Next month California will inaugurate its governor for the next four years. The invitation to the inaugural ball will read Gov. Gray Davis and wife Sharon.
It should read Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver. Arnold received more votes than Davis in last month's general election — 500,000 more. You just think Davis beat Bill Simon for governor. “The Terminator” won. The news media just missed it.
Don't believe me?
Davis received 3.5 million votes to Simon's 2.7 million. Schwarzenegger received 3.6 million votes.
OK, Arnold's name was not on the ballot, but there was Proposition 49, a ballot initiative asking voters to approve more than $500 million to fund after school programs in every elementary and junior high school in the state.
Arnold launched the after-school initiative; spearheaded the drive to get it on the ballot, and championed it to victory with 3.6 million votes of approval. Proposition 49 and Arnold were one.
He campaigned hard to win approval. He won endorsement from Democratic and Republican officeholders alike. It was such a popular campaign that two months before the election there was grassroots campaign for a Schwarzenegger write-in campaign for governor. That was partly because of his popularity. It also was partly because people were already tired of the sleazy campaign Davis and Simon were running that only got worse.
Schwarzenegger considered running for the Republican nomination for governor early on, but rejected it and summarily rejected the notion of a write-in campaign. He did not want to distract from his after-school initiative.
Now what? Let me be the first to announce the launch of the “2006 Schwarzenegger for Governor Campaign.” We need you Arnold. We need “The Terminator.” You can win. You did in 2002!
Your likely opponent? Meathead! Yep, Rob Reiner — Meathead from “All in the Family.” No joke. Reiner is a politically active Democrat. Reiner's movie scream of Democratic activism; “A Few Good Men,” “American President” and “Ghosts of Mississippi.”
Imagine Meathead vs. the Terminator for governor of California. It would be a campaign for the ages. No more sleazy droids running for office who have everyone begging for a none-of-the-above choice; No more people needing jobs and running for political office because they cannot find work in the real world.
A gubernatorial race between a New York-born actor who will forever be known as Archie Bunker's liberal live-in nemesis vs. conservative Austrian-born Mr. Universe who is married to a member of the Kennedy clan! Heart be still. A political campaign like none other.
If Ronald Reagan and Sonny Bono can do it, why not Meathead or The Terminator?
Please, please give us hope that there is a chance of that happening.
I would walk on my hands and knees in blinding snow (OK, it never snows in Fresno) in November 2006 to vote for California's next governor if given those two choices.