Yes, I did. The first time was when I was leaving one of my favorite restaurants in Sacramento, the Esquire Grill, which is about a block away from the State Capitol and very close to the Hyatt Regency, which is where Governor Schwarzenegger stayed whenever he didn’t go home to Los Angeles.
I was walking out of the Esquire and held the door for a small group of obvious politicians — not an unusual sight in Downtown Sacramento on a weekday. I didn’t notice who it was immediately, but I heard him say, “Thank you,” and when I heard that unmistakable accent, I quickly said, “Uh, you’re welcome, Governor.” It wasn’t my smoothest moment. He shook my hand and was very pleasant.
I had another minor interaction with him just a few months after Obama announced he was running for President. We were putting together some sort of event in Sacramento and I had some invitations that I was supposed to drop off to potential surrogates and supporters at the Capitol. I delivered the invitations to a few State Senators and members of the State Assembly and had one to deliver to Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi. The Lieutenant Governor’s office is on the first floor, directly across the hall from the Governor’s office. When I came out of Lieutenant Governor Garamendi’s office, I saw Governor Schwarzenegger and two of his staffers walking into his office. No one else was in the hallway except one CHP officer who was standing nearby. I wanted to joke around and invite him to the Obama event, but once again, I came across like a complete nerd and just said, “Hi, Governor.” He waved as he headed into his office and I walked down the hallway thinking to myself, “Hi, Governor?! Who the hell do I think I am? Way to connect with the big wigs, Anthony.”
I saw Governor Schwarzenegger give a couple of speeches, too. One thing I noticed is that there is no way in hell that he is 6’2” as his bio says and how he was always listed as a bodybuilder. On a good day, I am a little over 5’8” and I would say that there’s no way that Schwarzenegger is more than 5’10”. Also, he must have the best tailor in the world because on each occasion that I saw him I quickly noticed how nice his business suits looked, and if you’ve ever seen my wardrobe, you’d know that I’m no expert on fashion.
More on Arnold will be coming soon because I am working on my review of his recently-released autobiography, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story (BOOK•KINDLE), which I really enjoyed and which gave me an appreciation and respect for the former Governor that I hadn’t expected.
Honestly, yes, I do. Governor Schwarzenegger was a moderate and his personality could be an important weapon in bridging some of the differences between the two sides. Personality is huge for a President. What he would be great at is those moments where Congress is stiffing the White House and he just appeals to the American people. Obama is not-so-great at that. Schwarzenegger would be very good. He’s actually very likable despite some of his transgressions and indiscretions.
I just finished reading his recently-released autobiography, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story (BOOK•KINDLE) and he really is a remarkable person. I lived in California for most of his time as Governor and I didn’t love or hate the guy, but reading his story and recognizing how smart he really is and how hard he has worked at everything he has done from bodybuilding to politics has given me a lot of respect for Schwarzenegger. The book is very candid, too. I liked it way more than I expected.