“I’ll be back.” No, Arnold Schwarzenegger did not utter those words upon moving out of the California governor’s mansion in 2011. But political types are intrigued by his mulling a run at Dianne Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat in the 2018 midterm election. The Golden State’s senior senator will be 85 by then.
Politico reported that Schwarzenegger spokesman Daniel Ketchell did not rule out a possible Senate run when asked to respond to the speculation. “Right now Gov. Schwarzenegger’s focus is on using his platform to bring some sensibility and coherency to Washington by fighting for redistricting reform, like we did in California,’’ he told the site via email Thursday. “We are keeping all of our options open as far as how we can accomplish that.”
The news comes amid the action star’s running feud with another showbiz personality-turned-politician: President Donald Trump, the man he replaced as host of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice. Schwarzenegger said last week that he won’t be returning to the reality stalwart — because “with Trump being involved in the show [as executive producer], people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show. It’s a very divisive period now.” Would his running for Senate, possibly as an independent, be a way to ramp up his public brawl with Trump, with whom he differs on a number of political issues, most notably climate change? The media would gobble it up.
The former seven-time Mr. Olympia bodybuilding legend famously crashed the governorship as a Republican in 2003, after Democrat Gray Davis was ousted in a recall election. (Back then, some University of California students’ diplomas were signed by Davis, then literally whited out and re-signed by Schwarzenegger.) A run for national office could create a media firestorm similar to the one lit by Trump in July 2015. Stay tuned…