Arnold Seeks the Truth About ... Himself

Just so you know, serious allegations have been made regarding my personal behavior, and I'm hiring a private investigator to find out if I'm guilty or not. It would be unprofessional to release the name of the sleuth before I have him under contract.

But his initials are O.J.

With any luck, he'll be able to take a leave from the search for his ex-wife's killer, and I'll sign him up before Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger does.

That's right, in case you somehow missed one of the great stories in California history, Team Schwarzenegger announced Thursday that our brand new governor-to-be, God bless him, is going to have himself investigated.

Even if you're not a columnist, you have to love this. He hasn't yet taken office, and he's already under investigation -- at his own initiation. Schwarzenegger is hiring an as-yet unnamed P.I. to investigate allegations that he groped more than a dozen women.

If Arnold finds out that he's innocent, you know what that means, don't you?

That's right. The real groper is still out there.

Insiders tell me this course of action was chosen after several other plans were dismissed. Arnold tried standing in front of a mirror and asking himself: "Is it true?" He also thought about wearing a wire, getting himself drunk and real chatty, and secretly taping his conversation with himself.

Schwarzenegger actually preferred a third plan, in which he was going to hook up with Bill Clinton and see if they could spend two hours at a Hooters without getting arrested.

But in the end -- proving he is indeed a man who will bring unique problem-solving ideas to Sacramento -- he came up with the idea to put a snoop on his own trail.

Several teams of psychiatrists may also be added to Schwarzenegger's payroll to help determine whether -- at the time of any alleged groping -- he knew the difference between right and wrong.

I don't know about you, but news of the private eye gave me peace of mind. Certainly we can rest assured that whoever ends up in Arnold's employ, the result will be an exhaustive, impartial, completely above-board search for the real groper, and a determination of whether any crimes were committed.

While Inspector Clouseau is at it, shouldn't he track down the pusher who gave Arnold the dope he smoked in "Pumping Iron," and determine whether Arnold had a gun to his head when he agreed to make the movie "Kindergarten Cop"?

More than one reader has asked me to explain what could possibly have motivated Schwarzenegger to put himself under investigation on the eve of his Nov. 17 inauguration, just when the story had drifted into obscurity.

Well, my first thought -- and this remains a strong possibility -- was that he must have really stupid advisors.

These are the same geniuses, after all, who apparently stood mute when Schwarzenegger planned a gigantic party Dec. 3 to raise special-interest money. This, despite the fact that practically his only stated position in the entire campaign was that he'd terminate special-interest politics.

Sure, Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer challenged Schwarzenegger to follow through on a campaign promise to address the sexual misconduct allegations after the election. But Schwarzenegger made a lot of other promises he didn't keep, so why get religion over this one?

It's possible that he expects more embarrassing stories to break in the future, and he wants to be able to say his crack team is leaving no stone unturned in digging up the truth. Maybe the private dick's real job will be to keep a short leash on Big Boy, so he doesn't get drawn into the Sacramento night life and go nuts.

I could spin an even darker conspiracy here. Maybe Team Schwarzenegger is trying to put the fear of God into his alleged victims by going public with the news that a gumshoe is on the case. If you were one of the victims, would you tell your story to some stooge who's getting paid by the guy who pawed you?

Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman said there was no need to worry about such a thing, because the secret investigative firm being considered for the job has an "impeccable reputation."

That's a relief, because it means justice can't be far off.

I shudder to think that somewhere out there in the naked city, the real groper is on the loose.


Steve Lopez writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

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