When he is not starring in action movies or promoting fitness,Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bona fide wonk — and the namesake of the University of Southern California’s Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. Yes, the Schwarzenegger Institute, where the motto is “advancing policy not politics.”
Mr. Schwarzenegger hosts what the campus bills as a “historic immigration forum” Tuesday. It has attracted the likes of Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Michael F. Bennet, of Colorado, co-authors of the bipartisan immigration reform bill. Also among the guests: former Mexico President Vicente Fox and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; the sessions will be moderated by Ann Compton, White House correspondent for ABC News.
“The time has come for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. This issue has been ignored for far too long. Everything I have achieved is because I emigrated to America,” Mr. Schwarzenegger tells Inside the Beltway. “The USC Schwarzenegger Institute forum will heighten the debate and help Congress understand why immigration reform must be addressed.”
Meanwhile, the former California governor has a new movie called “Ten” due in theaters in eight months; interestingly enough, he portrays an elite Drug Enforcement Administration task force officer doing battle with the world’s “deadliest” drug cartels. Yeah, well. Mr. Schwarzenegger’s big academic doings, meanwhile, will be streamed live online at priceschool.usc.edu, beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
BIG EASY BROADCASTERS
One enormous journalism dinner is over, but another is on its way. The annual Radio & TV Correspondents Association Congressional Correspondents Dinner takes up where the White House Correspondents’ Dinner left off — but with enough Louisiana flourish to inspire some Mardi Gras time among the nation’s most elite broadcasters. New Orleans celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse is designing a “Big Easy-inspired” affair for the 69th annual event; even with 1,500 guests, it’s only half the size of the White House correspondents’ dinner. But no matter.
“This year we will be creating a very different atmosphere than the same old stuffy black-tie dinner. The theme of the 2013 dinner is ‘Laissez les bons temps rouler’ — let the good times roll” — says John Wallace, a Fox News Channel photographer and chairman.
The dinner will be in the theatrical National Building Museum, some 10 blocks from the White House. Four New Orleans-based bands will supply the beat; there will be beads, masks, parasols, roaming jesters, plus Hurricane cocktails, beignets and chicory coffee after the main meal. Mr. Wallace notes that the afterparty area will be furnished with overstuffed purple couches and rose-colored floor lamps.
While the June event is still in the planning stages, it has one thing the White House dinner did not include.
“We’ll also be crowning a king or queen of the dinner. They’ll be presented with a cape, crown and jester staff, and asked to lead the crowd to the afterparty,” Mr. Wallace says.
RUSH TO JUDGMENT
“Rush Limbaugh warned you about this. Second term, baby. We’re changing things around here,” President Obama noted in his opening joke during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday.
This was not ignored by the talk-radio maven in the aftermath.
“It was praise. The president of the United States praising me for daring to say what actually is. First words out of his mouth,” Mr. Limbaugh told his own audience on Monday.