Arnold, A Year Later

An actor in the governor's office is nothing strange in California. Arguably the most famous actor in that role was Ronald Reagan. Most recently, there is Arnold Schwarzenegger, or "The Governator," as he is commonly called.

After a year of navigating the rough-and-tumble political arena, and finding his own unique way of pronouncing "California," Schwarzenegger's star continues to shine brightly, at least among his fellow Republicans.

60 Minutes Correspondent Morley Safer reviewed his first year with Schwarzenegger.

The governor showed Safer the smoking tent he had set up in a courtyard near his office. Schwarzenegger says he wheels and deals in the tent. It's a place to schmooze and cajole, light up the biggest cigar in the world and, for good measure, outrage health advocates.

Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver, has been a high-profile first lady, active in women's causes. But the governor is quick to point out their political differences.

He notes her office is "further away from my office because she's a Democrat."

Not just any Democrat, but a Kennedy. That made it all the more unusual this summer when she went where no Kennedy had gone before: the Republican National Convention. where she watched her husband wow delegates with a tried and true Schwarzenegger-ism: "To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say, don't be economic girlie men!"

Schwarzenegger joked with Safer that his forceful endorsement of President Bush from the podium got him the cold shoulder from Shriver at home: no sex for two weeks.

Safer told The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen Schwarzenegger seems to have had a calming effect on Sacramento since taking office. "There was a lot of panic going on, as you recall, just before the recall election, just over a year ago," Safer says. "And there is a sense of him having had a terrifically good settling effect and has maintained his popularity with both parties. It's interesting."

As for Schwarzenegger's pledge to balance the state's budget, Safer quoted Schwarzenegger himself with this progress report: "Not yet."

Safer added he doubts even Schwarzenegger can have much impact on the presidential race at this late point, despite his stumping with Mr. Bush.

Watch Safer's complete interview with Schwarzenegger Sunday on 60 Minutes at 7 p.m ET/PT.
  • Brian Dakss

Comments