Friday, September 23, 2005

Just shoot me

The Times:Liberal star may stand to terminate Arnie's career
WARREN BEATTY is considering a challenge to Arnold Schwarzenegger for the governorship of California next year in what could be a battle of the celebrities.
Speculation over Mr Beatty’s political ambitions began after he addressed a nurses’ union on Thursday. To wild applause and chants of “run, Warren, run”, Mr Beatty, a long-time liberal campaigner, promised to campaign against Mr Schwarzenegger’s “insulting and bullying” attacks on nurses, teachers and firefighters.

Mr Schwarzenegger, 58, a Republican and naturalised American who harnessed his Hollywood star appeal to win a “recall election ” victory two years ago, recently said that he would run again for the governorship. Polls show the one-time Mr Universe’s popularity’s to be dwindling, though the Austrian-born Mr Schwarzenegger still hopes to change the constitution so that he may one day be able to run for the White House.

Mr Beatty, 68, has been involved in politics since 1968, when he campaigned with Robert Kennedy, who was assassinated that year. He also supported Senator George McGovern.
On Thursday Mr Beatty attacked the proposals of Mr Schwarzenegger to limit state spending and reduce the power of Democrats in the legislature. The proposals have encountered entrenched opposition, forcing the Governor to take the measures directly to voters with a special election in November.

Mr Schwarzenegger believes that his celebrity power will overwhelm the electorate. The involvement of Mr Beatty, however, could change that.

Government is not showbusiness,” said Mr Beatty, as delegates of the union convention repeatedly interrupted him with standing ovations.

And yet in next year's race for governor, the good people of California -- all eight of us -- could be faced with a choice between a has-been actor with a history of womanizing and no relevant experience on the one hand, and Arnold on the other.

This is just wonderful.

I went into hiding from my 49-state friends when the Gropinator became my governor. I consoled myself with the knowledge that I had voted against every actor* I could. Now what?

*(A long time ago, Robert Klein had a talk show. Huntz Hall was once a guest. Klein brought up the fact that a young Ronald Reagan had appeared in a "Bowery Boys" short. Klein asked him if he had ever imagined that Reagan would ever become President. Hall replied, "Are you kidding? I never imagined that he would ever become an actor.")

From what I little know, I like a lot of Beatty's politics. But somehow I just don't see how the best response to the opinion of the rest of the country that we in California really are star-struck, shallow fools is to prove them right. Again.

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.


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