Oaths of Arnold

SN&R’s semi-regular progress report on the Governator’s campaign promises.

Courtesy Of ZUMA Press

This week: groping

The problem: It began with that infamous October 2 Los Angeles Times article in which six women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Schwarzenegger. In his first public response to the piece, the future governor issued a brief apology, admitting that he had “behaved badly” in the past and stating, “I have done things I thought were playful that now I recognize that I have offended people.” On October 6, Arnold told ABC’s Peter Jennings, “What’s important is that I cannot remember what was happening 20 years ago and 15 years ago. But some of the things sound like me.”

The promise: Later that evening, during a prime-time interview with NBC’s Tom Brokaw just two days before the election, Schwarzenegger expressed to all of America a seemingly heartfelt promise: “As soon as the campaign is over, I will—I can get into all the specifics and find out what is really going on.”

The retreat: As the number of women alleging sexual misconduct ballooned to 16 by election day, no new clarification from the Schwarzenegger camp was forthcoming. But when asked about the allegations at a press conference on October 10, two days after the election, the governor swiftly brushed the issue aside, calling the whole thing “old news.”

The resurrection: At a November 6 press conference, Attorney General Bill Lockyer commented on the allegations against Schwarzenegger, saying, “I don’t think the issue is going to go away until he is willing to have some form of independent, third-party review.” In response, Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman issued a statement condemning Lockyer for divulging “the content of communication between himself and the governor-elect.”

The solution: In a move reminiscent of O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson, Stutzman announced Schwarzenegger’s decision to personally hire “a well-respected investigative firm” to examine his own alleged wrongful past. He also suggested that the results of the investigation might not be publicly released. At least one woman involved in the allegations expressed concerns that Schwarzenegger’s investigation would not be impartial.

The sequel: At this rate, we might never get to the bottom of things. Meanwhile, a truly harrowing possibility remains: The real groper might still be out there.