Tomorrow is voting day in California, and the referendum has become less about Gov. Davis' ability to run the state than about Arnold Schwarzenegger's ability to deflect stories about his treatment of women over the years. It's more difficult to understand the fiscal woes of the state than to understand how Arnold feels about women. Or maybe not. This morning Peter Jennings gave it the ol' college try, asking the actor to distinguish between the true and untrue allegations over the past week -- about women and Hitler. Arnie said that he never admired anything about Hitler. As for women, he was less unequivocal: "Well, let me tell you something, that no one ever came to me in my life and said to me that I did anything, then said, 'I don't want you to do that and you went over the line, Arnold.' Now, all of a sudden, isn't it odd that three days and four days before the campaign, all of a sudden, all these women want to have an apology? Isn't it odd?" When Jennings asked if he were blaming the women, Arnold replied, "I mean, you have common sense, Peter. You can figure it out for yourself." (Good Morning America via Drudge)
Meanwhile, if Arnie wins it presents a strange situation for President Bush, who campaigned on a pledge to "return honor and dignity to the White House" (in a not so veiled reference to Bill Clinton). When former Republican congressman Vin Weber was asked about the charges of womanizing against Arnold and how it would affect the prez he said, "It's a little bit awkward." You win the Understatement of the Day Award, Vinnie. (N.Y. Times)
In London, where they don't care as much about the recall, young Macaulay Culkin had to buy ciggies for pal Marilyn Manson the other day, because M.M. didn't have his I.D. Seems the lady behind the counter isn't up on all the party monsters in town. (3am)
And in New Zealand, where "Lord of the Rings" fans are rampant, owners of a 1920s cinema have hit upon the perfect way to round up money to refurbish it -- they're selling sponsorships to each seat. For a mere thousand dollars or so, the enthusiast gets a plaque with his name on it in the theater in time for the premiere of the third movie in the trilogy this December. One problem: Sponsoring a seat doesn't guarantee the donor can sit there for the premiere. (The Canadian Press)
But it all comes back to Arnold. This just in from Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, where hand analyst Beth Davis knelt down today and looked at Arnold's handprints -- made in July 1994. She felt them and proclaimed she sees "tremendous leadership ability" and "this odd kind of teddy bear thing mixed with warrior energy." Needless to say, Beth is no relation to Gray. (AP via Newsday)
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