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When Remarks and Persona Become Campaign Issues

September 19, 2003

Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to repeatedly exclaim that 1.6 million people signed petitions for the recall and this is his mandate to replace the governor (Sept. 17). He also has a fuzzy-math understanding with respect to the 3.4 million people who voted for Gov. Gray Davis to be governor in the legal constitutional election of 2002. This is the real mandate. Let him brush up on his math for the next election in 2006.

Joe Gillerman

Los Angeles

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Re "Schwarzenegger's Words About Women Are at Issue," Sept. 16:

In the July issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine, Schwarzenegger described a scene suggestion for his computer Terminator character: "I saw this toilet bowl. How many times do you get away with this -- to take a woman, grab her upside down and bury her face in a toilet bowl?" he said. "The thing is, you can do it, because in the end, I didn't do it to a woman -- she's a machine! We could get away with it without being crucified by who-knows-what group."

How many times ... get away with this? Schwarzenegger may be appealing to the beer-ad focus groups (they vote?), but his comments take "gross" to a new low. Flush his campaign down fast.

Patricia Kelly

Bellflower

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Bill Clinton uses and abuses women during his time as governor of Arkansas, and as president while he was a guest in the people's Oval Office -- and we name schools after him (Sept. 16). Schwarzenegger talks and, perhaps, behaves foolishly and boorishly, as many people did in the freewheeling '70s, and he's vilified by "women's groups" and by front-page stories in The Times. Does anyone else see a double standard here?

Angela Browne

Glendale

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I didn't watch Schwarzenegger with wife Maria Shriver on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," but I'm sure he's a good father and husband. This doesn't qualify him to be governor of California. He's basically a bodybuilder. He has been able to make it in movies playing robots and such, but as an actor there isn't even one high school acting audition he could pass. That's Hollywood for you; but the governor's office should be a bit more selective.

If Shriver wants to dumb down for her husband, that's her business. But the rest of us shouldn't have to.

Steve Baker

Venice

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I love state Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks). But for the good of all the principles for which he stands, he needs to step aside. Schwarzenegger may not be perfect, but he is a saint compared with the alternative. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and Davis are going to continue to drive the abortion, homosexual and anti-family agendas that have dominated this state in recent years. Schwarzenegger would have at least vetoed the horrendous legislation passed in recent weeks. As much as I love McClintock, we just can't afford to lose this election.

Reno Hayes

Ventura

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I was listening to Schwarzenegger's speech on Sunday when he told the audience that because he recently portrayed a fireman, he understands how difficult a job it must be.

I was thinking that the same logic must apply to his role as a kindergarten teacher. In fact, he must also know what it feels like to be a mass-murdering robot from the future.

Actually, he probably has already lost the election, in the future, and is here in the past for another try.

Thomas J. Sexton

Huntington Beach

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