Schwarzenegger to run for California governor
Film star Arnold Schwarzenegger defied predictions when he announced he would run for governor of California against Governor Gray Davis.
Widely expected to bow out of the governor's race and endorse former Los Angeles Mayor Mr Richard Riordan in the recall election, Republican Schwarzenegger instead declared himself ready to lead the troubled state even though he has never held public office.
Appearing on NBC's The Tonight Showwith Jay Leno, Schwarzenegger said his message to politicians of both parties was: "You do your job and you do it well or else you're out and it's hasta la vista, baby" - a line from the Terminatormovie series.
Many in the audience gasped and burst into applause when he announced his decision.
Schwarzenegger shrugged off the prospect of negative campaigning by his opponents, saying, "I know they're going to throw everything at me, [that] I have no experience, [that] I'm a womaniser and a terrible guy.
"You all know that Gray Davis knows how to run a dirty campaign better than anyone but he doesn't know how to run a state. I will promise you when I go up to Sacramento, I will pump Sacramento up".
The news sent shock waves through the California Democratic Party, which has vivid memories of another actor who quit the stage for Republican politics - Ronald Reagan, a two-term governor and two-term president.