Stumping Iron


It's already been on the wires—not to mention Hit & Run—but the broadcast didn't go out until half an hour ago. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the only man ever to succeed in Hollywood with a surname consisting of two racial slurs, is running for governor.

Here's the short version of his appearance on The Tonight Show:

1. Arnold is for "the people."

2. Arnold is against "the special interests."

3. Arnold thinks "the politicians" should do "their jobs."

At one point he slipped and said something negative about "the unions." This drew dead silence from the crowd, and he quickly returned to criticizing special interests in vaguer terms. This was the Jay Leno show, after all; better to keep things bland.

Could he win? Yeah, he could. But it'll be tough. With a field this wide, Schwarzenegger can't even count on the ironic-gesture vote.

NEXT: Notes from a White House Projectionist

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  1. I have a blog post up today about all this california election craziness- speculating away on the election outcome, and Arnold’s political future. For any of you enjoy my comments here at Hit and Run from time to time, pleae drop by. Click on the name to visit the blog.

  2. Paul,

    I’ve been in Austria on numerous occassions. I’ve heard nothing but contempt for Americans there.

  3. Letterman, circa ’86. The conversation acknowledges Arnold’s entry into the Kennedy clan. Later:

    DL: What does “Schwarzenegger” mean, anyway?

    AS: It translates as “black plow man.”

    DL: Has Rose been told there’s now a black plow man in the family?

    So what’s the second racial slur?

    Lileks says an Arnold victory would greatly annoy Europe, whom he’s forsaken. Tempting, no?

  4. Everywhere I read the news, it says he’s a “moderate Republican.” Doesn’t sound very appetizing. Then again, I’m in Austin, so it doesn’t impact me at the moment.

  5. I’m rooting for Arrianna “glue” Huffington.

    She’ll give California the leadership it deserves…

  6. “Arnold victory would greatly annoy Europe”

    Aw, shucks! Europe getting its pants between its crack over one of our states electing a certain governor. After all, the Europeans should be the ones determining how we run things over here, shouldn’t they?

  7. Schwarzenegger

    Let’s parse that:

    Schwarze = Black
    Negger = _______ (not sure)

    Whadda YOU think?

  8. If he wins, I’d really feel sorry for him, having to deal with all those state bureaucrats and gubmint UNIONS for the next several years.

    Clint Eastwood was only a mayor, but he couldn’t stand having to listen to them whine every day.

  9. In his announcement speech, which he made outside the NBC studios after the taping (about 5:30ish in CA), he struck a populist chord but made a key point. That is that nobody’s vision of what government should do — not the Democrats’ or Republican’s) is sustainable if businesses and people keep leaving the state. It’s a pretty revolutionary observation when we’re fighting over tripling the car tax.


  10. ^ We deserve the louse that we’ve got. I’m looking for a little grace.

  11. And the winner is … the headline writers.

  12. I find his populism about as convincing as Al Gore’s three years ago.

    Um… Al Gore, like Bush Jr, was born the son of a rich career politician. He rode his father’s coattails to fame and success, and basically never held a real job outside of politics. His populism rang hollow because he’s about as close to being one of “the common people” as Prince Charles.

    Schwarzenegger started life as a lower-middle-class Austrian and became one of the most successful Americans in Hollywood (despite an almost total lack of acting talent) through a combination of shrewd business sense, personal charisma, and sheer force of will. He came here because he realized that a liberal, capitalist society like ours was the place he’d need to be to succeed on those grounds. That he’s pro-gay, pro-capitalist, and generally socially libertarian is all the more impressive when you consider that his father was a Nazi.

    So yes, I accept the idea that he’s a populist. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s the perfect American success story.

  13. Actually, Arnold annoys Austria. I never seen another European nationality bitch about him. Just for your education, Austria is not Europe. Anyway, he annoys Austrians because Austrians despise – no worse – they loathe Americans. They absolutely detest them. Anyway, its easy to see why Austrians would get annoyed with Arnold if they detest Americans. Plus there is also the fact that he’s an actor. In conservative countries like Austria acting is viewed as an unseemly trade that is mostly associated with leftist ideas/personages (actors and such are after all mostly from the left-wing side of the political spectrum).

  14. People get exactly the kind of government they pine for. It’s like that in Peru, Botzwana, Greece, Hawaii, Mongolia, California. Doesn’t matter where you are. On this planet, be careful what you wish for. You’ll surely get it, sooner or later.

  15. ^ hawaii?????

