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Sounds like Schwarzenegger would accept an Obama Cabinet post

July 13, 2008 | 11:40 pm

As if he's not got enough to worry about with helpers like Phil Gramm, John McCain is learning the hard way that having the Gubernator on the stump for you can be a gamble.

The California governor appeared by tape on ABC’s "This Week" today intended, everybody thought, to give a boost to the Arizona senator's Republican candidacy for the White House.

A not always tight-lipped Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California

But instead, when asked, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to suggest he would have no qualms about joining an administration run by someone called Barack Obama -- who, if memory serves, is the Democrat actually opposing the Republican man the Republican Schwarzenegger endorsed for president.

The show's host, George Stephanopoulos, questioned the governor about a report in Newsweek that the Democratic senator, if elected president, might ask the Republican governor to serve in an Obama Cabinet post, as something like an energy czar. Which is Russian for big kahuna, but you get the point.

The immediate answer from most any other McCain surrogate would be: "Are you serious?" "What are you drinking from that cup, George?" "Of course not." "Absolutely not." "No." An outburst of laughter combined with a shaking head. Or perhaps a cackle.

Everyone understands Schwarzenegger's got to live with his wife, Maria Shriver, who's a Democrat. And she's endorsed the other guy. Fine.

But instead of full support, what the McCain camp got was their surrogate nibbling at the Democratic bait.

Stephanopoulos: “If he were president and he called, you would at least take that call?”

Schwarzenegger: “I would take his call now, I will take his call when he's President. Any time. Remember, no matter who is president, I don't see this as a political thing, I see this as we always have to help no matter what the administration is.”

"When" Obama's president?

The governor might try to "clarify" Monday. But with friends like these ...

(UPDATE: Sure enough, as predicted the Governor made a clarifying statement Monday saying, among other things, "I have no interest in leaving the state of California until my mission is finished.")

-- Evan Halper

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