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Tag: arnold schwarzenegger

GOP Strategists Dread Elder's Looming Defeat In Recall

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The last time a Democratic governor faced a recall election in California, the Republican candidate prevailed. In October 2003, Californians voted to replace Democratic Gov. Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. But 18 years later, Gov. Gavin Newsom's main GOP challenger is someone much more controversial and divisive than the moderate Schwarzenegger: far-right radio host Larry Elder — and California Republicans, according to the conservative Washington Examiner, now fear that they may have blown a chance to unseat Newsom.

Rob Stutzman, a Sacramento-based Republican strategist who advised Schwarzenegger in 2003, told the Examiner, "Newsom has successfully framed the race as him versus Elder, and Democratic voters are responding by voting. Elder has no appeal outside of GOP voters."

The 69-year-old Elder is much different from Schwarzenegger, who leans conservative but isn't far-right. Schwarzenegger has been vehemently critical of former President Donald Trump, whereas Elder is an in-your-face Trump apologist in a state that Trump lost to now-President Joe Biden by 29 percent in the 2020 presidential election. Schwarzenegger, in contrast, had a lot more crossover appeal; many Democrats voted for him in 2003, and he was reelected in 2006. The Austria-born action film star turned politician is a textbook example of how a Republican can win a gubernatorial race in a deep blue state — not unlike Gov. Charlie Baker in Massachusetts or Gov. Phil Scott in Vermont.

Elder courts controversy. In July, Elder offended many people when, in July, he told right-wing pundit Candace Owens that arguably, former slaveowners were owed reparations after the Civil War because the federal government took their "property" away from them. But while "owning the liberals" and making outrageous comments can draw ratings in right-wing talk radio or on Fox News, it isn't a good strategy in a state as Democratic as California.

Larry Elder on reparations for slave owners and Candace Owens in complete agreement. Unbelievable! www.youtube.com

Regardless, Democratic organizers and strategists are leaving nothing to chance. Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are among the major Democrats who have either visited California to campaign for Newsom or plan to do so.

The Examiner's David M. Drucker explains, "Earlier this summer, Democratic strategists who lived through the 2003 recall worried Newsom could be toppled despite California becoming a deeper shade of blue since then. Some believe this recall might have ended similarly if a centrist, such as former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, emerged as the consensus GOP contender. Elder's swift rise after entering the race late compared to the rest of the Republican field has them breathing a huge sigh of relief."

Conservative pundit Tim Miller, a Never Trumper and ex-Republican who supported Biden in 2020, views Elder as an extremist and believes that Republicans would have been much better off if Faulconer, not Elder, were the GOP frontrunner in the recall election. In a video posted on the conservative website The Bulwark earlier this week, Miller said of Faulconer, "He's a moderate Republican former mayor of San Diego. He wants to address climate change and supports citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Sounds like my kinda guy. But of course, he also voted for [Donald] Trump." And Miller slammed Elder as "basically a walking Boomer Facebook meme" who has "made countless crazy statements."

Tim Miller on WTF Is Going On With The California Recall www.youtube.com

California Republicans, according to Drucker, "claim Elder squandered opportunities to hobble Newsom when he was on the ropes." A California-based GOP consultant, presumably interviewed on condition of anonymity, believes that if Newsom survives the recall, Elder will be to blame.

That Republican told the Examiner, "Before Elder, the race was all about Gavin, and our polls were looking very good. If the election had been four or more weeks ago, we would have won."

#EndorseThis: Arnold Schwarzenegger Powerfully Condemns Trump And MAGA Rioters

World-class bodybuilder, movie star, and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a seven-plus minute video calling for unity to his Twitter account, in which he powerfully condemns the violence that MAGA rioters showed storming the Capitol building in the name of our very own president.

Speaking emotionally about the Nazi past in his Austrian homeland, and how it affected him as a child, Schwarzenegger compares January 6 to The Night of Broken Glass -- the murderous assault by Nazis on innocent Jewish communities in the prelude to World.

Watch this. It's remarkable.


What Did Billionaire Donor Get Out Of His Relationship With The Clintons? An Education, He Says

By Evan Halper, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Befriending Bill and Hillary Clinton — and giving them access to his private 757 jet — gave Ron Burkle more insight into world affairs than any graduate program might have.

