Friday, March 04, 2011

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Conan the Destroyer of California

After two terms as the Governor of California, Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger probably finished his political career. While he will be remembered in California for the debts that he left, the rest of the world will probably link Schwarzenegger’s political career with his proposal to ban the use of words "Mom", "Daddy", "husband" and "wife" in California public schools, because these words "offend feelings of children from gay marriages".

He became the Governor of California in 2003, and thus, he became the second actor, after Ronald Reagan, who got hold of high political positions. That he will run for Governor, on the Republican side, he revealed in a Comedy show. To be even able to participate in general elections he first needed to obtain permission from his wife, because his wife, Maria Shriver, is niece of Edward Kennedy, one of the members of the Kennedy clan, who belong to the Democrats.

With a little help of media and 25 million dollars that he invested in his two election campaigns, but mostly thanks to his acting career, Schwarzenegger won a landslide victory in both elections, in 2003 and 2006. His victories were not endangered even with charges that he used drugs, speculation that his father Gustav committed war crimes in World War II, or insinuation that he had sexually harassed 13 women.

Back in the early nineties, George H.W. Bush cast an eye on him and appointed him as the president of a smaller committee, calling him "Conan the Republican". 

Because of the skepticism about the strength of the U.S. economy, he called the Democrats "economic girlie men. During Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, he said that he will make him "do squats" to "do something about those skinny legs”, and later that he will make him "do some biceps curls to beef up those scrawny little arms ".

If he could only do something about putting some meat on his ideas”, Schwarzenegger said.

None of that what he said didn’t bothered him to recently publicly recommend himself to Obama - Schwarz said that he would like to get a job in the Obama administration, something regarding ecology. True, Americans admit that he achieved maximum on that field during the seven years he served as the Governor of California. Everything else was a complete fiasco.

During his term, the budget deficit has tripled, reaching 28 billion dollars. Unemployment rate is 13%. This is followed with speculations about a possible economic fiasco of California. At one point, California had no money for payment of regular monthly infrastructural obligations.

Schwarzenegger explained that the state wouldn’t have borrowed that much money if he knew that the global economic crisis will occur. He also said that his political opponents sabotaged his efforts to bring the house in order and improve the state of California's economy. It remains unknown what happened to his ambitious pre-election plan to make each of 36 and a half million residents of California eligible for health insurance, rather than one in five as it was.

Arnold Schwarzenegger had no idea what it was like to govern. Sacramento isn't Hollywood. I also believe that he gave too big promises because probably he did not realize that he will not be able to fulfill them, which somewhat resembles Obama’s failure in fulfilling great promises. Residents of California expected too much. We did not giggle the way the rest of the world did at the Governator assuming office”, said Dr Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California.

It turned out that Schwarzenegger was far from behaving as a terminator when it comes to economic problems, which is why California citizens completely lost confidence in him.

Schwarzenegger’s new political engagement doesn’t seem too likely: he often worked and operated in contrary to California's Congress, and Republicans went against him when he invited them to cooperate with Obama in order to jointly find a solution for economic recovery and deficit control. The Republicans were not happy and with his proposition of budget deficit of California which he agreed with Washington's administration. The support of his family is also unlikely: although she never prevented her husband to be involved in politics, Maria Shriver was never thrilled with his new job.

But, Schwarzenegger doesn’t have to worry about his future, even if he gives up from the announced intention to write biographical books. In his 30’s he was already a millionaire, and that was before he achieved great success with his movies. He earned his first millions with postal sale of bodybuilding equipment and real estate investments. With Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Demi Moore he invested money in the restaurant chain Planet Hollywood. And despite all costs that he had as a politician, Schwarzenegger’s wealth is now estimated at 800 to 900 million dollars. This amount includes income from bodybuilding, real estate, earnings in the financial market and, of course, earnings from his films.

Nevertheless, the films were the ones that had influence on the magazine TIME and their decision to place him among the 100 people who shaped the world in 2004 and 2007.

The crucial year in Schwarzenegger’s Hollywood career was 1982, when he appeared in "Conan the Barbarian". Until the appearance of "Conan", Schwarzenegger made eight films. He won his first role (lead role) in 1970, in the comedy "Hercules in New York". He even today speaks English with a strong German accent, but at a time of making “Hercules”, he was saying it so badly that the producers were worried about whether the public will understand him at all. The fear was unjustified - the movie itself was terrible, but because of the accent, Arnold is even today called Ahnold.

"Conan the Barbarian", and two years later "Conan the Destroyer", were his first major commercial successes, in which his physical appearance was fully exploited. Neither before nor after these films, no one was counting on a some great acting performance from him. He became mega-star with action movies "Terminator" (1984, 1991, 2003), "Predator" (1987), "Red Sonja", "Commando", "Red Heat", "Total Recall", "Eraser ", "Collateral Damage" and many others.

Besides action movies, among total of 38 movies that he made, he made and a few comedies, like, for example, “Kindergarten Cop".

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