I fully expect to be blogging dumb “Will Arnold run?” items in 2028, when he’ll be 81 years old.
If you wanted proof that even big-name newspapers struggle for content on painfully slow Fridays, look no further. And before you start reading, ask yourself: What do they mean that he’s “lobbying for support” to change the Natural Born Clause? Who is he lobbying? Thirty-eight different state legislatures? And no one anywhere has said anything?
Action star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been lobbying for support to change the law to allow him to run for president in 2016, Page Six has exclusively learned…
One source said: “Schwarzenegger has been talking openly about working on getting the constitutional rules changed so he can run for president in 2016. He is ready to file legal paperwork to challenge the rules.”
Arnie was born in Austria, and the US Constitution prevents foreign-born citizens from holding the nation’s top job. Any amendment to the Constitution must be approved by two-thirds majority in the House and the Senate…
Columbia University Law School professor Michael Dorf, an expert in constitutional law, said about the Governator’s case in 2007, “The law is very clear, but it’s not 100 percent clear that the courts would enforce that law rather than leave it to the political process.”
Ace has a nice quickie explainer on why this is absurd, from the messy personal scandals involving a love child to the disappointing futility of Ahnuld’s governorship to the fact that he ended up being much more of a John McCain Republican, scolding the right about global warming, than the proto-tea-partier many righties thought he’d be in office. Beyond all that, just in terms of simple logistics, paint me a picture in which Arnold Schwarzenegger somehow emerges as a serious contender for the GOP nomination amid a roster with people like Christie, Paul, Rubio, Walker, Jindal, Cruz, and maybe Jeb Bush in it. What would be the selling point? If he was going to be the dark-horse deus ex machina who rescues the party from the agony of a weak field, last year was obviously the year to try. But that just gets us back to Ace’s point: Given the many litmus tests he’s failed (this is a guy who, while claiming to believe in traditional marriage, personally performed two gay weddings while he was governor), could he have beaten even Romney? If he had achieved something significant as governor of California a la Scott Walker in beating the unions to roll back collective bargaining for public employees, he might have been a juggernaut — big name who brought conservatism to the very same blue state formerly governed by Ronald Reagan. Instead, he’s the ultimate What Might Have Been guy. Meh.
But, having said all that (and because it’s one of my dopey pet ideas), what if he ran third-party instead of running as a Republican? The one thing an independent presidential candidate needs, even more than money, is name recognition. And there’s no semi-plausible indie candidate in all of America with as much of that as Arnold. He also happens to be chummy with probably the one man who has the money and maybe the inclination to singlehandedly bankroll a centrist independent presidential bid, by which of course I mean Mike Bloomberg. Most hypothetical third-party candidates will be marginal enough come 2016 that they can be safely strongarmed out of the debates, but the guy who used to play the Terminator before he got elected governor of America’s biggest state and who happens to have lots of his own money and money from his rich friends at his disposal to fund a run won’t be one of them. Ahnuld could get a foot in the door and his inevitable anti-Washington, anti-gridlock “time for new solutions” centrist message could get a little traction given the extent of public disaffection. In fact, a quick search of our archives reminds me that he endorsed Charlie Crist in the 2010 Florida Senate race five months after Crist had renounced his Republican Party affiliation. That was in October 2010, when Crist had already faded badly behind Rubio, so Arnold gained nothing from it except the vicarious re-branding that came from pointedly backing someone who’d left the party. This is, I guess, the way he wants people to see him now — as an independent. And yeah, there’s a little space for a candidacy like that in 2016. Emphasis on “a little.”