August 08, 2003

Entertainment Value

At a book release party for Jacob Sullum's Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use last month (I dished about the event a bit here), the conversation turned at one point to the expected California recall, and the possibility of an Arnold Schwartzenegger candidacy. "I'd vote for Arnold," said Sullum, because "it'd be hilarious."

There's more to it than that, of course-- for one thing, Arnold has shown an interest in libertarian ideas-- but Sullum's latest column expands on the basic thesis of his off-hand cocktail-party remark:

Davis' supporters (I've counted at least half a dozen) say Schwarzenegger's candidacy only enhances the "circus," "carnival," or "sideshow" quality of the recall vote. Notice what all those things have in common: Unlike politics as usual, they're fun.

So even if Schwarzenegger's libertarian tendencies have been exaggerated, he can still strike a blow for freedom by encouraging people to take politicians less seriously...

If Jesse Ventura, who had a much smaller role in Predator, can be governor of Minnesota, why can't Arnold Schwarzenegger be governor of California? His political career should be judged by the same standard as his movie career: its entertainment value.

Interestingly, Schwartzenegger and Ventura aren't the only Predator cast members to entertain gubernatorial aspirations. Sonny Landham-- he played Billy, the guy who turns to face the Predator and cuts himself with a machete in some sort of faux-Indian tough-guy ceremony right before he bites it-- was for a while running for Governor of Kentucky, first as a Republican and then as an Independent. His website, where if you have your sound turned on you can here him laugh and greet you, reports in an annoying and hard to read crawl:

NEWS: On June 18, 2003, Sonny Landham held a press conference at the Kentucky State Capital, in Frankfort to announce his withdrawal as an independent candidate for governor of the state of Kentucky. This was done with the advice of campaign consultants who determined that the Landham campaign was 6 months behind schedule and lacking the funds to run a successful campaign. Sonny stated that he came into this race to win and not be a spoiler. Following Landham's withdrawal he indorsed [sic] republican candidate, U.S. Representative, Ernie Fletcher and the complete republican slate of candidates.

One hopes that Arnold's people will proofread all campaign material.

Posted by John Tabin at August 8, 2003 11:19 AM