Per the Sacramento Bee, the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, says he's not running for anything in 2010, including the United States Senate seat currently held by Barbara Boxer.
During a meeting with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (yes, NBA fans, that Kevin Johnson), Arnie indicated to the assembled masses in the media that he'll have more freedom to make unpopular decisions the next two years because he's not running again - for any office.
The Republican governor said Wednesday in his clearest language yet that he is not running for Senate, Congress or dogcatcher.
Schwarzenegger, appearing at a Cal Expo news conference with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, explained that he has more freedom to make policy decisions (including tax increases, a break from past campaign promises) precisely because he doesn't have to run for another office.
He said he may be more at ease on issues than lawmakers who face re-election.
"The point was that I am not running for anything, so no one could threaten me, because I'm not running for Senate, I'm not running for Congress, I'm not running for another term as governor," Schwarzenegger said.
The venerable Field Poll indicated that Arnold would have been clobbered by incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, so this is probably just as well.
Arnold's decision, however, leaves the Republican Party with no obvious candidate with the political wattage necessary to beat Boxer, so she can basically be considered safe from now on.
Arnold did leave one possibility open, in terms of returning to office:
Asked if that meant he had ruled out a race against Boxer, the governor said: "When I say I'm not running for anything, that's exactly what I mean . . . until you change the Constitution."
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) translated: "So he can run for president."
We'll get right on that, Arnie.