Putting the Goober Back in Gubernatorial

Joe Lavin's Humor Column

Putting the Goober Back in Gubernatorial

August 12, 2003

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It is an odd state of affairs when Arnold Schwarzenegger enters an election and instantly becomes one of the most legitimate candidates in it. But such is the case in California's gubernatorial recall election where Arnold is joined on the ballot by such luminaries as Gary Coleman, Larry Flynt, and porn star Mary Carey. Apparently, Emmanuel Lewis, Hugh Hefner, and Ron Jeremy weren't able to get their campaign papers filed in time, which really is a shame for democracy.

How much of a chance do all these fringe candidates have of getting any support? Sadly, in a CNN poll, 4% of voters actually said that they would vote for Larry Flynt, although of course there's no way of knowing how many people said that just as a joke. Then again, 25% said they would vote for Arnold, and there's no way of knowing how many said that as a joke either.

There's still some chance that the winner will be the current Governor Gray Davis, who can already lay claim to being the most dynamic politician ever whose first name happens to be Gray. Also in the race is Davis' Democratic Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, whose name may just be silly enough to give him a chance at victory in this circus of an election. Bustamante is running as a Democratic alternative just in case Gray Davis loses, which is sort of like hanging around while your friend tries to pick someone up at a bar, just so you can give it a try if your friend gets shot down.

Political columnist Arianna Huffington is running as well and almost wound up campaigning against her ex-husband Michael Huffington, a former candidate for the U.S. Senate. Unfortunately, Michael Huffington chose not to run, which is truly disappointing because there's a debate I would have loved to have seen.

As a service to those voters who yearn to know more about the candidates, this weekend the Fox News Channel actually interviewed porn star/candidate Mary Carey, who revealed that her platform includes taxing breast implants, making lap dances tax-deductible, and wearing ridiculously low cut dresses while on television. Let's just hope the implant tax is based on size, because judging from what she was displaying on the Fox News Channel, this could be a real money winner for the state. Audiences have probably never before paid such attention to the news crawl at the bottom of the screen as they did this time.

Still, despite her interesting proposals, I'm a bit worried that her candidacy might draw votes away from Larry Flynt, and thus split the all-important porn peddler vote. But, say what you will about a porn star running for Governor, at least compared to certain other movie performers in the race, Ms. Carey actually has a platform. I'm not sure what Arnold's platform is aside from "cleaning house" and making "Gray Davis say hasta la vista, baby."

Many Republicans are also worried that rumors of Arnold's womanizing may hurt him in the campaign, and indeed it could cause more problems for him than most expect. After all, when you consider all the many rumors of his infidelity along with the sheer number of candidates in this election, the possibility that one of the other candidates could be a woman Arnold has already made a pass at becomes very real indeed. There's another debate I would pay money to see.

The good news is that on the same day that Arnold announced his candidacy, Jerry Springer officially dropped out of the Ohio Senate race. He said he feared that no one would take him seriously as long as he still hosted his talk show. It's a strange day indeed when Jerry Springer considers running for the Senate, and it's not the wackiest political news of the day. Hey, Jerry, why not go to California and run for Governor instead? If ever there was a campaign where you might be taken seriously, this is it.

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