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June 30, 2003
Run, Arnold, Run!

How uninteresting has Arnold Schwarzenegger become as a big-screen presence? To make his publicity appearances for Terminator 3 slightly less boring, interviewers are asking him about whether or not he might run for governor of California if the effort to recall Gray Davis succeeds.

Arnold says that he will "think about it after promoting 'Terminator' around the world...and that will take [him] to the end of July."

In other words, he's holding out for more money. True, the governor's salary is generally considered non-negotiable, but this is a major celebrity we're talking about, so let's not let mere convention kill a deal without even entertaining the possibilities.

How would Arnold govern? I'm not really sure, but ideally the job would keep him too busy to make movies, and that would be good for California, good for the United States, good for the world. If Arnold served a full eight years, Hollywood could presumably invest $640 million (eight movies with a budget of $80 million each) in more interesting, more commercially viable products.

Is that a big enough pay-off to subject the innocent citizens of California to eight years of poorly acted speeches and gratuitous cigar-smoking? Probably not, but as governor, Arnold would need a staff too. Could he find something for Sylvester Stallone to do? Kevin Costner? Mel Gibson? James Cameron? Joel Silver? If the answer's "Yes," then he gets my vote, no doubt.

Meanwhile, Jerry Springer is also considering a run for office. Unlike Schwarzennegger, Springer seems to view the idea as more than just a ploy to publicize his latest project; he's even got a website asking people to encourage him to run for the U.S Senate in Ohio.

And that, I think, is a terrible idea. If Springer won, he'd have to stop doing his show. And if his show ended, then millions of America's most disenfranchised citizens would no longer have anything left to aspire to. Without the hope of someday appearing on his show, how would these people react? Shameless cousin-fuckers might start dating complete strangers. Obese strippers would get less strenuous jobs at Wal-Mart. Outrageous behavior would no longer be a hot commodity, nor a consolation against life's miseries - but all those people would still be just as unemployed, just as broke, just as powerless, and just as discontent.

Deprived of Springer, they'd seek other avenues of solace and redemption - religious fundamentalism perhaps, or even worse, Communism!

If Springer's a true patriot, then, he'll choose not to run. The simple truth is that he already does more good now in his Chicago studio than he could ever do in the Capitol. Indeed, if he really wants to help America, then he should simply keep doing his show, keep making money, and donate a portion of his profits to Arnold Schwarzennegger's campaign war chest.

Posted by G. Beato at 10:35 PM | Comments (115)