Arnold Schwarzenegger to meld Hollywood with politics at USC
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hopes to infuse public policy with a little show-biz daring this fall at USC, where he's preparing to kick off his new academic institute with the same celebrity flair he once took to Sacramento (albeit with mixed results).
Marquee names from politics and entertainment will be on hand Monday for the first symposium at the new center, which Schwarzenegger said would host the study of bipartisan solutions to environmental problems, economic policy, political reform and other issues.
"Hollywood and our entertainment industry has solved many, many great, great problems and has been very talented with technology and bringing entertainment all over the world," he said by telephone. "The same brains, if utilized, can actually solve other problems as well."
With the release of a memoir and book tour set for next month, the coming-out party for the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy is a relaunching of sorts for the former governor.
Although he has appeared in movies since leaving office, he has kept a relatively low public profile since he and his wife, Maria Shriver, split after she learned that he had fathered a child with their housekeeper.
He declined Monday to discuss those subjects, saying he would get to all that on the book tour. He has also taped an appearance on "60 Minutes" that is expected to include his version of events.
The institute, part of USC's Price School of Public Policy, was seeded with a commitment of $20 million from Schwarzenegger, who said he would donate some of the money and raise some.
Schwarzenegger said his inauguration of the new center would start with a morning of policy, featuring Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat, and three former governors in a conversation about "post-partisanship."
-- Anthony York in Sacramento
Photo: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last month in Beverly Hills. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP.