Maria Shriver (search) is taking a leave of absence from her job as NBC News (search) correspondent and "Dateline NBC" contributing anchor while her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) runs for governor of California.

The veteran journalist and mother of four "asked for an unpaid leave during the recall campaign and they agreed to it," said NBC spokeswoman Caryn Mautner.

She made the request "after she had conversations with NBC News President Neal Shapiro," Mautner said.

The leave takes effect immediately.

It's not clear what 47-year-old Shriver will do after the Oct. 7 recall vote.

Just days before Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy on the "Tonight Show" (search) his advisers were saying he was leaning against entering the race because of opposition from his wife, who they said feared the impact it would have on their family life.

But after his appearance with Jay Leno, Schwarzenegger told reporters he made up his mind to run only after his wife told him, "I support you no matter what you do."

Shriver, a niece of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, is the daughter of Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver.

She and 56-year-old Schwarzenegger have four children - Katherine Eunice, 13; Christina Maria Aurelia, 12; Patrick Arnold, 9, and Christopher Sargent Shriver, 5.