The Note

"Sexual misconduct allegations against Arnold Schwarzenegger roiled California's gubernatorial recall race Thursday as the Republican apologized for having 'behaved badly' toward women while insisting he would champion their cause."

"Responding to a Los Angeles Times story on accusations by six women that he touched them in a sexual manner without their consent, Schwarzenegger dismissed the report as "trash politics," but went on to acknowledge unspecified wrongdoing."

More from the Los Angeles Times must-read: "Schwarzenegger's strategists had designed the closing part of the campaign — a four-day bus tour of the state — as a 'triumphal march.' Instead, the candidate began the day apologizing for sexual misconduct. By nightfall he was sitting with his wife, responding not only to that issue, but to allegations in the New York Times and on ABC's "World News Tonight" that he had expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler during the 1970s."

"The Austrian-born actor denied the accusation and called Hitler a 'disgusting villain.'"

"'I always despised everything Hitler stood for,' said Schwarzenegger, whose father was a Nazi. 'I hate the regime, the Third Reich and all of those whole Nazi philosophy, have always fought against that.'"

The L.A. Times was sure to include Davis' handling of the story: "Davis was careful not to gloat over Schwarzenegger's situation. He called the allegations of groping and lewd language directed at women 'a matter between the voters and their conscience.'"

"'I would just rather leave this matter to the voters of this state,' Davis said at the bill-signing ceremony. 'They will digest it. They will decide what importance to attach to it.'"

The New York Times ' Adam Nagourney and David Kirkpatrick also had the story regarding praiseworthy alleged statements Schwarzenegger made regarding Hitler. LINK

"A film producer who chronicled Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise to fame as a champion bodybuilder in the 1970's circulated a book proposal six years ago that quoted the young Mr. Schwarzenegger expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler."

The Washington Post 's Dan Balz looks at how yesterday's stories about Schwarzenegger's past behavior with women, and how he handled those stories, could — or could not — affect the outcome of next Tuesday's recall election in California. LINK

"Coming at such a late hour, the accusations against the action-film star could easily be dismissed by many voters here as political dirty tricks. But the charges, detailed in today's Los Angeles Times, were serious enough and credible enough to prompt a partial confirmation and startling apology from the candidate."

"The question now is how much it will hurt his campaign. On that issue, the reactions of political analysts were decidedly mixed, partly because of the complex nature of the recall ballot, in which voters must first decide whether to knock the governor out of office and then decide who should replace him. What may hurt Schwarzenegger, in other words, may not directly help Davis — at least not enough to save his job. The actor's advisers believe he can lose some ground and still defeat Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante and win the second vote on the ballot."

The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci on the bus-tour rollout that was marred by the allegations appearing in recent press accounts. LINK

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