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The Recall Campaign | RECALL NOTEBOOK

Comedian Offers Up Schwarzenegger Shtick

October 01, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign abruptly veered into farce Tuesday night when he invited comedian Dana Carvey into his San Francisco news conference to offer one-liners in the voice of the actor-turned-candidate.

Carvey showed up as Schwarzenegger was denouncing Gov. Gray Davis for accusing him of ducking serious questioning and lacking knowledge about the state.

"Desperate Davis is using all kinds of tricks now, because he's frantic and he sees he's standing in the quicksand and slipping away," Schwarzenegger said.

At that moment, Carvey bounced into a Fairmont Hotel room jammed with media representatives and declared in an Austrian accent to the audible groans of reporters: "He's 10% body fat, but 40% in the polls."

"You better be careful up there in Sacramento," he added. "Let me tell you something right now, Davis and Bustamante are the Laurel and Hardy of Sacramento."

Carvey concluded in his own voice, "Thank you very much. The next governor of the United States, er, California" and walked out.

"Is this a campaign or a circus?" asked a British reporter.

Campaign spokesman Rob Stutzman left without comment.

Shriver Plans to Keep Her Job, Win or Lose

Maria Shriver, the television journalist married to Schwarzenegger, doesn't intend to quit her day job if she becomes California's first lady.

During a brief campaign appearance Tuesday in Boyle Heights, Shriver said she plans to return to work as a contributing anchor for NBC's "Dateline," even if her husband is elected governor.

"I feel like I could still make a difference working in the news business," she said. "My understanding with NBC News and with the president of NBC News [is] that I would take this unpaid leave of absence and then I would return after the election, win or lose. So I intend to continue with that plan."

Political stories, however, could create a dilemma for a high-profile first lady who doubles as a journalist. NBC spokeswoman Caryn Mautner said that, if Schwarzenegger wins Tuesday's election, network executives would help craft an appropriate role for Shriver.

"If necessary, after the election, we will work with her to determine what her ongoing role at NBC News will be," Mautner said. Shriver, who has assumed an increasingly visible role in her husband's campaign, appeared on a scuffed basketball court at the Hollenbeck Youth Center, birthplace of the Inner-City Games Foundation, which Schwarzenegger heads.

Surrounded by a cluster of female business owners and community activists, Shriver said women were "a very vital and integral part of this campaign."

1.14 Million Absentee Ballots Have Been Cast

Some 1.14 million absentee ballots have already been cast in the recall election, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley said Tuesday.

That total does not include a far smaller number of ballots cast in person at registrars' offices or early voting locations. About 2.8 million absentee ballots have been sent out statewide.

The California secretary of state's office also estimated that nearly 15.3 million people have registered to vote in Tuesday's election -- the same number registered for the November 2002 general election, when Gov. Gray Davis was reelected.

The secretary of state's office plans to release a final voter registration total for all 58 counties later this week.

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