The biggest story in the news Tuesday is word that action star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had a child out of wedlock a decade ago.
Scandals of this sort aren’t exactly stunning anymore when it comes to political figures (see Edwards, John). Many act out and become punching bags for comedians. But the revelation did come as a shock to Schwarzenegger’s family, whom he informed after leaving office in January.
An interesting question is: What would California look like today if voters had known the truth about Schwarzenegger’s actions before he was elected governor in a 2003 recall election? Infidelity is generally a career-killer in politics, and Schwarzenegger had basically no experience before winning the 2003 recall election of then-Governor Gray Davis.
Schwarzenegger was the most notable name in a field of 135 candidates, which included a porn star and the late Gary Coleman, and he rode the popularity of his film career to the Capitol.
It’s a hypothetical, but would voters have overlooked the fact that Schwarzenegger had a kid with a married woman who worked in his home? And if not, who would have been elected? Would things be better or worse?