Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger: King of bodybuilding, movies, politics and media,
(version #3) by Greg Tingle - 27th August 2003

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He's big and so are his ambitions. He's out-flexed The Hulk's Lou Ferrigno, married into America's favourite family (no, not the Brady's or the Osborne's) and Uzi 9mmetred his way to Hollywood victory. Now, he's ready to replace the dumb-bell grunts and cyborg delivery with eloquent speech. Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger is flexing his policy muscle and going into battle with the ultimate predator: the political animal.

America's most populous state is gunning for a new leader and the man once possessing bodybuilding's most famous guns is aiming to be Governor. Few would doubt his credentials. He's dodged a thousand and one bullets to avoid life threatening injury in Commando, returned from the dead to defeat Thulsa Doom, fooled Jamie Lee Curtis into thinking he was a salesman, overcome the adversity of a class of six year olds and twice saved the world from the technological clutches of an evil future. Impressive stuff.

Hell, if good old Ronnie could go from B grade six-shooter to White House head honcho then surely the man with biceps like watermelons can conquer California.

The West Coast state, after all, gave us Congressman Sonny "I Got You, babe" Bono and mayor Clint Eastwood. Go ahead California, make my day one more time!

The vote for governor is in two stages. Californians must first decide whether Gray Davis should be recalled. If not, they must choose the governor-to-be from potentially, a huge list of candidates. At present count there have been over 500 applications. Any Californian can stand provided he/she can collect 65 signatures, pay a fee of $5000, complete pages of paperwork and want the attention.

Two applicants include Gary Coleman, the pint-sized star from the eighties, and a porn actress. These highly credible and qualified candidates appear eminently suitable for such a privileged position. Whatcha talkin' about? Where's the forgotten Webster and acting maestro, Pamela Anderson?

But I digress. Detractors of the human bulldozer say he is machine-like and one-dimensional (paralleling his on screen performances?). Supporters say he is living the American dream - no, not a life supply of cheeseburgers - going from a skinny unknown, to world class bodybuilder, iconic movie star, role model, and now, climbing the political staircase to the definitive role.

Schwarzenegger knows how to pump the media and work the political bench press. He's done the talk show circuit without raising a sweat, announcing his decision on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

And he's married to "the mob". His wife, Marie Shriver, is a household name and face of American television. How much time will NBC devote to promoting Arnie? Shriver, a member of the Kennedy political dynasty, is set to take a leave of absence from her NBC role. On NBC's Today show, Arnie said, "Leadership means that you set goals for yourself, as I have always done in my life".

The big guy is of course, still fresh off the set of the highly grossing Terminator 3. Was the moovee perfect publicity for his political launch or vice versa?

What motivates Ah-nold? In his campaign appearances so far, he insists he cannot be bought and will not be beholden to special interest groups. True lies?

Will he do what he does best - terminate the opposition with winning one liners? Or will the flick's most famous set of pecs sag and become another in the line of lost and flabby action heroes?

Version #1 of the same article

Version #2 of the same article

Jesse Ventura: Wrestling with politics, by Greg Tingle

The new breed of politicians, by Greg Tingle - 21st August 2003