Well, what an Election Night Party for the newly elected Governor Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger! I chose to mix with the press corps instead of standing at the front of the stage when the winner came out. So no hugs, no autographs and no personal words with the Gov., -- just me all alone in the crowd cheering on Arnold’s “sequel!”
So, let’s see, on top on my list of memories: a glass of wine cost $8.75, and high heels are miserable to stand in for four hours! But I worked the room with every ounce of extroversion I had, which even on a normal day can be extreme! I admit even I went over the top drumming up journalists and camera crews who might want to interview me!
In fact, an Internet journalist who writes “Capitol Reports” busted me on my enthusiasm on the next day’s news: “Among the more visible minglers in the crowd: bodybuilding actor pal Lou Ferrigno, actor pal Rob Lowe, and the governor's personal hairstyler, Giuseppe Franco (profiled in this recent LA Times piece), and the governor's old flame, Barbara Outland Baker, who was busy trying to hawk her new book on her love affair with Schwarzenegger to the throng of reporters on hand.” Trying to hawk? Let’s make that “hawking!” I admit it!
Although I hate reading such pithy snippets, I had a blast watching the seriousness of all the press types tied up in their deadlines, as if Arnold's win comprised real news. And it was amusing to watch the journalist to whom I'd given the exclusive, Carla Marinucci with the San Francisco Chronicle. Her corner of the press table was the hub; she is definitely the power base for reporters.
A sweet collegiate team from USC had wangled their way into the press corps through desperately hard work, with hopes of emulating the employed ones around them someday. The big guys made it tough on them to position themselves with camera and mike, but they were able to keep their cool amidst firemen's commands and pompous cameramen's complaints and landed some interviews. Everyone's self-importance, including my own, is what is so laughable at times.
Overall, I probably gave two radio interviews, got leads for others, gave a print interview to Newsweek, and had camera interviews with Hong Kong, Italy, USC, Graz, Austria, and Reuters News. Joe Mathews, a political author on Arnold, The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy, found me, and we felt like certain soul mates. And I came home with lots of photos that will depict all this fal-da-rah on my web page, thanks to my husband, John, and his remarkable computer skills.
Approaching one press person after another, I either felt like a fawned over celebrity or a leper. The Asians were so eager to embrace me and be photographed with me, having already heard about the book. And a journalist from Graz, Barbara Glasser, is a permanent fixture who follows Arnold’s daily life for his local Austrian newspaper. She wore a native Styrolian costume, which allowed her a clever conversation piece to initiate interviews. She and I had already had a lengthy phone interview, but still Barbara probed for yet deeper insights. The suited men on camera were less inclined to pander to me –- one I even mistakenly hit up twice! I don’t think I’ll be on his show!
It was a pleasure to speak with the turnover staff who had worked on the reelection -- was it exhaustion that had them misfiring their words, or did their salaries allow them to buy too many expensive drinks? Probably the former!
The music was so loud all evening that interviews had to be practically shouted out. I was definitely hoarse upon awakening! Tom Arnold's voice was deafeningly loud over the mike as one of many who introduced the governor. He spoke of his motorcycle ride with Arnold who had led the way, only to ditch Tom because he had to get back “to do government work.” This shock left Arnold sitting safely in a waiting SUV and Tom lost with another 300 miles to go.
Maria introduced Arnold in a skintight silver lamee sheath dress, actually similar to the one she wore last time, which was white. She looked ecstatic to again be First Lady. Arnold danced with Eunice to Hair's "Let the Sunshine In," one of our favorite songs from back in our day. It was appropriately optimistic to represent Arnold's positive attitude, and such a deliciously rebellious play from which to have drawn one of the theme songs.
Arnold's two boys still held to the idea of "What am I doing up here?" until the balloons crashed into their stretched out arms -- then they were like, "Time to play!" His girls only batted them around a bit, but the boys took the aggressive stance!
Lots of glum Republicans held their heads high up to the big screens, but their attitudes looked dejected as they realized the results of the Democratic win. Should be a fascinating next two years and beyond!
One of my English students reported in to me the next day that she had heard reference to me on Los Angeles’ KFI on Election Night. This had been my first recorded interview of the evening. I don't know if the announcer only spoke about me or played the interview, but someone at least provided commentary. The voice said I was "bouncing around with a constantly replenished glass of wine in one hand and promotional cards in the other.” Now, let me defend myself! The wine was outrageously expensive, and who had the time to get a refill? This student mentioned that the announcer also said I was a "hoot!" -- what a rousing description! But that’s what I get for my daring assertion skills. Apparently, the overall piece presented a positive few minutes about me, however, and mentioned the book by title for which I am grateful!
The journey continues to be intense! I hope these details were worth the telling!
To the new ruling order making peace in the world!