Arnold Schwarzenegger Chooses Celebrity Cabinet
Above: Secretary of Education Van Damme and Press Secretary Chan
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (SP) — Yesterday, Arnold Schwarzenegger took an important step forward in his campaign to become the next governor of California by announcing the members of his proposed cabinet. With names like Jean Claude Van Damme and Jackie Chan, few of his appointees have much in the way of political experience, but they are all seasoned veterans of the entertainment industry, and household names by virtue of their celebrity status.
Schwarzenegger began by appointing Oscar-winning film director James Cameron as his campaign manager. Cameron directed three of Schwarzenegger’s most commercially successful films, but also has a wide-spread reputation as a perfectionist, megalomaniac and control freak. He has already made his presence felt by getting rid of at least a dozen campaign workers who weren’t performing up to his standards, including Schwarzenegger’s eight-year-old son John-John. “I don’t care what your name is or who you’re related to, if you aren’t prepared to commit to this campaign 24-7, then I’m not interested in having you around,” he said. If Schwarzenegger wins the election, Cameron is expected to stay on as his chief of staff.
For Attorney General, Schwarzenegger selected Jimmy Smits, who played hot-shot litigator Victor Sifuentez on the NBC hit L.A. Law, and street-smart detective Bobby Simone on ABC’s N.Y.P.D. Blue. Some have suggested that the selection of Smits was a calculated effort by Schwarzenegger to increase his popularity within the Hispanic community, given that the Hispanic vote could be the deciding factor in this election. Schwarzenegger vehemently denied this allegation. “Having played both a lawyer and a cop on television, Jimmy is very familiar with all aspects of our legal system, and therefore he’s eminently qualified to be this State’s next Attorney General,” he said. “I’d have to appoint at least two cast members from Law & Order to bring as much experience to the position.”
Above: Attorney General Jimmy Smits wants to crack down on the number of illegal aliens in California
For Surgeon General, Schwarzenegger chose critically-acclaimed actor Robert-Downey Jr. “Although he has no formal medical training, Robert knows more about pharmaceuticals, narcotics, and other controlled drugs and substances than any doctor I’ve ever met,” he said. “Plus he’s a great actor, which I think is an essential part of being a successful politician.”
With California facing a record $38 Billion budget deficit, Schwarzenegger realized that it was especially important to find the right person to be his Secretary of Commerce. After an exhaustive search, he settled on movie mogul and self-made billionaire George Lucas. One of the initiatives that Lucas is considering to revitalize the State’s anemic economy is to release his next film, the much-anticipated final chapter of the Star Wars saga, exclusively in California. It’s expected that such a tactic would inspire Star Wars aficionados from around the world to make the pilgrimage to the Golden State in order to see Darth Vader’s descent to the dark side. To ensure that no bootleg copies of the film end up on the internet, Lucas says that he will dispatch thousands of his imperial stormtroopers from Skywalker Ranch to stand guard at movie theatres across the state.
For Secretary of Defense, Schwarzenegger recruited N.R.A. President Charlton Heston. “I intend to take measures to ensure that the people of California are free to exercise their constitutionally-protected right to bear arms, unencumbered by government bureaucracy,” said Heston. “I also think that the key to reducing the extent of gun-related violence in high schools is to see that each and every one of our children is adequately armed, as a means of self-defense. Surely, the perpetrators of the Columbine shooting would have been deterred from committing their awful deed had all of their classmates also been carrying loaded, semi-automatic weapons.”
Above: Secretary of Defence Charlton Heston believes that more guns will lead to less violence
For Secretary of Education, Schwarzenegger chose fellow action film star Jean Claude Van Damme, a.k.a. the Muscles from Brussels. “Flabbiness has become an epidemic in this country, and the only way to change that is if we dramatically improve our children’s level of fitness,” said Schwarzenegger. “Jean Claude has always been in tremendous shape, and I’m confident that he can get our kids pumped up to follow his example. One idea we’ve discussed is requiring every high school student to do 500 push ups and bench press 200 pounds [3 x 20 reps.] in order to be able to graduate. That would certainly get them started on their way to achieving perfect pumpitude.”
Schwarzenegger selected another internationally-famous action hero, martial arts master Jackie Chan, to be his Press Secretary. “I’ve always admired the fact that Jackie performs all of his own stunts,” said Schwarzenegger, when asked to explain the selection. “Also, he has better command of the English language than I do, which will help to ensure that my message is clearly conveyed to the people.”
As Secretary of State, Schwarzenegger selected former Minnesota Governor Jesse “the Body” Ventura. Ventura was also a successful professional wrestler and actor, having appeared in a couple of Schwarzenegger’s films, including the Running Man. “Given that Arnold has never held political office, there’s a lot of technical jargon that he needs to learn, and that’s where I can be of assistance,” said Ventura. “For example, he probably thinks that an ‘in camera hearing’ refers to a photo shoot or television interview.”
Above: Secretary of State Jesse Ventura says Schwarzenegger's candidacy deserves to be taken seriously
Schwarzenegger’s political adversaries have already begun criticizing him for his lack of experience, and have made note of persistent rumors that he’s a serial womanizer, a charge that Schwarzenegger categorically denies. When asked what it was about the nasty business of politics that appealed to him, Schwarzenegger quoted a line from his character in Conan the Barbarian: “To have revenge against my enemies, to have them kneel before me, and to hear the lamentations of their women.” Award-winning director Oliver Stone, who wrote the screenplay to Conan the Barbarian, has agreed to serve as Schwarzenegger’s head speech writer.
Another celebrity candidate in California’s gubernatorial race is Diff’rent Strokes star Gary Coleman. Coleman has also announced his slate of proposed cabinet members, which includes fellow former child stars Emmanuel Lewis (Webster), Soleil Moon Skye (Punky Brewster), and Coleman’s Diff’rent Strokes castmate Todd Bridges, whose availability will depend on whether he has any parole violations prior to the election.
Though it is still weeks before the candidates engage in any formal sort of debate, the rhetoric has already reached a fever pitch, with Schwarzenegger dismissing Coleman as a serious candidate. “There’s no way anyone will vote from that puny little girlie man when they have me as an alternative,” boasted Schwarzenegger. “Come Election Day, it’ll be Hasta Law Vista, Gary!” To which Coleman responded, “What you talkin’ about, Arnold!?!”
Above: Candidate Coleman to Candidate Schwarzenegger: "What you talkin' about, Arnold!"