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Monday, September 22, 2003

Schwarzenegger's Denial Strategy

Joe Matthews has an article in the LA Times about the Schwarzenegger campaign's novel strategy for dealing with things the candidate said in the past that seem offensive to some: say he made it all up:

"Candidates for office often are forced to respond to revelations from their past. But Schwarzenegger's argument that his promotional duties as a bodybuilder and actor required him to embellish is novel.

"Schwarzenegger's approach is notable for several reasons. The campaign's defense seems to reflect a belief that the public accepts an old Hollywood maxim: Everybody lies.

"At the same time, political strategists say that Schwarzenegger's consistent showing in polls appears to challenge the assumption that admitting dishonesty is politically disastrous."

Interesting point, but I think the fact that the public doesn't care that he's said he made some things up in the past reflects that these were inconsequential things. Schwarzenegger's lifestyle in the 1970s isn't that important to the race. If he went around making wild claims about policy issues or his opponents, that would be another thing.