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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Arnold Assumes The Position
So why would Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger go around the world, trying to drum up business in a very business-unfriendly state? The Kansas City Star/Los Angeles Times believes that there may be another reason:

More and more, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is acting as if he wants to be president, many political observers say.

Although he insists he is not aiming for the Oval Office, the Republican former actor is keeping a public schedule that repeatedly puts him in forums that cast him as a political figure of global stature....

Schwarzenegger recently said on national television that new cable TV commercials urging a constitutional change are, if anything, a distraction. Schwarzenegger said he should be left out of the debate. But organizers of “Amend for Arnold” say the governor has privately given them encouragement and even a photo they can use for a campaign that would be a necessary prelude to any Schwarzenegger presidential bid....

He signed no deals and created no new jobs during his recent four-day trade mission to Tokyo, but the governor produced one enduring image that could pay off should he ever run for president: a face-to-face meeting with the Japanese prime minister....

One year into his term, Schwarzenegger has visited the king of Jordan and the prime minister of Israel. At President Bush's behest, Schwarzenegger represented the United States at a state funeral for the Austrian president in July. He is planning visits next year to China and Europe.

“He's enhancing his presence on the international stage,” said U.S. Rep. David Dreier, an adviser to Schwarzenegger....

Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution holds that presidents must be “natural born” citizens. Schwarzenegger maintains dual citizenship in Austria and the United States. Amending the Constitution would require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress and ratification by 38 states. Although Schwarzenegger's popularity in California hovers at 65 percent, polls show that voters oppose changing the Constitution by a two-to-one margin.

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