzenegger’s popularity and media attention would make him a dangerous contender, finally broke out and put their names on the ballot. Two prominent Democrats, Cruz Bustamante, California’s lieutenant governor, and John Garamendi, the state insurance commissionerand, are among the first in their party to step forward and defy Davis. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Robert Salladay points out that Schwarzenegger may have considerable clout among alienated voters, which may put him ahead of his Democratic contenders:  “Schwarzenegger, freed from the bonds of conservative Republicans who control their party’s primaries, can now use all available media to fashion a campaign that appeals to the disaffected, who don’t vote and don’t care about politics. Oddly, it could take a Republican married to a Kennedy cousin to give the recall election the look of a populist revolt. (08/10/03)
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