Schwarzenegger said Tuesday he would not enter the sparse GOP field that would seek to replace embattled Gov. Gray Davis next year. The actor cited movie obligations and a desire to spend time with his four young children.
"I have to be selfless at this point … and take care of those things," Schwarzenegger said.
Despite being a political novice, Schwarzenegger enjoys national name recognition and has been active in Republican politics. Some political analysts in the state had opined that the actor, with his relatively moderate stances on social issues, might have had a good chance of ousting Davis, much as fellow actor Ronald Reagan did to the incumbent when he was elected governor in the 1960s.
The GOP contenders are now limited to Secretary of State Bill Jones, the only announced candidate.
"It eliminates the Jesse Ventura scenario, the person who gets elected on star power irrespective of politics," University of California, Berkeley political science professor Bruce Cain told the Los Angeles Times. "It puts you back into the more mundane class of people … as likely Republican candidates."
Democrat strategists told the Times that Davis should not feel too comfortable because of the sticky electricity crunch that could result in a rash of blackouts and higher utility bills this summer.
"Davis' problems are about the energy crisis and not really who his potential opponent is going to be," said Bill Carrick, a strategist who is not affiliated with the governor's campaign. "Republicans will continue to be very bold in recruiting and, as Arnold shows, they're willing to consider some decidedly 'un-Republican' ideas to field a competitive candidate."
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