Schwarzenegger, Rendell: Advice for Obama

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Feb 21, 2010 11:35am

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered something of a pep talk directed at President Obama in a “This Week” exclusive interview with Terry Moran.  Schwarzenegger said the president should “just keep staying on track” and added that, “nothing is going to be easy and you’re going to fail, and you’re going to do well, and you’re going to fail and you’re going to do well.” 

Using Olympic downhill racer Lindsey Vonn, gold medal and wipe-out performances as an example and drawing from his own experience as an athlete, the former Mr. Olympia said he’s “never afraid of failure” and uses lessons learned in sports to overcome political set-backs.

Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) added that the Obama administration just needs to “take a deep breath, look at what happened and revamp their strategy.  They've still got the best communicator I've ever seen in my life in politics.”

SCHWARZENEGGER: I think the key thing for the Obama administration is to just keep staying on track.  Nothing is going to be easy.  And you're going to fail and you're going to do well, and you're going to fail, and you're going to do well.

If you look at the Olympics — I think all of the lessons in life, you can learn from sports.  I mean, this girl Vonn who just had the gold medal in skiing and did a fantastic race in the downhill, the next day she wiped out.  That's the way it is, and totally accepted in sports — totally accepted.  People say, oh, that's too bad, isn't it, but the next time, she's going to go do the giant slalom, and then there will be the slalom, and so on.

In politics, when you fail, it's like the end of the world because the press keeps piling on you and beating you up and all of those kind of things.
(LAUGHTER)

I am never afraid of failing.  I've failed several things that I tried to do in California, but we have won with many things that we have tried in California and we have done in California.  Just the redistricting — it was a perfect example.  Five times, we tried redistricting.  And we had lost and lost and lost.  And people said, don't you get the message that people said no?

And I said, no, I will never get the message.  I will always try and try.  And the fifth time, we got it, and we won it.  The same will be with open primaries, now, in June.  We will win open primaries because people want to have politicians not to be so far apart, left and right and be — cannot get in the middle and get anything done.  They want to get together.  They want us to work together.

And this is why this partnership is so perfect because Bloomberg is an independent; Rendell is a Democrat; I'm a Republican.  So what we are saying is we are for rebuilding America, but it's a political issues; it's a people (inaudible) issue.  We want to serve the people of America.

MORAN:  And people want to see that, and that kind of bipartisanship, but right now, we have this partisan divide.  So let me ask you directly, Governor Rendell, does President Obama, having been outmaneuvered by the party of no, right now, as the governor says, does he need a shake-up?
Does he need some new blood in the White House?

RENDELL:  No, I think they just need to take a deep breath, look at what happened and revamp their strategy.  They've still got the best communicator I've ever seen in my life in politics. 

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