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Posted by on Jul 14, 2008 in At TMV, Politics | 9 comments

“The Terminator” Gambit

Movie poster from “The Terminator” (1984). Courtesy: Orion PicturesWhat is going on behind the scenes of the Arnold Schwarzenegger / Barack Obama love fest? In December of 2007, Obama made a public statement that he would be willing to offer the California Governor a spot on his cabinet. Yesterday, Schwarzenegger returns the volley by stating “I’d take his call now and I’d take his call when he’s President, anytime.”

I can understand the politics of Obama offering the olive branch to the Governor of the nation’s most populous state before the California primary, but what does Arnold hope to gain from this alliance? I can even understand the pragmatic need for Obama to reach out to Schwarzenegger during the general election, but why should Arnold return the favor besides the obvious point that all of his in-laws are huge Obama supporters, what is the political payoff for him? The key point to remember is that if Schwarzenegger wishes to stay in politics he is limited to only a few options of public service. The Constitution of the United States Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 is the prohibition against Arnold’s run for the Presidency. However, he can not be Vice-President either, as the Twelfth Amendment states “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

He is term-limited as Governor and his second term is up in 2010. There are rumors that he may run for the U.S. Senate to replace Barbara Boxer, if she retires. If he does not run for the Senate, his only option for political service is in a presidential administration.

In my opinion, Schwarzenegger is playing both sides of the political universe. He has already endorsed McCain and has handed an olive branch to Obama.

Ultimately, it comes down to the Electoral College. If Obama loses California, the race is a landslide victory for McCain and Arnold will have a choice of either running for the Senate or receiving a Cabinet portfolio. If Obama wins, Arnold will be one of a few moderate Republicans who will serve on Obama’s cabinet. No matter what the outcome is on November 4th, Schwarzenegger will be gainfully employed on January 20, 2009.

The big question is will the “Terminator” serve on the side of good or bad for the United States. In the three films, his character went from hunting John Conner to saving him twice. In 2008, lifelong Republican Schwarzenegger may go to work for a Democrat…sounds like an example of real life imitating art.

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