Life Without the Governator?

The biggest story in the news Tuesday is word that action star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had a child out of wedlock a decade ago.

Scandals of this sort aren’t exactly stunning anymore when it comes to political figures (see Edwards, John). Many act out and become punching bags for comedians. But the revelation did come as a shock to Schwarzenegger’s family, whom he informed after leaving office in January.

An interesting question is: What would California look like today if voters had known the truth about Schwarzenegger’s actions before he was elected governor in a 2003 recall election? Infidelity is generally a career-killer in politics, and Schwarzenegger had basically no experience before winning the 2003 recall election of then-Governor Gray Davis.

Schwarzenegger was the most notable name in a field of 135 candidates, which included a porn star and the late Gary Coleman, and he rode the popularity of his film career to the Capitol.

It’s a hypothetical, but would voters have overlooked the fact that Schwarzenegger had a kid with a married woman who worked in his home? And if not, who would have been elected? Would things be better or worse?

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. > An interesting question is: . . . .

    The REALLY interesting questions are:

    1. Who knew?

    2. When did they know?

    3. Did money change hands to keep tongues from wagging?

    4. Were any laws broken?

    5. Did the Attorney General know?

    6. If the Attorney General knew, what did the Attorney General do?

    7. If the Attorney General knows that a high government is susceptible to blackmail, is the Attorney General obligated to do anything?

    And, by the way, whatever became of the Attorney General at the time this was occurring?

  2. Having a tryst with the wife of his loyal campaign manager didn’t seem to hurt Gavin Newsom’s performance at the polls. Granted he fathered no child, but a good argument could be made that, unlike Arnold’s paramour, Newsom’s partner was enamored by the promise in his jeans, not the potential in his genes.

    • > So much coverage for so little. Who gives a sh**t!?

      Right!  Who cares if the government and politicians are scummy and corrupt.

      So long as the steal from other people and put nice things in your supperdish.

  3. For decades, we have been giving a pass to politicians caught misbehaving. From Teddy Kennedy’s getting away with manslaughter to Bill Clinton having sex with “that woman,” it’s obvious that nobody really cares. Why pick on Arnold? He’s lost his family already.

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