There are nearly 200 candidates in the California gubernatorial race, including one Arnold who has terminated opponents in the past and another who played a wisecracking kid on TV in the eighties.
Gary Coleman (search), who became famous starring as Arnold Drummond on “Diff’rent Strokes,” has thrown his hat into the political ring — well, actually, someone else thought of the idea, and threw it in for him — and acknowledges he won’t, and shouldn’t, win the seat.
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“One of my slogans is ‘I'm the least qualified guy to do the best job,’” he told Fox News Monday. But he won’t let this seemingly huge obstacle stop him, adding that “Sometimes the least qualified guy is the best man for the job because he's going to ask a lot of questions, he's going to shake the trees, he's going to poke the bushes.”
Californians will vote Oct. 7 in the nation's first gubernatorial recall election in 82 years, and the other Arnold will win the seat, Coleman predicted.
“I truly believe that there's no chance because of Arnold Schwarzenegger (search),” said Coleman. “He's a very brilliant man, a very smart man. He's definitely qualified, but then again almost anyone who's not on four legs is qualified to be governor of the state of California because we're all going to surround ourselves with advisors and people that we trust to help us administer to the state.”
But he added that his involvement could help improve the voting process. ”One of the things that is going to keep me in the race until October 7th is the fact that I'm going to do public service,” he said.
“I'm going to help get people's butts to the polls. They're going to be so interested and so enthralled to go and vote for somebody like me or somebody like Arnold Schwarzenegger or somebody like Arianna Huffington (search) or, god forbid, Larry Flynt.”
If he does beat out Arnold and the rest of the motley candidate crew, Coleman feels he does have something to offer the state.
“It's all about whether or not you believe, or the voting public in California, believes that I can administer to the state,” he said. “I know I've got some great ideas. I know there's something that is lacking in the state, and I know that with — given the proper guidance, I might be able to do a bang-up job.”
Coleman said a weekly Californian paper proposed the idea to him and he agreed. The East Bay Express’ editors even took to the streets and collected the 65 required signatures required of prospective candidates, according to its Web site.
“The paper and its 80,000 subscribers wanted me to run because they thought I’d be fun and interesting and they know that I pretty much would focus on the issues that are unique and important to California,” Coleman told Fox News.
The paper’s reasoning for entering Coleman in the race is explained in detail on the paper’s Web site: “When Arnold Schwarzenegger is a serious contender to run the biggest state in the Union, you know we've all passed through the looking glass. So why stop there, we figured? Why shouldn't the rest of Hollywood get in on the fun?”
The paper said it called Coleman’s agent asking if the former-child star would consider entering the race, and received a voice-mail message 48 hours later.
“Hello there, this is Gary Coleman," he said in the message, according to the paper. "It is 3:30 on Friday. I'm stuck in Friday traffic in my car, getting ready to pull out my hair. But maybe this is something I can fix as governor. ... I am probably the most unqualified person to run for governor, but I'm willing to do it as a goof if you are. But then I need to know something: Whose ass do I kick if I actually win? Because that means I'm gonna have to move up to Sacramento — the armpit of California — and administer this state back to some kind of solvency."
The paper was impressed by this response and hopes voters will be too: “With straight talk such as this, we immediately realized that we had made the right choice. Gary is a natural leader. Here is a man who could finally bring California out of the wilderness, whose innate nobility and common sense would save us all.”