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Okay, I have got to ask

I've been pondering this for the last week or so, and finally decided to bite the bullet and bring it up. This query was inspired by a few people but not directed at anyone in particular; if it applies to you, feel free to answer. If it doesn't... er, go away ;)

I'm curious about comments some of my non-American friends have made pertaining to Arnold Schwarzenegger running for govenor of California, generally along the lines of "I wish he was running for office here" or "if he was running out here, I'd vote for him".

This interests me because I know there are very few Californians who know what Arnold's stances are on various issues, even fewer (percentage-wise) people across the nation, and so - I have to assume - virtually no one outside the US who can tell me what his position is on tax increases vs spending cuts, what his involvement was with Proposition 49, his opinion on the Clinton impeachment, etc. Now, I could very well be wrong... but I'm going to take the chance that I'm not ;)

So, what is it about Arnold, the man himself, not his politics, that makes him so immediately vote-able to you outsiders? Is it just that he's Arnold Schwarzenegger, *movie star and all around cool guy*? Does it just amuse you to picture such a popular actor suddenly playing a politican? What is it?


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I know he's very conservative and that's about it. He doesn't appeal to me as a candidate, primarily because I don't think people in show business have much day-to-day experience in the kinds of things that help you really run a political office and get laws passed. Campaigning and actually doing the work are two different things.

If he and our ultra-conservative preacher-governor were the only candidates, I'd be banging my head against the wall after I voted. I'm a moderate (apparently a rare thing these days) and I don't like a lot of candidates.

I don't suppose this answers your question, but sorry, California can keep Arnie as far as I'm concerned.
I know he's very conservative and that's about it.

Broadly speaking (since that's all he's done this far), he's not so much, and already getting pounced on by other Republicans because of it. Relatively conservative fiscally, but very centrist otherwise. The Democrats are worried about leaking voters to him for more reasons than box office -- he's pro-gay rights and bilingual education, for instance. Haven't paid as close attention as I would if it were actually my state, but I have run across that much on NPR. Along with the observation that he's been doing a lot of canned statements and no real give-and-take, which if I were a California voter would concern me the most.

I'm a moderate (apparently a rare thing these days)

Not as much as people think. We're just not as noisy. ;-) Or into throwing our money around -- the real reason handlers encourage even candidates inclined to the center to align themselves further out. Just yesterday I read an article pointing to that as Schwarzenegger's biggest liability, actually -- the fact that he's refusing to compromise on things a lot of Republicans find too liberal for their blood.

I do find it impressive that a Republican of any stripe can stay successfully married to not only a Democrat but a Kennedy. But I'd still want to hear a lot more specifics from him if I were in CA.

Not that I'm answering Alli's question either, being a Yank and all. :-)
Broadly speaking (since that's all he's done this far), he's not so much

I was going to say as much, but you beat me to it ;) I would actually say he's fiscally conservative and socially liberal, but I suppose that all depends on one's definition of conservative/moderate/liberal. He's too liberal for a lot of Republicans and too conservative for a lot of Democrats, which is why I think he's aiming to appeal to the legions of people in this Godforsaken state who don't identify as either.

I'm like most people; I want to know more about him. He's not my ideal candidate, but out of the ones who have a shot he's probably the closest to the ideal. That's unfortunately what comes from living in a screwball state like CA ;)
I would actually say he's fiscally conservative and socially liberal,

Which is exactly what I typed before editing it. :-) Socially moderate-veering-toward-liberal, I think.
Well, politically, I think his career shows promise simply because of the actor/charisma factor. I hope for that reason that he's a man of substance and integrity.

I don't follow politics in other states; I don't have the energy for it. I do know I'd be very worried about the upcoming election if I lived in California, because the nutcases often attract the most loyal followings and there are enough candidates that the reasonable votes could be significantly diluted.

Bless you and the other Californians, Alli! May someone sane win!
Well, politically, I think his career shows promise simply because of the actor/charisma factor.

