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The Tale of the Governator and the Baby

The Tale of the Governator and the Baby

By Debra Saunders - May 18, 2011

In 2004, Maria Shriver told Vanity Fair that many people were surprised that a Kennedy clan member would marry Hollywood bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"People at first were like, 'You married the other side of the tracks.'" She said, "They have trouble with the class thing. ... Everyone assumed that I was supposed to marry someone like a John Kerry, some preppy that had gone to Harvard or Yale. I didn't want to marry those boys. I did not like them. I had been around them my whole life. I interrupted the story line."

Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Schwarzenegger had fathered a child with a longtime member of his household staff before he became governor. The story follows news of the couple's separation.

The tragedy of this whole story is that Shriver fell into a classic female trap. She thought she had found a man who would deliver her from a toxic family pattern, only to discover that in the end, she married, well, another Kennedy.

She deserved better.

When Schwarzenegger decided to run for governor in the 2003 recall election, he told people that he did not consult with his wife before he decided to run. That would look bad for any husband -- but appeared especially callous considering that Shriver lost two uncles to political assassination.

Nonetheless, Shriver stood by Schwarzenegger. When the Los Angeles Times printed reports by several women who accused the Terminator of sexually harassing them between 1975 and 2000, Shriver saved his candidacy. While Schwarzenegger denied harassing the women, he admitted he had "behaved badly."

Shriver may have saved his campaign when she told supporters, "(Y)ou can listen to the people who have never met Arnold, or who met him for five seconds 30 years ago. Or you can listen to me."

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dsaunders@sfchronicle.com

Copyright 2011, Creators Syndicate Inc.

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