Schwarzenegger felt snubbed by Rove
Associated Press/Jan. 13, 2009 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger brings the sword he used in the movie "Conan The Barbarian," to the conference table before the start of budget negotiations with legislative leaders at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif.
LOS ANGELES — Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says in his new autobiography that Republican political guru Karl Rove predicted the 2003 California recall election that put the muscleman-actor in office would never happen.
Schwarzenegger writes in "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story" that he visited Rove in early 2003, when the GOP strategist was a top White House adviser.
According to excerpts obtained Friday by The Associated Press in advance of the book's release, it turned out to be an awkward visit.
Not only did Rove tell Schwarzenegger the recall election that eventually ousted Democrat Gray Davis would not happen, he introduced the actor to then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice as his pick to run for California governor in 2006.
Schwarzenegger felt snubbed.
He asks, "How could Rove have been so wrong?"
Rice and her staff did not immediately respond to a request for comment made through her office at Stanford University.
Rove's office also did not immediately respond to an emailed request seeking a response to Schwarzenegger's account.
Schwarzenegger, a Republican, also spoke about the book in an interview with "60 Minutes" scheduled to air Sunday, as the one-time "Mr. Universe" and Hollywood action star tries to rebrand himself and promote the memoir. CBS aired an excerpt of the interview Friday.
Speaking to "60 Minutes," Schwarzenegger said the affair he had with his family's longtime housekeeper was "the stupidest thing" he ever did to then-wife Maria Shriver and caused great pain to her and their four children.
"I think it was the stupidest thing I've done in the whole relationship. It was terrible. I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria and unbelievable pain on the kids," Schwarzenegger said of the affair that led to a son who is now 14.
After leaving the governor's office in January 2011 following a turbulent seven years, Schwarzenegger, 65, has launched a wholesale effort to redeem his reputation in the wake of the embarrassing public revelations about the affair he had with Mildred Baena, a housekeeper who reportedly worked for the family for 20 years. Their son, Joseph, was born just days after Schwarzenegger's youngest child with Shriver.
A spokesman for Shriver, Matthew DiGirolamo, declined to comment.
In his autobiography, Schwarzenegger writes that he also kept his wife out of the loop about his political aspirations for more than two years as he contemplated the idea and conferred with political advisers and pollsters.
He said he put exploring a run for the state's top office at the top of his annual list of goals on Jan. 1, 2001, but he did not tell Shriver "because I didn't want endless conversation about it at home."
In July 2003, when supporters of the Davis recall eventually submitted enough valid signatures for a recall election, Schwarzenegger had just two weeks to declare his candidacy.
With the recall election less than three months away, his campaign would have to begin immediately.
Schwarzenegger said he imagined himself running and winning, then working in Sacramento to solve the state's budget deficit and other problems. He decided then that it was time to speak with Shriver.
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