Like many on Facebook, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to use an image of himself overlaid with rainbow colors as his new profile picture to show support for the Supreme Court’s marriage-equality ruling. One of his Facebook followers took issue with that, and the Governator’s response was… classic.
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Ladies and gentlemen, the former governor of the great state of California: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Looks as if our fair state’s landmarks are well represented; I see the Griffith Observatory and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s official gubernatorial portrait was unveiled Monday in a State Capitol ceremony featuring the ex-governator and current Gov. Jerry Brown.
Rather staid, considering he was perhaps the Golden State’s most larger-than-life governor in recent memory.
In a news release, Schwarzenegger said his seven years at California’s helm “were some of the most fulfilling of my life, and I am proud of all that we accomplished during that time – including passing groundbreaking environmental legislation, investing in California infrastructure and making landmark political reforms. It’s truly a privilege to have my portrait hang on the walls alongside California’s great leaders.”
He said Monday’s celebration “is also for all the people who served California with me during my time in office without whom none of these accomplishments would have been possible.”
Schwarzenegger paid the bill for this portrait, commissioning it from Austrian-Irish artist Gottfried Helnwein, whose past subjects include Andy Warhol, John F. Kennedy and Muhammad Ali. Helnwein’s art has been featured in prominent museums and galleries including the Legion of Honor, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Legion of Honor San Francisco, the L.A. County Museum, the State Russian Museum St. Petersburg, the Albertina Museum Vienna, the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague and the Crocker Art Museum.
One piece of his work – a large painting of Death Valley – hung in the governor’s council room during Schwarzenegger’s administration.
Helnwein, 65, called Schwarzenegger, 67, “one of the most remarkable men of our times. He is larger than life, he is a myth, and he has already lived several lives that became legends.” But the former governor also is “a great lover and patron of the arts” who often visited Helnwein’s Los Angeles studio for long discussions on art, the artist said.
Portraits of former California governors have been on display in the State Capitol since 1879. Schwarzenegger’s will be hung on the State Capitol’s third floor, next to that of former Gov. Gray Davis.
He always said he’ll be back, and soon he will.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back in Sacramento next Monday, Sept. 8 to attend a symposium on global climate negotiations, co-hosted by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute; the California Air Resources Board; and the R20 Regions of Climate Action, a nonprofit that Schwarzenegger and global leaders founded in 2010 in cooperation with the United Nations.
The symposium at the California Environmental Protection Agency’s building will highlight “how California’s policies made the Golden State a global leader in the fight against climate change, the progress of California’s efforts,” according to a news release. CARB chairwoman Mary Nichols, will co-host, and Gov. Jerry Brown will give closing remarks.
After that, Brown and Schwarzenegger will head over the State Capitol’s rotunda, where they’ll celebrate the unveiling of Schwarzenegger’s official gubernatorial portrait.
What’ll that look like? I can’t wait to see. So many movie moments spring to mind, but from his tenure as governor, my favorite image of Schwarzengger remains this, from a speech he delivered in San Francisco in July 2006:
Ladies and gentlemen, the former governor of the great state of California:
Two years after leaving office, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s climate-change work continues – and continues collecting accolades.
Schwarzenegger will co-executive-produce a Showtime documentary series on the human impact of climate change. The “Years of Living Dangerously” series is a collaboration between Hollywood and journalists, delivering first-person accounts of those affected by, and seeking solutions to, global warming. Six to eight one-hour episodes will air in 2013.
Also, Schwarzenegger will be honored by the United Nations Correspondents Association as a 2012 Advocate of the Year for his work with R20, the non-profit he founded after leaving office to address climate change at the sub-national level. The award will be presented to him by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 19th.
Not too shabby for a guy who also found time to make a new action film, opening next month.
Besides Schwarzenegger, the Showtime project’s other executive producers are Oscar-winning director James Cameron; former United Artists chairman and CEO Jerry Weintraub; 60 Minutes producers Joel Bach and David Gelber; and climate expert Daniel Abbasi. Stars including actors Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Alec Baldwin will take part as first-person narrators on the ground; Edward Norton and other names are expected to sign on soon.
Among those reporting from the field will be New York Times journalists including three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof, and columnist Mark Bittman, plus MSNBC host and political commentator Chris Hayes, among others.
