But Schwarzenegger is perfectly happy to blow his way into Trump’s spotlight when it suits him—he even keeps a Bobblehead of Trump in his kitchen that he used for a viral video in which he lectured the president about racism. Cameras swarmed his after-school summit at USC this year after he made another video slamming Trump for a budget proposing major cuts, and Trump took time out of the National Prayer Breakfast to swipe at him. Every word he says about environmentalism gets more attention since Trump announced the withdrawal from the Paris global climate accords, and he gets to brag about relative GDP growth on his watch: “If the federal government, Republicans and Democrats, and Donald Trump and his whole White House would be smart, they would just copy exactly what we are doing in California,” he said in Spain.
He also gets Trump on a visceral level—like they’re twins, say, separated at birth. They are the same age. Both have been global celebrities for decades—Schwarzenegger ever since he first won the Mr. Universe competition at age 20, which he later said was “my ticket to America, the land of opportunity, where I could become a star and get rich.” Each has a history of boasting about his sexual conquests and an instinct for the viral quote—like Schwarzenegger’s famous riff comparing pumping iron to orgasms. One man claims never to have had a headache, stomachache or allergy; the other’s doctor declared him the fittest man ever to seek the presidency. One was underestimated by political elites because of his Austrian accent and bulging physique; the other due to his outer-borough mannerisms and outrageous statements. And whereas Arnold’s fame skyrocketed, thanks to showdowns with Lou Ferrigno and the evil T-1000, Donald has turned his penchant for tabloid-fueled feuds into a governing philosophy.