Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, January 17, 2005

Cult of Personality?

Hi Everyone,

I would like to propose a topic for conversation. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his cult of personality.

A&E network is going to broadcast a made for TV movie about Schwarzenegger's run for Office. They already did a biographical piece of his earlier life. The guy is not only in office right now, he's still in the second year of his term. In Ohio a sitting governor of LONG standing, James Rhodes, had a statue of himself erected on the State House lawn weeks before he retired at the end of his term (Rhodes still holds the record for years serving as Governor of a state). The move was highly controversial and was seen even by supporters as extremely arrogant. One night a drunken country boy drove his pickup truck into the statue and knocked it over (the position of the statue well away from the street in the heart of Downtown Columbus made it clear it was intentional).

So here is my question: Where is the outrage? Where are the accusations that Schwarzenegger is building a cult of personality around himself? Given his past statements about the need for "one leader" and blaming California's problems on "too many politicians" isn't this sort of thing just a little alarming? What other politicians have gotten this sort of treatment while still in office??


Dr. Strangelove said...

There are some differences between the cases of Gov. James Rhodes and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. For one thing, it sounds like Rhodes was trying trumpet his own horn by putting up a statue of himself, whereas Schwarzenegger didn't produce the A&E movie. What's really happening here is A&E is using Schwarzenegger to promote themselves--not the other way around.

Schwarzenegger has been a huge celebrity for years. His victory in California's gubernatorial election was worldwide news. In today's media market, where Brad & Jen's divorce grabs the covers of all the major magazines, Schwarzenegger is going to get lots of free press. And as Schwarzenegger's team is probably very media-savvy, I'm sure he will distance himself from the A&E documentary sufficiently in order to derive maximum benefit from it.

While the cult of personality bothers me, I still believe Arnold is going to have to prove himself as a politician, as Reagan did. And he who lives by the tabloids may die by the tabloids as well. One nasty, vicious rumor about wife-beating that could be all she wrote.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Did I really write, "trumpet his own horn"? I was ill on Sunday and apparently was still feeling the after-effects...

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