The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Charm burst in California

Sacramento (California), Nov. 18 (Reuters): After five years of Gray, California’s capital experienced a charm explosion yesterday as new governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took office.

Yes, film celebrities such as Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Lowe and American political royalty such as Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John Kennedy, attended the one-time Austrian farm boy’s inaugural.

Yet no one exuded more charisma than the former Mr Universe, who spoke at three different lunches after his inaugural address.

“He is so excited about it,” best friend Franco Columbu, a former bodybuilding champion, said. “It is almost like saying: ‘Can you believe it, I’m going to be governor.’”

“This is really incredible. It reminds me of the excitement when Arnold came to America. He said: ‘You won’t believe it, Franco, the opportunity.’”

By contrast, outgoing governor Gray Davis, recalled in only the second such instance in US history, was known for his dry personal style that prompted many to say his first name suited him well. About 700 journalists recorded Schwarzenegger’s ascent to power.

Apparently Schwarzenegger enjoyed all of this hoopla and does not mind foregoing the $30 million a movie Hollywood paid him for his latest big-screen appearance in Terminator 3.

“It’s very clear that I’m not going to miss the action in my movies, because there is plenty of action here in Sacramento,” he told legislators.

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