At one point the billionaire businessman was on half of all the trips the former president made abroad. Burkle says he met 47 world leaders in 47 countries. There was a private meeting Clinton held with Nelson Mandela that went on for hours; Burkle was in the room.

Burkle, who never finished college, says he found the travel so enlightening that he structured his son’s schooling around it, arranging for a private tutor to join them on the jet so his child could join the international trips with Clinton.

“I’m not a political junkie,” Burkle said. “I’m not trying to become an ambassador or be in the middle of every election every cycle. … A lot of people are in it because they want to go to the parties or be on the Kennedy Center Board. It is not about that for me.”

Burkle talked about the experiences during an expansive interview with the Los Angeles Times this week, in which he also expressed ambivalence about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, reflected on his now-dissolved $15 million business partnership with Bill Clinton and explained why he is cohosting a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate John Kasich.

The trips became a springboard for the billionaire jetsetter to put his own mark on international affairs. UCLA is home to the Burkle Center for International Relations, now prominent on the circuit of world leaders and diplomats visiting Los Angeles.

The investor talks about politics as a kind of entryway to more interesting people and pursuits.

In the case of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., his enthusiasm for her career led him into a friendship with her husband, Richard Blum, a fellow billionaire who also has a taste for adventure and international exploration.

“I just think her husband is a fascinating and complex guy,” Burkle said. “He spends time with the Dalai Lama. He has a foundation in the Himalayas. … He and I just became friends.”

Burkle, who is perhaps the world’s most successful supermarket magnate, says he began working in his dad’s store at an early age and spent his life singularly focused on working and investing until well into his 30s.

“I wasn’t curious about anything but work and making money,” he said. “Then I got curious about art. I got curious about politics and international relations.”

Like most big donors, he says there was nothing transactional at all about his plunge into high-stakes political giving. And as is typically the case, such protestations are met with skepticism. The close political relationships have been undeniably good for his business.

Burkle has boosted the careers of politicians who went on to control pension funds that invest massive amounts with his firm, Yucaipa. He’s had a former president on his payroll, ostensibly able to open doors nobody else can.

When Burkle did not want embarrassing details in his divorce records available to the public, California lawmakers and a governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to whom he had been donating generously passed a state law allowing him to seal them.

Burkle insisted the legislation was not crafted at his behest, but it became known in Sacramento as the “Burkle bill” nonetheless.

Now, his value to Democratic politics lies not just in his checkbook — but also in his house.

The property known as Greenacres, once owned by silent film star Harold Lloyd, is host to some three dozen fundraising events each year, often for Democrats or progressive causes.

Burkle estimates more than $200 million has been raised there for candidates and nonprofits since he moved in in the 1990s.

Even fellow high-rollers in Hollywood, who grumble that Burkle never stepped up to write multimillion dollar checks to super PACs the way other liberal billionaires have, lament that Hillary Clinton does not currently have access to the fundraising machine that is Greenacres.

“I bought a house that has its own life, independent of me,” Burkle said.

He became enamored with the property when he attended a fundraiser there. The event, he recalls, was very much an introduction to life on the high-stakes political fundraising circuit, particularly in Los Angeles.

“The first time I went to a fundraiser there, the tickets were $1,000 and $5,000,” he said. “I asked, ‘What’s the difference?’ They said, ‘Parking.’”

Burkle’s ambivalence about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is puzzling to other Democratic power players.

The Clintons are known to value loyalty. And Burkle may ultimately test whether he can step back in the inner circle after stepping so far out of it. He’s raising money for Kasich but leaving open the possibility that he will rejoin the Clintons soon enough.

©2016 Tribune Co. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton addresses a campaign rally for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, in Nashua, New Hampshire January 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder 

 

Late Night Roundup: Supreme Court Hazing?

Stephen Colbert got yet another major guest for his new Late Show: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. And the two of them discussed the debate over whether there should be cameras in the Supreme Court itself. And for one thing, Colbert had a point: It sure would help with book promotion.

Larry Wilmore looked at the new conservative icon Kim Davis’ continued refusal to sign marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky: “Hmm, so you’re telling me Kim Davis is collecting a government paycheck in order to sit around and let everyone else do all the work? I thought we called people liked that ‘welfare queens.'”

