Friday, September 05, 2003

Michael Kinsley of Slate discusses whether it should matter that Arnold Schwarzenegger was a womanizer in the '70s. The short answer: Yes.
In terms of his fitness for elected office, the fact that Schwarzenegger bragged about this episode in a published interview makes the question of whether it really happened almost irrelevant. In 1977, at least, he wished to have people believe that he shared and was proud of an attitude toward women that is not acceptable in a politician. And in 2003, all he has said is that he doesn't remember the interview. He hasn't said whether he remembers the episode itself—or, if he doesn't, whether that is because it never happened or because it happened too often to keep track. More important, he hasn't said what he thinks about it all from the perspective of 2003.
Schwarzenegger's first response was that he "never lived my life to be the governor of California." Then he said he didn't remember the Oui magazine interview. Then he said he made stuff up to make headlines.

So, which is it? And how long will it take him to come up with a story he can stick with?

Related: an interview with Peter Manso, the author of the Oui article, and a rape survivor, Karen Pomer, who was interviewed by Maria Shriver (Schwarzenegger's wife) for "Dateline." Pomer says that after her interview with Shriver, Shriver said, "If I had been raped, my husband would leave me because after all I would be damaged goods." She added:" It really stunned me and stunned the entire crew that was there in the room. We were stunned into silence."


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