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Now, that’s just cold

Starting your speech with a joke? Fine. Starting your speech with a fat joke at your host’s expense? Maybe not so classy.

harden.bmpGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this morning asked the Bay Area Council — a public-policy advocacy group made up of executives from the region’s largest 275 employers — for its support for his health-care reform plan, in a speech given at AT&T’s sprawling San Ramon campus. He was introduced by AT&T West President and CEO Tim Harden, who’s responsible for the telecom giant’s California and Nevada operations.

So the bodybuilder-cum-governor came to the podium and cracked wise. “This morning, first thing when I came in here, people asked me if I worked out already. I said, ‘Of course. I work out every morning.’ As a matter of fact, I’m proud that I already lifted 300 pounds. I lifted Tim out of the chair.”

Harden — who bears some resemblence to actor John Goodman — was still on stage and managed a smile and a wave. Let’s hope the governor had told him earlier to expect the jibe.

See it here:

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.