Roger L. Simon

"Trouble in the House of Schwarzenegger" (by Aeschylus)

I was working on my book yesterday (yes, mother, I am a workaholic – I’ll slow down), when Sheryl yelled out to me, “You’ve got to see this!” I rushed into the kitchen where we political junkies keep a small set, perpetually tuned to the news channels. Sheryl was pointing to a very horsey-looking, unmade up Maria Shriver who was addressing a cheering crowd of Obama fanatics at UCLA. “She’s backing Obama!” I stared at the screen. Sure enough, that’s what was happening. “I thought, if Barack Obama was a state, he’d be California,” Maria was saying. “Diverse. Open. Smart. Independent. Bucks tradition. Innovative. Inspirational. Dreamer. Leader.”

She had joined the Cult of Barack – and apparently without consulting her husband! (Shriver admitted she had just decided on the spur of the moment and rushed right over, hence the lack of makeup on the experienced broadcaster’s face.)

What to make of this? Arnold, as the world knows, had just endorsed McCain. Was she throwing a monkey wrench into their marriage or was she just swept up in the power of the cult? (Maybe her husband later told her – next time pick someone insignificant, like Ron Paul or Scientology.)

And what does this mean? My esteemed PJM colleague Bill Bradley thinks it may have a (minor) negative effect on McCain’s California vote. Possibly. But what really is going on behind the scenes? Is Maria forming an alliance with the powerful House of Kennedy against the House of Clinton and her own House of Arnold? Bring back the Greeks. If we don’t have domestic tragedy, we may at least have some serious melodrama. Arnold and Maria may have to consult Carville and Maitlin for dinner table tips to preserve the domestic tranquility. (And speaking of Paul, Aristophanes is rumored to be working on a sequel to The Clouds, about Ron and his supporters.)