Questions of Character

I just don’t know if Arnold has what it takes to succeed in politics.

Oh, he could very well win the recall election — although I refuse just yet to predict who is going to win that mess. He’s got name recognition, he’s got money, he’s got loads of charisma, and most importantly, he has an electorate well and truly sick of the status quo.


But does he have the thick hide needed for the rough’n’tumble of life in Sacramento?

So far, it seems not.

Last week, Micky Kaus broke the story of Arnold’s 1977 interview in Oui magazine. In it, he discussed pot smoking, group sex as a “release” from the pressures of competitive bodybuilding, etc. None of it was surprising, but it wasn’t exactly flattering, either. Arnold’s first response was, “I didn’t lead my life to be a politician.”

Perfect. Really, that’s all he needed to say. But the media did what the media does: they kept peppering him with questions until, finally, he snapped at a reporter. I don’t have an exact quote, but the obviously flustered candidate barked something like “Look, I don’t remember anything about what I said 20 or 30 years ago.” And, yeah, he said it in front of a TV camera.


Hardly damning stuff, and not nearly bad enough to derail his election big. But it is indicative.

Now comes word that Arnold won’t participate in the upcoming gubernatorial debates:

Five leading candidates vying to replace California Gov. Gray Davis in the state’s recall election will participate in the first official public debate Wednesday.

Arnold Schwarzenegger will not participate.

So far, no big deal


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