“The recent devastation on the East Coast is a tragic reminder of the direct link between our daily lives and climate change,” David Nevins, president of entertainment for Showtime Networks Inc., said in a news release today. “This series presents a unique opportunity to combine the large-scale filmmaking styles of James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger — arguably some of Hollywood’s biggest movie makers — with the hard-hitting, intimate journalism of 60 Minutes veterans Joel Bach and David Gelber. I believe this combination will make for a thought-provoking television event.”
We received a news release this morning announcing that the University of Southern California’s Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy has announced the participants in its first-ever symposium, coming up next Monday, Sept. 24.
Hilarity ensued. One colleague wrote:
The “Schwarzenegger Institute?” Is this a Saturday Night Live skit? I can see the classes now:
– S101: Doubling State Deficits by Cutting Car Registration Fees
– S102: Workshop in Transitioning Your Approval Rating From 65 percent to 30 percent
– S103: Hydrogen Highway: From Hype to Bust
– S104: Extracurricular Activities With Staff
How much did he pay to get his name on that building? What’s next, USC’s Rosanne Barr Charm School?
S105: Ruining Your Legacy By Having a Love Child
S106: Pro Tip: Don’t Mess with the Kennedys
As for me, Schwarzenegger in academia makes me think:
Please share your own suggestions for Schwarzenegger Institute course offerings in the comments; keep it clean.
UPDATE @ 3:40 P.M.: Sharon Cornu, the former Alameda Labor Council executive secretary-treasurer and former Oakland deputy mayor who’s now running Rep. Pete Stark’s re-election campaign, asks “shouldn’t he invite Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, and that governor from South Carolina to a zipper workshop? I can get the Society of First Wives to sponsor it!”
Anyway, the Sept. 24 event will feature “top elected officials discussing bipartisan cooperation; entertainment industry leaders offering perspectives on the power of people and innovation and its impact on their business, as well as the impact the entertainment industry has on popular culture; and a dialogue on how to explore local solutions while addressing global environmental challenges,” according to the USC news release.
“During my time as governor of California, I learned that the best solutions to the challenges we face come only when all sides are willing to meet in the middle and engage respectfully. That’s why I am so excited about the group of leaders we’ve assembled from across the spectrum,” Schwarzenegger, the institute’s chairman, said in the release. “These are some of the most thoughtful and respected individuals I know, so I’m 100 percent confident that big ideas are going to be born and shared at our inaugural symposium.”
The institute is housed at the USC Price School of Public Policy, where Dean Jack Knott said Schwarzenegger “has the unparalleled ability to bring together this diverse program. While USC is honored to be visited frequently by world leaders and industry experts, this historic symposium will collect a wealth of experience and an exchange of ideas such as this school has never seen before.”
Participants in a two-hour panel on post-partisanship will include Schwarzenegger; former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist; former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.; U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; former U.S. Energy Secretary and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, all moderated by ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts.
An lunch panel on local solutions to global challenges of environment, energy and climate will include Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster and Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chair of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, moderated by host of NBC “News Conference” Conan Nolan.
And a panel on “The Power of People and Innovation – Perspectives of Media and Hollywood Leaders” will include Schwarzenegger; Academy Award-winning movie director James Cameron; Rob Friedman, co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group; Brian Grazer, chairman of Imagine Entertainment; Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine; and Universal Studios and NBCUniversal President and CEO Ron Meyer, moderated by Buzzfeed.com Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith
Arnold Schwarzenegger posted this photo yesterday to his WhoSay page:
“After all the action, stunts & physical abuse shooting The Expendables 2 and The Last Stand, it was time for a little tune up on my shoulder,” he wrote. “Look who was coincidentally waiting in line behind me for his shoulder surgery. Now we’re ready for another round of great times and action when we shoot The Tomb. #greattobeback”
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger touted California’s energy and environmental accomplishments – from solar roofs to tailpipe emission standards – in a speech today at the the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s Vienna Energy Forum.
“I love that my homeland of Austria and adopted home of California are global action heroes both proving you can protect the environment and improve the economy at the same time,” he said. “Universal energy access isn’t about just lighting a dark room or cookingon a better stove, it is about the freedom that energy and especially renewable energy gives us.”