Total Recall: Winners and Losers
The Hiller Instinct: Total Recall: Winners and Losers
The Terminator's triumph has coat tails, Schwarzenegger's success makes all celebrity candidates winners. So there's still time for all the celebrities who've thought about running for president in the past to think about it again.
Don't forget that Arnold isn't the first Hollywood heavy to go from the big screen to Sacramento -- Reagan.
President Bush is a winner even though he never campaigned with Arnold. The "Total Recall" gives Bush a republican beachhead in a state the democrats must win to win the White House. And all the attention on California meant less coverage of the war in Iraq, another benefit to Bush.
Governor Arnold generates new interest in politics, but expect many more stories about his physical past than his fiscal plans. So put the media, from political reporters to people magazine, on the list of winners.
Gray Davis lost last night, but he may not be the biggest loser. As his wife said before the vote, "...my husband went to Stanford and Columbia. I think we'll be all right." Which may not be true for Maria Shriver, who I'd say lost more than she won.
The campaign made Shriver her husband's chief defender against charges of sexual misconduct, not a place any woman would choose to be. And becoming California's first lady isn't necessarily a promotion from being one of the first ladies of network news.
You can also count Bill Clinton as a loser. Clinton came back to try to help Davis, but there was no comeback for the comeback kid's choice in California. Our final loser is Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney...
Politically incorrect remarks about Ted Kennedy cost him a chance to campaign with Arnold and claim some credit for the victory. And now Romney may not even be the best looking man at the next republican governor's conference.
But, with Davis gone, Romney can take some comfort in having the best gubernatorial hair in either party.
Arnold is a movie star, not a magician. And not even Hollywood has special effects that could make California's giant budget deficit disappear. Schwarzenegger shocked and awed his opponents in the recall, but, like the U.S. Army in Iraq, the more important question is -- now what?