From Celebrity to Politician
Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor of California, not because he supported the issues of the majority, nor because he had a plan to solve California’s economic crisis, but because the economy was failing and he rose to the “occasion.” His popularity in the movie industry gave him the “face” he needed to win the reelection. As easy as it seemed, how did Arnold manage to be so successful in his campaign? He is a popular figure with almost no experience in politics. Known for his star role in “Terminator,” how did his figure affect his chances of getting elected governor of the most populous state in the nation?
“California is accustomed to watching movie stars and entertainers plunge into politics – Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood, the late Sonny Bono” (Sanchez). Californians love to watch celebrities take up roles in politics. In fact, they are so sick and tired of politicians making the same promises over and over again that they prefer to have people who don’t specify their goals right out. So in this situation, Arnold is the celebrity, presenting himself as the hero, who promises to relieve California of its debts. ‘He’s something different. He’s not a politician (Sanchez),’ stated Lori Lateer of Pasadena, 49, a vice president of a manufacturing firm. Isn’t that what everyone wants to hear? He’s got the style, he’s got public appeal, and he most definitely has the money to go along with them.
So what’s wrong with California now? The only problem is the tremendous amount of debt accumulated over the years. What makes people think that Arnold will be able to restore California? At one of his campaign tours around the state, people waited two hours to hear him speak. This was compared to “the feeling like Kennedy had, to speak to maybe 50,000 people at one time and having the cheer” (Sanchez). When Arnold approached each town, people would sing along to his blaring rock anthem: “we’re not going to take it anymore” (Sanchez)! The majority of Californians had already felt that Governor Gray Davis performed badly and was not able to alleviate the situation much more. As mentioned before, people had lost faith in politicians, and they want a whole different kind of governor. They prefer to hear the impossible rather than unkept promises. Arnold was able to use this to his advantage. Along with his amazing speeches through his campaign, he used “more than $10 million of his personal wealth and a relentless throw-the-bums-out battle cry to attract legions of disgruntled voters yearning for a postcard California where car taxes never triple and economic good times are as reliable as the sunshine” (Sanchez). “In the exit polls Tuesday, 61 percent of those who supported the novice Republican said they believe he can erase multibillion-dollar deficits without raising taxes, a feat that even some of his top economic advisors have questioned” (Sanchez).
Arnold must have been...