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POLITICS

Schwarzenegger continues apology tour at the Hamilton

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab

You can't fault Arnold Schwarzenegger for (finally) being honest. Tuesday night the former California governor was at the Hamilton to talk about his new book "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story" (and it really is), a book published in the wake of his publicized indiscretions. "A problem I created, totally my fault," he told the crowd. "While it is 1 percent or 2 percent of the book, the fact of the matter is people will still focus on that," he said. The book reads as part autobiography, part apology and in it he writes that he is "optimistic" that he and his estranged wife Maria Shriver will indeed reconcile. "I don't want to present my life as the perfect life," he said.

Seeing that this is Washington and debate season, the conversation of course turned political. Moderator Ned Martel of the Washington Post asked about his 2003 gubernatorial debates. Schwarzenegger's key to success? "My strength was not policy ... my strength was me," he said. That debate was memorable for an exchange that he had with Arianna Huffington, who was running as an independent in the California recall election. "I've got an idea, when I do 'Terminator 4,' you gotta play the female terminator," he recalled saying. "This is outrageous, the way you deal with women," Schwarzenegger recalled Huffington responding back. And yes, he tried doing an impression of her accent for the crowd.

The actor and politician offered another nugget to help the candidates with their debates. "When it got to the details, I'd rather use comedy," said the man who revealed in his book that he liked to hike the Alps in Hawaiian shorts "to get a rise out of the lederhosen traditionalists."

-- Contributed by Lucy Westcott

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