August 07, 2003

Schwarzenegger to Run in California Recall Race

In a somewhat surprising move, Arnold Schwarzenegger annouced he will run for Governor in California:

The Austrian-born actor announced his plan Wednesday during a taping of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

"The politicians are fiddling, fumbling and failing ... The man that is failing the people more than anyone is Gray Davis. He is failing them terribly, and this is why he needs to be recalled and this is why I am going to run for governor," he said.

(...)

Fox News has learned that the actor had even composed a press release as late as Tuesday announcing he would not run. Schwarzenegger said he made the decision over the last few days and kept it a secret from everyone - even his own advisers said they didn't expect it. Speculation was so intense that his advisers had to twice squash media reports that the actor was not running.

During the "Tonight Show" taping, Schwarzenegger called his decision the toughest he's made since deciding to get a bikini wax in 1978. In a press conference that followed, he said he and his family deliberated over the decision for weeks, and that Shriver ultimately told him "she would support me no matter what my decision is."

Schwarzenegger also blamed California's fiscal woes directly on Davis, saying, "I will go to Sacramento and clean house."

Later, at the conclusion of the press conference, the action hero looked back on reporters and said, "I'll be back."

While Schwarzenegger has considerable star power, a challenge from a viable Democrat adds pressure on him to prove that his limited political experience won't hurt the state.

The actor, who headed President George H.W. Bush's President's Council on Physical Fitness, added that he knows Davis is a fierce campaigner who will try to use Hollywood rumors to damage Schwarzenegger's reputation.