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Gray Davis Recalled, Schwarzenegger Claims Victory

Aired October 8, 2003 - 02:04   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our continuing coverage.
Let's take a quick look at the actual hard numbers right now in this historic election here in California.

The incumbent governor, Gray Davis, clearly recalled, almost 50 percent of the vote officially now in -- 54 to 46 percent, a decisive defeat for Gray Davis. A clear victory, though, for Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is, of course, the winner, the next governor of California, with almost 50 percent of the vote, easily beating the lieutenant governor, the Democrat Cruz Bustamante, by about 600,000 votes so far with nearly 50 percent of the vote is now in -- celebrity politics in California, not very far away from any of us.

This was quite a remarkable election, 135 candidates on the ballot. People had to go through all sorts of names before they decided who to vote for.

Let's show our viewers a little bit of some of those other candidates, celebrities who were out there. Gary Coleman, look at this. He got almost 5,000 votes, the actor, Gary Coleman. Larry Flynt, the publisher of "Hustler" magazine, he got almost 7,000 votes. A pretty unusual Angelyne, a lot of people know her, watched her. She almost got 1,000 votes.

So, this is a pretty unusual election here in California.

Jeff Greenfield, as you look at these numbers, it's amazing that they got as many votes as they did.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: We might have granted the franchise too easily in this country. Perhaps we need to set the bar a little higher.

Although Angelyne in particular, anybody who comes to Los Angeles for years has seen this woman on enormous billboards, and that's all we know about her.

BLITZER: Now, Bill Schneider, as you look at the election outcome tonight, on a very serious note, you've been carefully crunching those numbers and those exit polls. What really did it for Arnold Schwarzenegger?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The fact that he's a moderate and the fact that he's an outsider. The moderate made him acceptable to California voters. Most Republicans are not acceptable of Californians. And the fact that he was an outsider made him a winner in California, because he was totally separate from the political class here.

And what struck me in his acceptance speech was when he said, my door will be open to the legislators, to the leaders of the legislature. He had spent the entire campaign bashing the political class: I'm going to come in and I'm going to clean house in Sacramento. And suddenly, now, he wants to work with them. He has to work with them. That's his job.

But it's a real turnaround, and we'll see if it's all going to be sweetness tonight.

The other thought I had was the Kennedys were up there on the stage. And you know what? Kennedys like a winner. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a winner, and Kennedys were there to celebrate a victory. They love doing that.

BLITZER: Bill Schneider, thanks very much.

This has been a rather unusual campaign I think it's fair to say. Some might even have called parts of it rather wacky.

Let's look back in time and take a look at some of the highlights.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The date that I've decided to choose for this election is Tuesday, October the 7th.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I am going to run for governor of the state of California.

GARY COLEMAN, CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Gary Coleman. Are you going to vote for me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I'm the most experienced candidate running for governor.

LARRY FLYNT, CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: My name is Larry Flynt, and I'm running for governor of California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all kind of a fiasco.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to take any bribes. I'm not going to take any money. I'm not a political form.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're laughing at us. I mean, all over the news they're laughing at us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gubernatorial hopefuls who work the floor were always ready to plead the rich and powerful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We finally found someone to help us clean up Sacramento. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arianna Huffington.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, this guy owes me bacon now. You can't just have eggs without bacon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, you better be careful up there in Sacramento. You know, Bustamante is going to bust-a-move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never has a court in this country stop an election after voting already has begun.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON (I), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: This is the way you treat women. We know that. But not now.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I have just realized that I have a perfect part for you in "Terminator 4." That's it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, this is not "Comedy Central."

SCHWARZENEGGER: I know that the people of California can see through this trash politics. I have behaved badly sometimes. Yes, it is true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not that easy being Gray. Still, Gray is our governor right now, even though he's not very warm and friendly like...

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Why would they want to recall a guy like me? I don't understand it. I don't get it.

I am calling on everyone in this state to put the chaos and the division of the recall behind us and do what's right for this great state of California.

JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Tonight is a testament of just how important one appearance on "The Tonight Show" can be, ladies and gentlemen.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I believe in the people of California, and I know that together, we can do great things. I know that together, we can make this again the greatest state of the greatest country in the world!


BLITZER: Quite a remarkable few weeks in this campaign, Jeff Greenfield.

GREENFIELD: Impeachment in 1998, a contested presidential election in 2000 and the first removal of a governor from office in 81 years three years later. And then, people say politics is too boring and predictable to care about. I don't get it.

BLITZER: And it may not be over with yet. We might be in for some more surprises. Who knows? GREENFIELD: Orrin Hatch wants to repeal that part of the Constitution that says a foreign-born person can't be president, so we may not be at the end of the story at all.

BLITZER: Maybe not. We shall be watching.


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