Tue, Feb 20, 2018 07:22 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-10-10 communities
Smile Awhile
And the winner is ...
Sara Hopson
The following was written before Tuesday's election in California

Although Kentuckians are in the midst of their own hotly contested gubernatorial election, the governor's race in California has become the focus of national attention as body builder turned movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, vies for that state's top position. While Arnold hasn't had any past political experience, he is married to Maria Shriver, who is the daughter of Eunice Shriver (President John Kennedy's sister), so she has plenty of expertise dealing with elections as well as the media.

Several weeks ago, I told my husband that before Californians had a chance to cast their ballots, Schwarzenegger would be accused of some sort of infidelity. (Since he had announced for public office, I knew I had an 80/20 chance of being right.) Sure enough, last week six women came forward and claimed that Arnold had engaged in inappropriate behavior with them. Even though the incidents occurred 20 years ago, the women still felt violated and thought that the public had a right to be apprised of Arnold's indiscretions. On Friday night's Late Show, David Letterman said, "Now that this information has been made public, Arnold definitely has the credentials to be presidential material."

Despite the allegations, Arnold's wife has defended her husband's honor. She has repeatedly said that he is a good father, an excellent husband, and will make a fantastic governor, which is exactly what Arnold has been saying. Unfortunately, he has said little else about how he plans to run the state.

After listening to Arnold's response to a recent news interview, I'm inclined to think that Arnold's muscle is certainly not between his ears.

Here's what he said when asked what he would do about devising a new healthcare plan: "I will do a fantastic job for healthcare," he said with a smile.

He was then asked what he would do for the environment. He answered, "I plan to do a fantastic job for the environment."

The interviewer then asked what he proposed to do about the escalating utility costs, to which he quickly replied, "I will do a fantastic job with the utilities."

When asked about his position on education he stated, "I believe in it."

Caught off-guard by the uncharacteristic reply the interviewer asked, "But won't you do a fantastic job?"

"Oh, yes, of course," he grinned broadly. "I will do a fantastic job."

Despite his vagueness on the issues, from all indications it looks as if Schwarzenegger might indeed be doing a "fantastic" job because at the present time he is leading in the opinion polls. However, many people think Schwarzenegger's popularity might have been prompted by his impromptu appearance on the Oprah Show. Oprah was interviewing Maria Shriver when she had Arnold come out and talk, too. That's when Oprah told all of America that Arnold and Maria had the most well-behaved children and a good, solid marriage. With Oprah's endorsement, Arnold had to be a shoe-in, particularly among women. And, according to one California poll, Arnold is leading among women voters.

And, of course, movie stars in California have done very well in politics. Every time someone points out that his celebrity status could work against his campaign and do him in, I am reminded of my favorite scene from the original "Back To the Future." Michael J. Fox's character has traveled back in time and is trying to convince a skeptical inventor, Christopher Lloyd, that he is indeed from the future. At one point, Lloyd looks at him, determined to trip him up, and asks, "Oh, yeah. Well, who is president in your time?"

To which Fox replies, "Ronald Reagan!"

Lloyd, not being able to conceive of such an obviously ridiculous political scenario, looks at him incredulously and snaps, "The movie actor? Hah!"

So don't count Conan, the terminating predator, out just yet, folks stranger things have happened. (And they have as of this printing Arnold has indeed captured the top seat in California. Now let's just hope they don't have a TOTAL RECALL).

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