  16. servus!
    no kidding that the austrians should have contempt for the EU, not only is it an organization that rivals the UN and the US in terms of pure pandering to the special interests, it’s, unlike what some here have felt, very top-down ruling. that haider thing was the ultimate in cowboy arrogance. the antidote: listen to some kurtl ostbahn, and things get better right away.

    anon@1:37 — maybe. i lived there on a couple of summers and in 1994 right going up to and through the eu debate. their contempt for america/americans is no different from the other stuff one experiences in europe. those comments the readers put in that Standard article sure underscore that statement. man oh man! some venom, but in line with other stuff you read from the smaller, left-leaning countries.

    again, have a stiegl or a zipfer urtyp and listen to some kurtl ostbahn ( — he’s an interesting one — sings covers and original rock-n-roll numbers in “weanerisch” and the detective series also has some very pro-american ideas in it!


  17. Granted, my sample size is rather small (one wife), but all the Europeans I’ve talked to squealed with delight when Arnold pulled the fakeroo. She’s also happy to know that two candidates will have much thicker accents than hers.

  18. Anyway, he annoys Austrians because Austrians
    despise – no worse – they loathe Americans.

    Not spent a great deal of time in Austria, have you?

  19. schwarzen – blacks

    egger – harrower

  20. Well Arnold becoming governor sure couldn’t make things any worse for California than they are now.

    The state’s being run by liberal Democrats and it’s not physically possible for ANYONE to be MORE incompetent than a liberal Democrat.

  21. Gee … the Austrians were pretty nice to me
    when I was there, but then I speak a bit of

    What I am sure of is that the Austrians think
    the Germans are a bit uncouth. Indeed, I
    suspect that the Austrians think that pretty
    much all non-Austrians are a bit uncouth.

    Oh, and do I get to be the first one to say
    that Arnold is the “Running Man” once again?


  22. We could also annoy the Europeans by parading through Paris with dead cats impaled on ski poles, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.

  23. Arnold is a slam dunk to win. In a race where he needs only a plurality, his fame and money are unstoppable. A wide field helps him, because his unique qualification (name ID) disavadvantages all opponents.

    Also: his referendum won; he can raise and spend whatever it takes to win; he doesn’t need any issues or positions to win, he can just blast away at Davis, who is going to lose anyway.

  24. Regarding Austria, if there is anyone they should dislike, it’s politicans from countries that run the EU, like France and Germany, who raised holy hell at the election of Jorg Haider. Austrians know the eurocrats’ contempt for democracy firsthand.

  25. Gosh, with populist rhetoric as original (and sincere) as that, he’s a shoo-in. But shouldn’t he have his sleeves rolled up and his tie loosened to make it more “authentic”?

    Monty Burns: “I say taxes are too high! Let those bureaucrats in the state capital put THAT in their pipes and smoke it!”

    I find his populism about as convincing as Al Gore’s three years ago.

  26. 4. “Children are our most valuable resource.” (on Headline News today).

  27. I honestly can’t see how it would be a bad thing for Schwarzenegger to run. Why do people have great hangups on this subject? As many people have mentioned, California can’t get any worse than it is. Schwarzenegger is a man who is behind his words, though he has a shorter list of words, at least he is right there behind them! I don’t trust the “average” politician. They make all these promises and can’t deliver them! I don’t see why we make a great fuss about an actor becoming a governor. Heck if Jesse Ventura of the WWF can become governor to Minnesota and is doing a great job of it… What is all this crying about Arnie?? If a model, actress, actor, singer, etc… can give the public what they need and deliver it, I think anyone is at power for the position. Heck, how did Clinton win the 2nd race? He was the biggest joke… and he was a politician for years!! You can’t determine whether or not an actor is good for the job or not just because of his title. Wisen up people you makes things a bigger deal than they actually are!

  28. I’m sick and tired of GOP trying to overturn the votes of the people. Clinton “impeachment” was a farce. Apparently to GOP sex lies are more important than lying to start oil wars and kill thousands of innocent women and children, and close to 300 Americans.
    Gore clearly won the Presidency, including FL, but the GOP manipulation of votes (purging rolls, losing ballots, destroying votes, etc) and the 5 right-wing judges “gave” the White House to George.
    Now, we have the GOP financing a recall to overturn a Governor who is doing a pretty damn good job working with this Bush Economy. The other 49 states are also running deficits, thanks to Bush. CA also has the problem of Bush and his buddy Ken Lay ripping off Californians through energy manipulations.
    Of course, Cheney is doing his best to keep that covered up.
    I’m sticking with Davis. The recall is a disgrace, a ripoff, and a waste of taxpayer’s money.

  29. EMAIL:

    DATE: 12/10/2003 07:55:42
    What else can i say after all this ?!

  30. EMAIL:
    DATE: 12/20/2003 10:58:50
    A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

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