Saturday, November 13, 2004


The Governator is visiting Japan to drum up business for California; he appears to be governing like an action hero: he's everywhere at once, getting things done right down to the nitty-gritty that you don't see capital-G governors usually getting involved in.

Surveying an upscale Tokyo supermarket display of California wine and oranges, he tells the manager: “You're going to continue giving these products premium shelf space, right?” The manager nods obediently, as if to Terminator himself (and who else could it be?), who then says. “Because I’LL BE BACK to conduct inspections.” Nod, nod, “Yes, yes!”

Koizumi was so impressed when he met Arnold that as they shook hands for the flashing press, he blurted out in awe (off-record, but they didn't blank the mikes because Koizumi spoke in English, so there was no danger anyone would understand): "You're so popular!!" Then added: “More popular than Bush!” At which Arnold blanched slightly under his tan, but kept smiling to the cameras, saying nothing, knowing in his heart it was true. Koizumi quickly zipped it up and smiled tightly into the cameras, hoping no one had heard, especially Bush. Koizumi too seems to have a tongue problem.

[The spin put on it by Koizumi's spokesman (probably after they realized it must have leaked) is slightly different; he quotes Koizumi as saying "President Bush"; but if my memory serves (sound bites pass fast), it was just "Bush" (and wasn't meant to be heard beyond the two of them). Nor, of course, is there any mention in the article of the looks on their faces at the time.]

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