And unfortunately the far-right, heavily-armed “Oath Keeper” movement is also trying to get involved here. And so Larry interviewed some “real” Oath Keepers about how they like showing up in public and waving around their guns.

Conan O’Brien highlighted the news that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the new host of Celebrity Apprentice — and gave a sneak preview of what Arnold’s catchphrases on the show might be.

On a serious note, Seth Meyers discussed the NYPD’s tackling of tennis star James Blake, and the surrounding issues of racial profiling and excessive force.

Schwarzenegger Is Back — Taking Over For Donald Trump on ‘The Apprentice’

Donald Trump is out.

Not out of the presidential race – don’t you worry— but The Celebrity Apprentice, the show that we’d all have forgotten about, if it weren’t for Trump blowing it up every few weeks.

But cue the machine guns, the “I’ll be back” jokes, the bad Austrian accents.

Because Arnold Schwarzenegger is in.

The former California governor was tapped by NBC to head the long-running reality show, which has been on the air since 2004, although the last version of its non-celebrity companion show (The Apprentice) aired in 2010. Non-celebrity winners of the latter show won a year-long gig running one of Trump’s companies, while the money that celebrity winners won went to charity.

According to the network, while serving as California governor from 2004 to 2010, Schwarzenegger managed more than 300,000 state employees and a budget in the hundreds of billions. This in addition to being a highly successful international action-movie star.

Trump tweeted his blessings, saying that he had to give up his Apprentice role because he was running for president, and equal-time rules prevented him from appearing on an entertainment program.

Although NBC has certainly touted Trump when promoting The Apprentice in the past, management has been rather displeased with the man of late. After he kicked off his campaign with racist comments about Mexicans, the network said it was ending its business relationship with Trump, refusing to air the beauty pageants the mogul owns. Trump had settled his legal disputes with NBC as of last week. As part of the settlement, he purchased its stake in the Miss Universe Organization.

Schwarzenegger – whose Twitter profile image features the LGBT-pride rainbow stripes superimposed on a picture of his iconic Terminator character wielding a shotgun  – tweeted his gratitude:

His Twitter bio reads: “I told you I’d be back.”

The Celebrity Apprentice with Arnold Schwarzenegger is scheduled for the 2016-2017 season on NBC.

Photo: It’s muscle now, not bluster. Gage Skidmore/Flickr 

O.J. Simpson As The Terminator? Schwarzenegger Looks Back On Getting Iconic Role

By Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee (TNS)

LOS ANGELES — The plot of Terminator Genisys, the latest in the dystopian series about man vs. machine, suggests history can be changed with a tweak of the timeline. If James Cameron hadn’t been so insistent in 1984 that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the perfect person to star as the killing machine in The Terminator, the franchise would have had a very different look.

When Schwarzenegger met with Cameron to discuss the low-budget sci-fi film, the actor wanted to play Kyle Reese. He’s the good guy human sent from the future to protect Sarah Connor. While doing that, Reese ends up fathering the man who sent him back through time.

“As far as I knew, O.J. Simpson was going to play the Terminator. When I met with James Cameron I started talking more and more about the Terminator. How he has to train and prepare for this part. How he has to act like a machine,” Schwarzenegger says. “The whole lunch went like that. James Cameron asked me, ‘So, why do you want to play Reese?'”

Schwarzenegger wanted the role of the hero. The future California governor believed that he had his film career heading in the right direction having played the heroic Conan in two successful feature films. There was no way that he wanted to go back to being the bad guy.

He also didn’t like that the Terminator only had 27 lines.

“I liked Kyle Reese, who said a lot. But, (Cameron) said the most memorable character will be the Terminator. He said I should be the Terminator and that he would make sure that I didn’t have to think about the villains aspect,” Schwarzenegger says.

Cameron talked Schwarzenegger into playing the Terminator. Michael Biehn ended up playing Reese and Simpson went on to a different kind of notoriety.

The decision proved to be one of the biggest in Schwarzenegger’s career. The film not only was it a hit at the box office, taking in more than $38 million, The Terminator became one of the most iconic characters in film history.

