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Sunday, May 2, 2010
Schwarzenegger began weight-training at fifteen. He was awarded the title of Mr. Universe at age 22 and went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest a total of seven times. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent face in the bodybuilding sport long after his retirement, and has written several books and numerous articles on the sport.
Schwarzenegger gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon, noted for his lead role in such films as Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator. He was nicknamed the "Austrian Oak" and the "Styrian Oak" in his bodybuilding days, "Arnold Strong" and "Arnie" during his acting career, and more recently the "Governator" (a portmanteau of "Governor" and "Terminator").
As a Republican, he was first elected on October 7, 2003, in a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger was sworn in on November 17, 2003, to serve the remainder of Davis's term. Schwarzenegger was then re-elected on November 7, 2006, in California's 2006 gubernatorial election, to serve a full term as governor, defeating Democrat Phil Angelides, who was California State Treasurer at the time. Schwarzenegger was sworn in for a second term on January 5, 2007.
Schwarzenegger is married to journalist Maria Shriver. The two have four children
Governor of California
President George W. Bush meets with Schwarzenegger after his successful election to the California GovernorshipSchwarzenegger announced his candidacy in the 2003 California recall election for Governor of California on the August 6, 2003 episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. As a candidate in the recall election, Schwarzenegger had the most name recognition in a crowded field of candidates, but he had never held public office and his political views were unknown to most Californians. His candidacy immediately became national and international news, with media outlets dubbing him the "Governator" (referring to The Terminator movies, see above) and "The Running Man" (the name of another one of his films), and calling the recall election "Total Recall" (yet another Schwarzenegger starrer). Schwarzenegger declined to participate in several debates with other recall replacement candidates, and appeared in only one debate on September 24, 2003.
On October 7, 2003, the recall election resulted in Governor Gray Davis being removed from office with 55.4% of the Yes vote in favor of a recall. Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California under the second question on the ballot with 48.6% of the vote to choose a successor to Davis. Schwarzenegger defeated Democrat Cruz Bustamante, fellow Republican Tom McClintock, and others. His nearest rival, Bustamante, received 31% of the vote. In total, Schwarzenegger won the election by about 1.3 million votes. Under the regulations of the California Constitution, no runoff election was required. Schwarzenegger was the first foreign-born governor of California since Irish-born Governor John G. Downey in 1862.
As soon as Schwarzenegger was elected governor, Willie Brown said he would start a drive to recall the governor. Schwarzenegger was equally entrenched in what he considered to be his mandate in cleaning up gridlock. Building on a catchphrase from a sketch partly parodying his bodybuilding career, Schwarzenegger called the Democratic State politicians "girlie men" (a reference from a Saturday Night Live sketch called "Hans and Franz").
The Governor's office in the California State CapitolSchwarzenegger's early victories included repealing an unpopular increase in the vehicle registration fee as well as preventing driver's licenses being given out to illegal immigrants, but later began to feel the backlash when powerful state unions began to oppose his various initiatives. Key among his reckoning with political realities was a special election he called in November 2005, in which four ballot measures he sponsored were defeated. Schwarzenegger accepted personal responsibility for the defeats and vowed to continue to seek consensus for the people of California. He would later comment that "no one could win if the opposition raised 160 million dollars to defeat you".
Schwarzenegger then went against the advice of fellow Republican strategists and appointed a Democrat, Susan Kennedy, as his Chief of Staff. Schwarzenegger gradually moved towards a more politically moderate position, determined to build a winning legacy with only a short time to go until the next gubernatorial election.
He has appeared alongside his fellow actor from Around the World in 80 Days, Jackie Chan, in a government advertisement to combat copyright infringement.
Schwarzenegger ran for re-election against Democrat Phil Angelides, the California State Treasurer, in the 2006 elections, held on November 7, 2006. Despite a poor year nationally for the Republican party, Schwarzenegger won re-election with 56.0% of the vote compared with 38.9% for Angelides, a margin of well over one million votes. In recent years, many commentators have seen Schwarzenegger as moving away from the right and towards the center of the political spectrum. After hearing a speech by Schwarzenegger at the 2006 Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom said that, "[H]e's becoming a Democrat [... H]e's running back, not even to the center. I would say center-left".
It is rumored that Schwarzenegger may run for the United States Senate in 2010, as his governorship will be term-limited by that time.
With Schwarzenegger and Senator Dianne Feinstein behind him, President George W. Bush comments on wildfires and firefighting efforts in California, October 2007Wendy Leigh, who wrote an unofficial biography on Schwarzenegger, claims he plotted his political rise from an early age using the movie business and bodybuilding as building blocks to escape a depressing home. Leigh portrays Schwarzenegger as obsessed with power and quotes him as saying, "I wanted to be part of the small percentage of people who were leaders, not the large mass of followers. I think it is because I saw leaders use 100% of their potential –I was always fascinated by people in control of other people." Schwarzenegger has said that it was never his intention to enter politics, but he says, "I married into a political family. You get together with them and you hear about policy, about reaching out to help people. I was exposed to the idea of being a public servant and Eunice and Sargent Shriver became my heroes."Eunice Kennedy Shriver was sister of John F. Kennedy, and mother-in-law to Schwarzenegger, Sargent Shriver is husband to Eunice and father-in-law to Schwarzenegger. According to the 2005 Year-in-Review issue of Time magazine, supporters of Schwarzenegger are hoping to amend the Constitution so that he can run for President of the United States; he currently cannot run because he is not a natural born citizen of the United States. In The Simpsons Movie, Schwarzenegger is portrayed as the President, and in the Sylvester Stallone movie, Demolition Man, it is revealed that a constitutional amendment passed which allowed Schwarzenegger to run for President.
Schwarzenegger is a dual Austria/United States citizen. He holds Austrian citizenship by birth and has held U.S. citizenship since becoming naturalized in 1983. Being Austrian and thus European, he was able to win the 2007 European Voice campaigner of the year award for taking action against climate change with the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and plans to introduce an emissions trading scheme with other US states and possibly with the EU. Still, Schwarzenegger has always identified with his American citizenship, and has shown great affinity for the state of California beyond his foreign birth.
Because of his personal wealth from his acting career, Schwarzenegger does not accept his governor's salary of $175,000 per year.
Schwarzenegger's endorsement in the Republican primary of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election was highly sought; despite being good friends with candidates Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain, Schwarzenegger remained neutral throughout 2007 and early 2008. Giuliani dropped out of the Presidential race on January 30, 2008, largely because of a poor showing in Florida, and endorsed McCain. Later that night, Schwarzenegger was in the audience at a Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The following day, he endorsed McCain, joking, "It's Rudy's fault!" (in reference to his friendships with both candidates and that he could not make up his mind). Schwarzenegger's endorsement was thought to be a boost for Senator McCain's campaign; both spoke about their concerns for the environment and economy.