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Opinion: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s exit interview with The Times’ editorial board: Goodbye Hollywood, California and slow-moving legislators! Hello environmental policy and Washington?

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Though Arnold Schwarzenegger’s days as California governor are running out, it seems likely that his career as a politician is far from over. When the governor stopped by the Los Angeles Times for an exit interview Friday, Hollywood seemed furthest from his mind. ‘It’s very clear there are a bunch of different options because of the different careers that I’ve had,’ he said. ‘From the health industry, to the environmental side, to the political stuff, to writing books, to giving speeches -- all of those kinds of things. There’s a huge variety of different doors that can open.’ You’ll notice that not one of those doors had to do with the movie biz.

What it seems Schwarzenegger would really like to do -- after his winter ski vacation with the family -- is work for the Obama administration in the realm of environmental policy. Our friends at PolitiCal posted the details here, including this gem: ‘People are very receptive when I talk about these things because I’m a Hummer driver … not a tree hugger.’

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That doesn’t mean he’s stopped peppering interviews with famous lines from his movies. It took him just 28 seconds to say, ‘I’ll be back.’

Some highlights from our conversation with Schwarzenegger:

Editorial Pages Editor Nick Goldberg asked the governor if he’d change his position on the Vehicle License Fee ...

Vehicle License Fee

... and asked whether he thought public schools and universities had been adequately protected, to which Schwarzenegger offered a warning to the Legislature.

Public Schools and Universities

And finally, Schwarzenegger offered an explanation for why it takes so long to get things done in Sacramento. There are too many cooks in the kitchen, basically, though his analogy was far more entertaining to the roomful of journalists.

What takes so long

Save the date: Patt Morrison’s Q&A with Schwarzenegger publishes Jan. 1 and will feature exclusive video footage of his visit to the Los Angeles Times.

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-- Alexandra Le Tellier

and Schwarzenegger.


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