Vol. 1, Issue 23, October 21, 2003
Schwarzenegger's Latest Role a Hit with President
President Bush visited California's Inland Empire region last week for a series of Republican fundraisers with Arnold Schwarzenegger, during which he praised the actor's latest dramatic role.
"I am particularly inspired by your latest movie," Bush told Schwarzenegger before a crowd of attendees at Riverside's Mission Inn during a $2,000 per plate dinner. "I've been watching it on television over the past few days. It's an inspiring story of an immigrant making good in California, rising against adversity to become Governor - a true American story.
"It reminds me a bit of the Reagan story," he added to a visibly perplexed Schwarzenegger. "The villainous entrenched incumbent was a little overdone, though. People usually aren't named after colors. But hey, I liked it."
Bush went on to praise the fact that in the "movie" Schwarzenegger played a Republican, adding a "rare positive image of a Republican in Hollywood."
The governor-elect later admitted that he had not made much headway in his discussions with the president about possible federal aid to help offset California's budget deficit.
"The President had many things to say," Schwarzenegger told reporters at a press conference later that evening. "I think we have made some progress in building a stronger relationship with Washington D.C., which California has been lacking for several years. He said at least that he's looking forward to my next film."
Bush also commented on the number of actors who had agreed to accept bit parts as gubernatorial candidates.
"It just goes to show that anyone can succeed in America," said Bush, "even immigrants from a land which America has traditionally opposed: the former Soviet Union."
When Schwarzenegger quietly corrected the president, noting that he was actually from Austria, Bush reacted with surprise.
"I wouldn't have guessed, from your accent," said the President. "Do you know that crocodile hunter guy?"