Arnold Schwarzenegger used to be one of the powerhouses of the Republican party — Gosh just writing that sentence made me pinch myself to make sure this whole thing isn’t just some crazy dream — but in 2015, during one of the most heavily publicized Republican primary races in decades, he is remaining completely silent.
During the 2008 primary season, then Governor Schwarzenegger’s endorsement was arguably the most sought of the lot going into that year's Super Tuesday (he ended up supporting John McCain).
However, not one of the major Republican candidates this cycle seems to be the least bit interested in allying themselves “The Governator.” And the strangest part is no one in the public, the government, or the media seems to have even noticed that he’s gone.
Here’s why I think that is.
1. It’s Not 2008 Anymore
I believe the word you’re looking for here is “duh” and I must admit you make a compelling argument for someone who says words like “duh.”
Schwarzenegger in 2008 was a living representation of Bush-era republicanism, and his silence during this election points to the bigger political trends that have pushed figures like him aside in the past decade.
Gone are the days when a successful politician was a larger-than-life macro-personality like Schwarzenegger. Since President Barack Obama changed the game, candidates do everything in their power to seem grounded and regular and approachable (He rolled up his sleeves! He’s one of us! Let us make him our king!).
The 2015 political landscape contains candidates who are spending hours with communications teams in order to make sure they don’t come across as having an elitist or challenging persona.
A former power lifter/movie star/possibly an actual robot like Schwarzenegger no longer fits in the world that has sprung up around him.
Not the show starring Kerry Washington (no spoilers), but the dirty realizations that come along when we realize that celebrities are capable of making the same mistakes as any other human being.
Schwarzenegger did not leave the governor’s mansion unblemished.
The California economy was in disarray. Crime was still a major issue in his state. And his stance on same-sex relationships had steadily cost him political points throughout his service.
Things did not get better for him once he had left office either.
Various personal scandals and a very public divorce did nothing to help Mr. Universe’s brand in the years that followed his final term.
Suffice it to say presidential hopefuls have had as much reason to associate with Schwarzenegger as I have to associate with people who think the Harry Potter movies are better than the books (AKA monsters).
3. He Changed His Spots
In what will surely go down as one of the most fascinating career paths of all time, Schwarzenegger has now managed to transition back into acting after transitioning out of it to pursue politics.
He’s cranking out movies like never before, and has even reprised his role as The Terminator just this year.
Schwarzenegger is simply not a politician anymore. Not only has his party relegated him to the political Island of Misfit Toys, but he himself seems to embrace his own exile.
Schwarzenegger’s social media accounts say little to nothing along political lines which is extraordinary for a former governor to do during a presidential election season.
The closest he has come is changing his profile pictures to have a rainbow overlay (a show of support to those in the LGBTQ community). And let’s be honest that is not exactly a move that will get him invited to a lot of parties at the GOP’s house.
They say everything old is new again, but when it comes to this everything new is old again. In 2015 it's almost as if Schwarzenegger was never a politician at all.
Perhaps that’s for the best.
Continue Reading: 5 Reasons The GOP Must Evolve Or Implode