UPDATED: This page was created long before Schwarzenegger pardoned Nunez and cheated on his wife.
Arnold on DVD
It was around 6:30Am on a Monday morning (Nov 1, 2004), the day before election day, when I was at home drinking a cup of coffee and channel surfing the local TV news stations when I happened to hear a very brief mention on KUSI of an appearance by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that day at Megan's Cafe in the San Carlos neighborhood of San Diego.
Wow. I had just watched him being interviewed by Morley Safer on 60 minutes last night (a segment which I discovered had been produced about 3-weeks ago).
I couldn't believe that the Governator was making an appearance in my "hood", so I called the news department and confirmed it. On my way back from my morning run, I swung by Megan's and saw a guy wearing a "join Arnold" jacket (pictured below) standing out in front of the restaurant. He confirmed the appearance, as well.
I went back to my place and grabbed my Nikon. Then back over to Megan's where I hung out with the Megan's regulars. Megan's offered free food, coffee and juice to the people waiting in line. Megan's (Jackson & Navajo) has good food for breakfast and lunch.
Lots of cops, security and media. The smallish crowd of about 2-300 hundred people reflected the fact that this appearance was not widely advertised. I found out that the reason for this was that it was set up as a media event and not a rally. By limiting the advance notice, there was little time for unwanted protesters to show up. So basically you had a pro-Arnold crowd composed mostly of San Carlos locals. I know it sounds somewhat manipulative, but ALL politicians want as much positive media attention as they can attract in order get their message out, and I happen to think Arnold has a compelling message on many issues.
We stood around for about 90 minutes or so until a black limo style car pulled up in front of the restaurant. A cheer went up, but it was only some embarrassed staff members arriving a couple of minutes before the boss himself actually arrived close to 10:00 am in a black Ford Excursion.
Arnold jumped out of the big SUV to shake hands with his fans, and just before he went inside to Megan's, he shook my hand (using both of his hands) and asked me (rhetorically) "How are you doing?" Well, I was both doing great and grinning ear-to-ear.
I overheard a conversation from a reliable source that someone who works in the office of San Diego city councilmember Jim Madaffer (District 7) had mentioned Megan's as a good place to eat to someone in the Governor's office and it took off from there. Of course Arnold didn't actually have time to sit down and eat. He made his way around the tiny cafe, schmoozing with the patrons and cracking a few jokes. Then he held a brief news conference in a corner of the tightly packed room, selling his recommendations on the ballot propositions (which was the primary purpose of his appearance).
He was at Megan's for about 20 minutes or so before he had to leave. As he waved goodbye, the locals were all smiles, enjoying the experience of being up close and personal with Arnold.
Arnold leaving after about a 20 minute visit.
Arnold on DVD