California Republicans are buzzing about the prospect, especially because, should Schwarzenegger be victorious, he’d be serving under U.S. President Donald Trump, his recent social-media nemesis.
Pre-election, Schwarzenegger refused to endorse Trump’s presidential run and urged other Republicans not to vote for him. The actor said it was the first time he didn’t vote for the GOP since becoming a U.S. citizen in 1983.
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Trump and Schwarzenegger have been warring on Twitter for months now, a battle of words that began when Schwarzenegger took over Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice hosting duties. Trump continually jabbed at Schwarzenegger’s low ratings, and the Terminator star would reply with measured digs about Trump’s leadership abilities and political approaches.
Now, many political insiders are saying that Schwarzenegger is contemplating moving back into the governmental arena, and there is much insinuation that he’s doing it in response to Trump’s actions. The former A-list actor even began posting more politically focused tweets in the past few days.
It's doesn't make for a sexy headline, but it's time to fix our rigged system and end gerrymandering once and for all, like we did in CA. https://t.co/Bt35DRdWtz
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 8, 2017
Politico reports that a successful Senate run “would give [Schwarzenegger] the stage to jam Trump for the next 16 months.”
If all goes according to plan, Schwarzenegger would run in the 2018 Senate race. At that point, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein would be 85 years old, so it’s possible her seat could be up for grabs.
“Right now, Governor Schwarzenegger’s focus is on using his platform to bring some sensibility and coherency to Washington by fighting for redistricting reform, like we did in California,” said Schwarzenegger spokesman Daniel Ketchell. “We are keeping all of our options open as far as how we can accomplish that.”
Should Schwarzenegger get into the Senate, he could take Trump to task over polarizing issues like immigration, the travel ban, environmental protection and climate change.
It remains to be seen if Schwarzenegger will “be back” in politics, but at the very least, the public interest in his potential run should be a good indicator of his popularity.