By the second movie, 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Schwarzenegger’s character had been re-programmed to be a protector and he got to play the good guy. The character often gets described as one of film’s greatest heroes and greatest villains. The American Film Institute listed The Terminator at No. 22 on its list of Top 50 film villains and No. 48 among movie heroes.

It’s been a dozen years since Schwarzenegger last played the character in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. He said he was willing to slip back into the role he originated more than three decades ago for Terminator Genisys because of the writing.

“There are some people who are capable of making a sequel more special that the original. James Cameron outdid himself with the sequel and it became the highest grossing movie in 1991,” Schwarzenegger says.

“This time, (Genisys director) Alan Taylor, the writers, and producers have done an extraordinary job that really lives up to the standard of the event.”

His version of the T-800 (Model 101) has dramatically changed since the first movie. In the original, the sole motivation of the character was to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) as a way of protecting the machines of the future. In Genisys, the T-800 has become a fill-in father for Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke).

Schwarzenegger sees the character as being far more colorful.

There is more than one version of the character to play: a very young version and a far more mature edition. In one scene, the old and new T-800 end up in a fight that took a year of special effects to create.

Schwarzenegger praises the body double who helped create the fight scene.

“After three or four days of doing this fight scenes and doing all these crazy stunts, I was always wondering how they were gong to do the face replacement,” Schwarzenegger says. “When I finally saw it, the technology is so advanced, you can do so much. It looks like two Arnolds fighting.”

A lot has happened for Schwarzenegger — professionally, politically, personally — since he took Cameron’s advice for the 1984 film. If he could time travel like the characters in the movie, Schwarzenegger wouldn’t waste time hoping back to 1984. He would go back in time to the early days of the pyramids.

As for changing anything that’s gone on in his life, Schwarzenegger says: “I am perfectly fine with my life. I am very happy and want to keep it that way.”

(c)2015 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: (Melissa Sue Gordon/Paramount Pictures/TNS)

Late Night Roundup: Larry Wilmore Crashes Bill O’Reilly’s Party

Larry Wilmore gave some accolades to Alabama, after Governor Robert Bentley (R) unilaterally ordered the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds. “They took down their four Confederate fla— wait, what the f**k were they flying four Confederate flags?! Four?!”

Larry also looked at Bill O’Reilly’s coverage of how racism in America is totally over — which, of course, was a panel of all-white contributors. And so Larry made things right — by inserting himself into the panel, in order to give some aerial support to the one liberal guest against Bill’s flip responses. “‘So what’?! Slavery gets a ‘So what’?!”

Jon Stewart highlighted the great cultural awakening against displays of the Confederate flag, in a segment called: “Huh, I Guess It Is Pretty F#@kin’ Weird That We Fly A Flag In Honor Of A Pro-Slavery Secessionist Army.”

Conan O’Brien highlighted the campaign launch of Bobby Jindal, as the first Indian-American to run for president, as well as the upcoming campaign for Chris Christie: “One guy who’s been to New Delhi — and one guy who’s been to every deli.”

Jimmy Fallon teamed up with Arnold Schwarzenegger, for a special game called “Brainstorm.”

And Seth Meyers reunited with his great co-host from Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” feature, the one and only Amy Poehler, for a “Really!?!” take on the badmouthing of women’s sports.

Late Night Roundup: Obama And Letterman — And Retirement

President Obama sat down with David Letterman last night, with the two discussing their plans for retirement. And it turns out that one of them wants to teach law at Columbia.

Jon Stewart and the rest of The Daily Show crew discussed the shooting in Texas, at an anti-Muslim group’s Muhammad cartoon event. And he also discussed another news story in Texas: The state’s paranoia about the U.S. Army’s training exercises in the state — which are meant to help protect them from terrorism.

Larry Wilmore looked at Ben Carson’s presidential campaign announcement, along with the reactions of Republican presidential candidates (or a lack of reaction) to the unrest in Baltimore.

Conan O’Brien also highlighted the Ben Carson announcement — and some of the unusual things about Carson’s status as a Tea Party politicians.

Ryan Seacrest told Jimmy Kimmel that the upcoming episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians will focus on Bruce Jenner’s gender transition — including the meeting in which Bruce told the rest of the family.

James Corden did another great performance piece: Celebrating all of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies, with the man himself.