In what has been described as "paralysis" and a "grand confusion," German voters failed to elect a Chancellor last weekend. Neither Gerhard Schroeder of the Social Democrats nor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats succeeded in winning a parliamentary majority for their respective parties.
Commentators have speculated on a "Marriage of the Elephants" or a "Jamaican Bobsled Solution" to the increasingly bizarre standoff on the German political scene.
Now California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has stepped in, announcing his availability to run the German nation in a "Hefty Coalition" which would include Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, Free Democrats, the Christian Social Union, Greens, Reds and former Nazis.
Schwarzenegger, who has also announced his intention to run for a second term as Governor of California, is sagging in popularity in his adopted state, with only a 16% approval rating in the latest Field Poll. He also faces a host of difficult decisions on issues ranging from signing a bill banning violent video games and vetoing a bill allowing same-sex marriage, to legalization of man-on-dog sex, pornographic body-building magazines, and groping.
The 58-year old former body-builder flew into Berlin Tuesday night and groped Angela Merkel, the first female candidate for German Chancellor. Dressed in lederhosen and an Alpine hat, Schwarzenegger commented that Merkel had a "nice rack," but that current Chancellor Schroeder is "also nicely built."
Addressing a cheering crowd of 19 beer-sotted Bavarians, Governor Schwarzenegger, who is an Austrian native, declared, "Ich bin ein Sacher-torte," echoing John F. Kennedy's famous 1963 Berlin statement, "I am a jelly doughnut." Lapsing into a thick South German dialect, the Governor gestured with a schnitzel and promised "Ve can vork it out."
European reaction, however, was skeptical, with headlines from Rome to Brussels screaming "Body-building in the Reich," "Arnie for Chancellor?? Nein!" and "Limp Sauerkraut for Breakfast in Berlin."