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Schwarzenegger’s Decision To Run For Governor Was On A Whim

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Schwarzenegger's Decision To Run For Governor Was On A Whim

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Photo credit by AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SANTA MONICA (CBS SF)  – Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has told a magazine that the decision to run for governor was made on a whim, on the way to a TV appearance and that even wife Maria Shriver was surprised by the bombshell.

In the upcoming November 2011 interview with Vanity Fair titled “California Iron Man“, Schwarzenegger recalls the night on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” when he announced his bid to run for governor.  “I just thought, this will freak everyone out,” he told Vanity Fair’s Michael Lewis. “It’ll be so funny. I’ll announce that I am running. I told Leno I was running. And two months later I was governor.”

During the 2003 Gray Davis recall uproar, Schwarzenegger was constantly approached on his intentions on what he was going to “do” about it (his political aspirations). “I thought about it but decided I wasn’t going to do it. I told Maria I wasn’t running. I told everyone I wasn’t running. I wasn’t running,” he said. “I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a staff. I wasn’t running until I went on Jay Leno.”

Originally, Schwarzenegger’s appearance on the late night talk show was to promote his upcoming sequel, “Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines”, instead the decision was made on the car ride over to the studio to announce his candidacy. Not even his wife, Maria Shriver, knew his intentions until after when news broke out about his announcement on the “Tonight Show.” Schwarzenegger kept it to himself.

Having won the Governor’s seat with an approval rating of 70% and a mandate to fix the California economy, Schwarzenegger left after eight years in office, fixing very little and approval ratings below 25%.  “I was operating under the common sense kind of thing,” Schwarzenegger said. “It was the voters who recalled Gray Davis. It was the voters who elected me. So it will be the voters who hand me the tools to do the job. But the other side was successful enough for the voters to take the tools away.”

Schwarzenegger adds, “You have to step back and say, ‘I was elected under odd circumstances. And I’m going out in odd circumstances.’ You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be a spoiled brat.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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