Schwarzenegger empfiehlt sich für Größeres

--- Die New York Times hat den schauspielernden Gouverneur Kaliforniens, Arnold Schwarzenegger, sieben Monate nach Amtsantritt besucht und beschreibt in einem halb-ironischen, halb-bewundernden Stil wie sich der Meister für höhere Weihen empfiehlt und mit Bushs Wahlkampf umgehen will: Mr. Schwarzenegger, in an interview in the Bedouin-style smoking tent he has set up in the courtyard of the State Capitol here — smoking is banned in state buildings — made it clear that he expected a prominent role at the Republican National Convention in New York in late August. "Whether I'm speaking, I'll leave that up to them," said Mr. Schwarzenegger, a global celebrity who has emerged as perhaps the most intriguing new Republican face of the political season. "If they're smart, they'll have me obviously in prime time." But Mr. Schwarzenegger, who has been defining himself as a moderate, also made it clear that when prime time is over, he intends to keep some distance from Mr. Bush, who is not particularly popular in Democratic-leaning California. Mr. Schwarzenegger said that while he would appear with Mr. Bush if the president comes to California, he had no plans to travel outside of the state to stump for him. "If I start flying around and not spending time here, it could backfire big time," he said, adding that Californians elected him to be their full-time governor and that he was not going to risk his standing by devoting himself to national politics. Not that it is clear that anyone is asking. Terry Holt, spokesman for the Bush re-election committee, said simply that the convention program was not complete and that Mr. Schwarzenegger's role was not yet decided. He quickly added that the campaign was "thrilled" to have Mr. Schwarzenegger's support. No one has ever accused Mr. Schwarzenegger, no matter what role he is in, of lacking self-confidence, and the governor himself knows that both his celebrity and his superhero screen image are at the core of his distinctive and so far successful political style. Asked to describe his governing philosophy seven months after toppling Gray Davis in California's recall election, he said, "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women." He stopped himself. "Wait a minute, that's Conan," he said. "I stepped out of character here for a second." The governor, his skin and hair the color of a tarnished brass bed, his pectoral muscles testing the strength of his shirt buttons, is clearly a man enjoying himself and at ease with power. He said he had not encountered any major surprises in his latest career and found himself fully engaged in public policy. Insgesamt ein köstliches Stück.