Opinion Columns & Blogs

Editorial: Schwarzenegger, pitchman-politician, just trying to make a buck

Everyone needs a paycheck, including ex-politicians.

Thirty years ago, William E. Miller, the famously forgotten running mate of Barry Goldwater, showed up on a commercial saying he’d never be recognized without his American Express card.

Then there was former Republican presidential candidate Robert Dole extolling the virtues of his “faithful little blue friend,” Pepsi.

So it made some sense when during a break from the Sunday football game the camera slowly panned up the torso of another washed-up politician, to show him wearing a bad wig and preparing to play pingpong in a Budweiser commercial.

“Surprise,” the politician-pitchman said, grinning.

Alas, not.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger can’t do or say much that would come as a surprise, now that he has returned to being an entertainer-entrepreneur with an uncanny ability to make gobs of money for doing little other than be Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger’s not-yet-divorced wife, Maria Shriver, started the year by producing a compelling report on poverty among women.

Schwarzenegger started the year by promoting a global warming documentary, and by reportedly being paid $3 million for a beer commercial.

We’re sure he will put it to good use. As governor, he didn’t take a paycheck from the state. He has some catching up to do, given his needs, desires and obligations.

On his Twitter feed, the former governor displays a photo of his very fancy cowboy boots, all 16 pairs. It must cost a lot to keep them shined. He also has a tank. The gas isn’t cheap.

Schwarzenegger long has had a relationship with Anheuser-Busch, the company that makes Budweiser. The beer business fared well during his time in Sacramento, as reflected by the $315,000 that Anheuser-Busch donated to his various campaign committees.

Schwarzenegger has made many commercials when he was a big star, only they aired in Japan. Many show him slurping noodles. One shows him cackling atop a pile of gold coins, which is what being a pitchman is all about.