In a transparent attempt to show how much he has in common with Bill Clinton Arnold Schwarzenegger has made a naked appeal to the female voters who have low expectations for male behavior.
"And so what I want to say to you is that, yes, I have behaved badly sometimes", he continued. "Yes, it is true, that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right which I thought then was playful, but now I recognise that I have offended people.
"And those people that I have offended, I want to say to them, 'I am deeply sorry about that and I apologise, because this is not what I'm trying to do'."
As Gwen Stefani of No Doubt has famously asked in a song "Why do the good girls always want the bad boys?" The answer lies somewhere in the realm of human evolutionary biology no doubt. But whatever the explanation for this aspect of female human nature Arnold Schwarzenegger has demonstrated enormous foresight in preparing for his political ascent by spending years going around fondling good girls and probably quite a few not-so-good girls as well. With this latest announcement is there any doubt at all that Arnie has the California governorship sewn up? Arnie already has the steroid users vote and now has moved on toward capturing that portion of the female vote that stayed loyal to Bill Clinton even as Clinton's own bad boy persona became more strongly established.
The only thing odd about Arnie's statement is that it is rather too personal. There is none of the "mistakes were made" or "it depends on what you mean by grope" that you might expect if he was really trying to reach out to fully embrace Clinton supporters. Still, he has put in a first class performance and should be applauded for it.
The beauty of the California governor's race from the media's perspective is that it effectively glamorizes otherwise boring state politics. Purely on the basis of policy issue positions or general ideological attitudes most liberal reporters surely prefer that Bustamante would win the election. But look at the big picture. Sacramento is, politically speaking, not terribly sexy. There's a huge deficit whose development was pretty much engineered by the Democrats who dominate the legislature and by that dull Democratic governor Gray Davis (his first name evokes images of a dull gray winter sky) now in his second term. Sacramento is not near Hollywood or anywhere else especially interesting. But Arnie as governor will change that. Many more revelations about his past are waiting to be dug up. He's good at photo-ops. He physically built back up again to make T3. Plus, other action hero actors will be able to stop by to visit him and pose with him at photo-ops while tossing out some glib lines suitable for use on local news and national network news talkshows. The Terminator is going to terminate the boredom of California state politics and provide material that is good for boosting ratings. Plus, he'll even be able to make otherwise dull meetings of state governors into sources of useful news footage. Arnie knows how to bring people to the theater and we can rest assured that he will continue to bring lots of theater to politics.
Update: Does the above read as too sarcastic and cynical? Too flippant for your tastes? Seriously, California is the biggest state by population in the United States and has very serious problems. Yet state-level politics in California rarely gets the attention it deserves. It is very difficult for a political figure to run for governor because the state is so big and the news organizations in the major cities tend to give more attention to local and national matters than to state matters. Arnie's candidacy has allowed the media to glamorize of the race for the governorship. That has brought more state and national attention to California state finances, the harmful financial and social effects of lots of third world immigration, and other problems that rarely get the attention they merit. I see this as a good thing on balance. That it takes a past (present?) heavy user of testosterone and other steroids to create a media environment that brings attention to serious problems doesn't speak well of the populace and the media but that is the way it is.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 October 03 01:30 PM Politics American Domestic|