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Schwarzenegger tops 1 million followers on Twitter

August 31, 2009 |  3:14 pm


Over the weekend, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger broke a barrier few fellow politicians have: the 1 million followers mark on Twitter.

Only President Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona have more.

“With Twitter you don’t have just 100 people in front of you,” Schwarzenegger said in a conversation with the website’s founders at the company’s San Francisco headquarters last week, “you have an endless amount.”

Schwarzenegger, who rose to fame connecting to audiences as a bodybuilder and movie star, has taken a liking to the social networking site, on which users share bursts of information in 140-character bites.

In recent weeks, his online following has learned, for instance, that his favorite food is “a good NY steak,” preferably barbecued.  He’s told followers that he still keeps the sword from "Conan the Barbarian" in the office. The picture he posted has garnered more than 206,000 page views. And the idea of signing visors of state vehicles sold at California’s much-publicized garage sale last week was first suggested to Schwarzenegger on Twitter.

Not that it’s been entirely smooth sailing. In a July video posted to Twitter, he brandished a large knife amid budget talks that centered on slicing deeply in education, healthcare and other state programs. He later defended himself as not an "El Stiffo" governor.

Among the politicians nipping at Schwarzenegger’s tweeting heels are a pair of Democrats who want to replace him. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is on the precipice of 1 million followers, while Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who is not yet officially a candidate for governor, has nearly 750,0000 followers.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento