ISSUE DATE: Aug. 18, 2003
ALSO APPEARED: June 25, 2007
It’s too bad there’s not an Academy Award for head fakes. As Arnold Schwarzenegger prepared to step onto the Tonight Show stage last week, Jay Leno asked him how he was going to make the expected announcement that he was not going to run for Governor of California. Schwarzenegger murmured, “I am bowing out.” And that’s what everyone was expecting to hear. In fact, top adviser George Gorton stood at the edge of the set, holding the official statement that began, “I am not running for Governor…” When Gorton offered one last word of regret over the campaign that wasn’t to be, the former Mr. Universe threw a muscular arm around his shoulder and said, “Let’s go do it.”
He did it, all right. A few moments into the show’s afternoon taping, Schwarzenegger declared to a squealing studio audience, “I am going to run for Governor of the state of California.” It took Gorton until after the commercial break to figure out that Schwarzenegger wasn’t joking; the crumpled statement was still in Gorton’s hand as stagehands ejected him from the studio for using his cell phone to begin alerting Schwarzenegger’s other clueless advisers.
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