{nods} I'm actually kind of surprised he hasn't done it sooner, but in a way it speaks well for him that he hasn't. He could have put himself forward as a candidate for office years ago and done well; if this is prudence and genuinely the right time, and not just opportunism, then that's cool.

It also says a lot about him that he developed his political sophistication from hanging out with Kennedys (even before he started dating Maria Shriver, IIRC -- I think he was friends with Caroline Kennedy first), but matured into quite different positions. Last think you can say about him is that he's not his own man.

I hope for that reason that he's a man of substance and integrity.

Everyone who knows him seems to think so. Guess time will tell.

I don't follow politics in other states;

{shrug} Me neither; I've just been getting what blows my way in national coverage.

because the nutcases often attract the most loyal followings and there are enough candidates that the reasonable votes could be significantly diluted.

I suspect I would be perversely tempted to vote for Angelyne. But I wouldn't. ;-)

Bless you and the other Californians, Alli! May someone sane win!

Hear, hear!!
Oh, and...

I don't follow politics in other states;

I'm in Ohio. We get Jerry Springer (who has dropped out, at least; if I believed a word he said during his mercifully brief campaign it would be another story, but I so didn't) and the hopelessly crooked twinkie whose name I'm blanking on, who's been convicted of several flavors of corruption, and who is actually planning a campaign to get his seat back from prison and thinks people will still vote for him! {rolls eyes}

Arnold would probably be regarded as a welcome change if he were here, vagueness and all. He could probably technically run, too -- he has pretty substantial property here.
*glances over description of Ohio politics*

I can relate. So often it's a hold-your-nose-to-vote situation here. I find it so hard to maintain an interest in politics when I find so many of the candidates so distasteful. But I feel that if you don't vote, you can't complain, so I do, and I try to be an educated voter. It's just no fun.
Although I wouldn't vote for him, I've been thinking about your question all morning. I think I can see why folk might say what they have and I think there are several factors in play...

Firstly, compared to the homogenised, slippery, slimy morass that are our (in a global sense) politicians, he's different. People like 'different', particularly when it has a 'shoot now, ask questions later' attitude. In this country, I think everyone is sick and tired of too much talking and spin, and not enough doing... and he epitomises 'doing'.

Also, although I admire your youthful naivete, I really don't think an awful lot of people consider what a candidate's views on a certain issue are before deciding to vote for them. They work on the 'I've always voted for the #### party, so that's who I'll vote for this time' principle or even 'I don't like him... his eyes are too close together'. So I don't think the fact that no-one has any idea where Arnie stands on various issues has much relevance at all.

I don't think there's an intrinsic problem with an actor becoming a politician - it's been done before, even here. I think it's the image Arnie projects in his films that is more important - no-one will mess with him, and by implication, your country/state/town.

Am I cynical? If the subject is politics in any shape or form... hell, yes!

Anyhow, just MHO

They work on the 'I've always voted for the #### party, so that's who I'll vote for this time'

Well, that's what makes Arnold interesting... at least to me. He isn't a typical representative of his party... those are on the ballot too. What he's trying to do is tap into the roughly 50% of people who don't vote, the 'I'm fed up with the status quo' factor.

I do think people here will vote for him simply because he is who he is, or just because they want to say that Ah-nold is their govenor. But as screwed-up as this state is right now, I also think that more people than usual want to know what his platform is, what his plans are for making things better... at least in a fiscal, economy-repairing way. They're not so much interested in his social stances at the moment because that's not what's suffered under our current moron-- er, govenor.
Ah-nold
Not exactly international here, but not a native of California, either. After watching him on Leno a few weeks ago, I would say that he is a rather eloquent speaker, in that he knows how to weave his words so precisely and make people listen. That is usually a big draw. A friend commented that he knows how to manage money and that should help the state out should he win. But a lot of people I know who say they would vote for him would do so because they believe he is a good guy and better than Gov. Davis.