Arnold Schwarzenegger, the colorful Republican Governor of California and former actor, told the AP that he won't be running for another office once he finishes his second term in Sacramento in January of 2011. His announcment puts an effective end to what had been speculation of his seeking the Republican nomination for Senate in 2010 or 2012.
Schwarzenegger rode into California with promising numbers during the gubernatorial recall election of 2003, winning by a 17-point margin (49% - 32%) over his Democratic opponent despite the presence of another Republican in the contest (now-Congressman Tom McClintock, who took 13% of the vote). In 2006, Schwarzenegger was reelected to a full term, winning again by 17 points.
And yet, his tenure in office has been marked by a large degree of disapproval. Notwithstanding his hearty numbers at reelection, his approval rating has fallen below the 30% mark as recently as August.
Perhaps as a result, Schwarzenegger hasn't been eager to get back in the political saddle. "I have never labeled myself as a politician, so I will not be running for anything else," he said.
Just as Schwarzenegger made his announcement, a new poll emerged showing a tight race to succeed the outgoing Republican. Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown- a former Governor himself- just barely edges his likely Republican opponent, billionaire former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who was a top advisor to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.