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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (15)
  1. babalouey says:

    No state should have “celebrity govenors” leading a state. They are elected on their popularity, not on any experience they have had, (legal, military, economical etc) So Schwartznegger admits it WAS just a whim. I’ve always suspected that because that is how he has run the State of California…… whimsically!

  2. RF says:

    I don’t have a problem with someone who has been a celebrity running but I DO have a problem with someone who does so on a whim. As a CA resident I take exceptional offense to this.

  3. c.l.taylor says:

    and from the look of it his job at it was as well – the nine counties surrounding the SF bay area did NOT vote for him, so blame Southern California voters for this one.

  4. Somebody took my buritto says:

    Thanks for Terminating the state of California. No student can afford to go to a college anymore. And no, you will not be back, so hasta la vista, baby.

  5. George says:

    Who care? Only we knew that Maria Shriver knew his love son long boefore he left the office and stayed with him to messup Ca. We deserve all that because we select him, she deserver beacuse she enjoying to be the first lady of Ca and styed with him, laied to use and humilated herself.

  6. Web Bandit says:

    Make a movie Arnie. I could so go for an Arnie action flick!

  7. Brigham Thompson says:

    Thanks for the mess, Arnold. Your gifts to my State just keep giving…

  8. kate says:

    “A whim” ! am I surprised? NO absolutely not. Sounds exactly right to me.

    He knows nothing about how to run government skillfully… the first big clue was when he said what the most ignorant voters like to hear: “I will run the State like a business.”

    Run in terror from any dingbat who says those words. Government is not a business where “bottomline profits” can be used to determine success. There are no profits just surplus or deficit. Government is a service organization and a NON PROFIT where all excess $$’s are meant to be plowed back into more and better services to its constiuents. Taxes are its income; services are its expenses. Without adequate public services at state or federal level, this country will end up in the toilet as a 3rd world country. The measure of a country’s status is how well does its government take care of its population. NOT how many millionaires run for office and get elected.

  9. duh says:

    I bet Sarah Palin can see his ego from Wasilla !!! Arnie was 0ne of one hundred and thirty-five candidates. He defeated Angelyne and Gary Coleman. What an accomplishment!!! He got 48.6 % of the vote. WE could have just flipped a coin to elect a Governor.

    1. babalouey says:

      I’m talking “serious, even had-a-chance”- candidates not 133 losers who had no chance. It boils down to two. Remember we had Davis at the time and CA was already falling down, so here comes an action star actor and THAT is one reason the shallow-thinking voters put in their votes. We NEVER have good choices for candidates in any election year. I can’t remember any in even the last 25 years. They have to be willing to take a lot of abuse!!

  10. PookyBear says:

    Seems that he keeps alot to himself (or in other words, from Maria)

  11. Meht says:

    To those who are “shocked” or “offended” by his comment or action, must remember we (California voters) are the one who made him the governor. Before we go all mad about what he did, consider what is more damaging: running for governor on a whim or electing such a person for governor. In my view one person’s arrogance is not match for millions’ stupidity.

  12. babalouey says:

    People are pointing fingers to say “well you voted for him”. Yeah, out of two or three candidates! Big deal. He was the better of the two. But I still think candidates should have more experience. Arnie never even had any govt service before this did he? let alone, military, economic, legal or business management experience. Duhhh. Doesn’t that give one a clue to who might be of a help instead of a hindrance to our state?

  13. CHARLIE PETERS says:

    So who is Bob White?

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