PARS­ING ARNOLD

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Vil­i­fi­ca­tion has set in: Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger’s mar­i­tal in­fi­delity was politi­cized the mo­ment the news he fathered a love child with a house­hold em­ployee hit pub­lic radar. Last week, the for­mer Cal­i­for­nia gov­er­nor is­sued mul­ti­ple mea cul­pas while his wife Maria Shriver begged for fam­ily pri­vacy. As­sorted press re­ports iden­ti­fied the mother as Tammy Tousig­nant, an at­ten­dant on Mr. Sch­warzeneg­ger’s pri­vate jet for two decades; the ath­letic son from the af­fair is said to be col­lege age. An oblig­a­tory DNA pa­ter­nity test is in the works. Twit­ter is rid­dled with un­tidy jokes, and of course, the habits and out­comes of other erring politi­cians have been re­vis­ited.

“John Ed­wards, move over. Mark San­ford and Newt Gingrich? Mere pik­ers. Arnold has the stage now,” ob­serves Los An­ge­les Times po­lit­i­cal blog­ger Steve Lopez.

“Did Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger’s gov­er­nor­ship de­pend on keep­ing love child se­cret? Even if Sch­warzeneg­ger’s pub­lic per­sona was a ma­cho rogue, adul­tery doesn’t play well with vot­ers, es­pe­cially Repub­li­cans,” says Chris­tian Science Mon­i­tor writer Peter Grier.

“So Sch­warzeneg­ger turns out to be a true mem­ber of the Kennedy clan,” muses “In­stapun­dit” Glenn Reynolds, a Pa­ja­mas Me­dia con­trib­u­tor.

“He put him­self out here, know­ing there was all this scrutiny on his per­sonal life. That was a re­ally risky thing he did in even get­ting into pol­i­tics, know­ing this,” James Carville told ABC morn­ing host Ge­orge Stephanopou­los, who replied, “It is pretty amaz­ing.” Both were close ad­vis­ers and vig­or­ous de­fend­ers of for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton dur­ing the height of the “bimbo erup­tions” — in­clud­ing Mr. Clin­ton’s dal- liance with White House in­tern Mon­ica Lewin­sky.

The for­mer ad­vis­ers show “supreme lack of irony or selfaware­ness,” Newsbusters an­a­lyst Scott Whit­lock tells In­side the Belt­way. “I think some jour­nal­ists will con­tinue to have no sense of irony when it comes to how they treated Clin­ton’s adul­ter y and how they’re re­port­ing on Sch­warzeneg­ger. Stephanopou­los cer­tainly seems un­con­cerned with how his cur­rent com­ments con­trast with an ag­gres­sive de­fense of Bill Clin­ton.” par­ti­san coali­tion says. The gov­ern­ment sits on big in­vest­ments in var­i­ous funds, and can ex­change li­a­bil­i­ties from debt that “counts against the limit to debt that doesn’t.” Then get out of the bailout busi­ness, re­deem TARP as­sets in full and lease gov­ern­ment lands for en­ergy pro­duc­tion. Then sell pub­lic lands and re­form fed­eral prop­erty man­age­ment.

And one more thing. End the spend­ing spree, the tax group coun­sels. “Congress must use the debt limit de­bate to re­fo­cus on the gov­ern­ment’s over­spend­ing prob­lem, and make mean­ing­ful in­sti­tu­tional re­forms to es­tab­lish fis­cal re­straint.”

Mak­ing a name for him­self? For­mer Utah Gov. and pos­si­ble 2012 Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Jon Hunts­man

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