Baltimore Sun

When he's ready to talk, he'll talk

News and notes from California's gubernatorial recall election.

Recall joke of the week:

NBC's Conan O'Brien: "Arnold Schwarzenegger is being criticized by the press because instead of discussing issues, he keeps reciting catch phrases like, 'Hasta la vista, baby.' When reached for comment, Schwarzenegger said, 'Hasta la vista, baby!' "

And a new campaign to recall recall jokes:

Comedy Central's Colin Quinn: "This is so easy that anybody can make the same jokes that we are trying. You really have to start getting ugly and personal. ... [Schwarzenegger is] a punch line already. You need serious things to make jokes about."

  • Sands of time:

    Recall target Gov. Gray Davis is described even by supporters as cold, aloof and bureaucratic. But actress Cybill Shepherd says the governor, at least as a younger man, actually smoldered.

    The two met by chance 36 years ago in Hawaii, while she was still a teen-ager, Shepherd told the San Francisco Chronicle. She found the 24-year-old Davis smart and dashing, and the two "made out passionately on the beach," she said. "We were covered with sand, but we were never lovers." Though they've lost touch, she says, she's upset by the recall effort. Not that she's interested in personally comforting him. "I feel like holding a press conference," she said.

  • Art imitates life:

    Actor Gary Coleman and adult film star Mary Carey have agreed to take part in a gubernatorial candidate debate on the Game Show Network to be aired Oct. 1. The network is seeking three more candidates to take part in Who Wants to Be Governor of California? The Debating Game. The winner will be awarded $21,200, the maximum corporate campaign contribution allowed by California law. ... No word yet on whether all 135 gubernatorial candidates will take up Jay Leno on his offer to have them all attend a taping of the Tonight Show Sept. 22.

  • Life imitates art:

    Yes, actor Rob Lowe, who played an adviser to a president on TV's The West Wing, plans to do a similar job in real life for Schwarzenegger. Lowe calls his old pal "a leader" who will "put the people above partisan politics." For help in understanding this development, we turn to "Recall Q&A," by the Los Angeles Times' Roy Rivenburg:

    Q: I am having trouble telling the difference between reality and comedy. For example, on TV the other night, Conan O'Brien told this joke: "Arnold Schwarzenegger has hired Warren Buffett as his senior economic adviser. Not to be outdone, Gary Coleman announced his senior economic adviser will be Thurston Howell III." Then I read in the newspaper that Rob Lowe is becoming a senior adviser to Schwarzenegger. How can I sort out which advisers are real and which advisers are just actors playing advisers?

    A: Just because Rob Lowe is an actor doesn't mean he's a political amateur. In 1988, he had a front-row seat at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, where he also videotaped a sexual romp with two young women in a hotel room. Given the fact that Gray Davis is receiving advice from Bill Clinton, Schwarzenegger needs a seasoned political pro like Lowe to avoid giving Davis an edge.

    - Compiled from staff and wire reports

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