The Weekly has learned that
conservative-turned-liberal commentator Arianna Huffington will end her
campaign for the governorship tonight, announcing her decision on CNN’s Larry
King Live. In recent days, as the front-running status of Arnold
Schwarzenegger has become more apparent to most, Huffington has been beseeched
by a number of her Westside friends to end what they see as a potential
“spoiling” role. Prominent among these friends is actor/director/producer
Warren Beatty, the erstwhile cinematic Bulworth, who has been advising
Huffington extensively of late. Bulworth, as you will recall, is the
award-winning 1998 film about a disconsolate U.S. senator from California who,
after taking out a contract on his own life in the midst of an empty campaign
for re-election, starts rapping about the truth of the rampant corruption of
contemporary big-money politics.
Unbeknownst to Huffington and most in California politics,
Beatty has in fact been serving for several months as a confidential adviser to
that most un-Bulworthian of politicians, Governor Gray Davis.
While Huffington will be coming out against the recall and
against Schwarzenegger, the moderate Republican whom Huffington sees as the
California coming of George W. Bush, she will not be endorsing her rival in the
recall race, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, though she had strongly considered
it. Since Huffington savaged Bustamante for laundering millions of dollars in
huge Indian casino contributions into his ailing gubernatorial campaign, that
would not have been easy to explain.
Huffington may also have some difficulty explaining her changing
position on the recall itself. In a column published before her surprise entry
into the governor’s race, Huffington looked with favor on the recall, despite
the right-wing fingerprints on its origins. But after entering the race, she
came out against the recall. Later in her campaign, she endorsed the recall.
Now she will again be opposed to the recall.