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Field & Stream: Palin a hero, Schwarzenegger a villain

November 19, 2008 |  9:06 am

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Field & Stream magazine has declared Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin among its many heroes and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger its biggest villain in 2008.

"For the first time in a century we had a candidate for executive office who understood real hunting and fishing," F&S, in its December issue, said of Palin, who advanced through part of a March Madness-style bracket system past other "heroes," including Kevin Costner (angler) and golfer Boo Weekley (hunter-angler).

The finalist on the hero side was country singer Miranda Lambert, an avid deer hunter whose lyrics have reflected her fondness for the outdoors.

Among villains, because of their staunch animal rights beliefs, were Pamela Anderson, Paul McCartney and Vladimir Putin.

Schwarzenegger, who vaulted past them all, was harshly criticized for supporting gun-control measures and being on watch during the collapse of the Chinook salmon fishery.

He advanced to a face-off against Lambert because, F&S explains, "Thanks to him, nobody in California might hunt or fish again."

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In a hero-versus-villain final, Schwarzenegger prevailed because, "The Terminator has slashed funds for salmon and steelhead restoration, and he'd close down state recreation areas where hunting and fishing are now permitted. Worst of all, he'll 'be back' in 2009."

The magazine feature is silly but with some merit if you're a hunter or angler.

After all, Palin is both and Schwarzenegger is neither, and California's governor did threaten to close state parks and he does support a proposed toll road project that would destroy habitat within San Onofre State Beach.

A villain? That's being harsh. A leader with different priorities? Yes.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo (top): "Hero" Sarah Palin. Credit: Paul J. Richards / Getty Images

Photo (bottom): "Villain" Arnold Schwarzenegger. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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