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Opinion: Gov. Arnold to the rescue! He’s Ohio-bound to help John McCain

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Arnold Schwarzenegger has many ties to Columbus, Ohio.

That’s the locale of the Arnold Classic, the body-building competition that is televised across Ohio. He owns a shopping mall there, too.

It’s also a place where he does some serious Republican politicking. He told reporters today he intends to head to Columbus toward the “end of next week” to help his buddy, John McCain.

Columbus “is the city where I traditionally always go and campaign, like the weekend before the election. I have done this in 1988 and in 1992 and so on. So I will be going there for one event to Columbus, Ohio.”

Schwarzenegger neglected to recollect that one “so on” took place in 2004, when he stumped for George W. Bush in Columbus.

The governor’s celebrity helped give Bush an added boost in the state that the president narrowly won. Ohio, it is said, determined the outcome of the 2004 election and remains a swing state this year.

In fact, Republicans have not won the presidency without Ohio since 1916.

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Schwarzenegger paid a price for that 2004 effort. When he ran for reelection in 2006, Democratic challenger Phil Angelides aired a particularly tough commercial reminding voters that Schwarzenegger helped Bush.

Colleague George Skelton described the ad like this: Schwarzenegger is standing at the podium, finger pointing in the air, leading the chant: ‘Reelect George W. Bush.’ Behind him is the smirking president. A narrator intones: ‘130,000 American troops remain in Iraq ... gasoline prices are up ... Arnold Schwarzenegger’s for George W. Bush. Is he for you?’

No word on whether First Lady Maria Shriver, one of Barack Obama’s more prominent backers, will be accompanying the governor.

-- Dan Morain

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