Schwarzenegger’s Press Tour Is Bad PR

The Austrian Oak, better known outside the bodybuilding world as former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has spent the last week or so hitting every conceivable media outlet to push “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story”, which may just be the worst-titled “tell-all memoir” ever. Go ahead and roll your eyes—we did.

We’re sure Arnold had some big plans for this current press offensive, but we can’t see too many benefits. In fact, we’d question the wisdom of his big comeback tour–and we’re not the only ones.

We echo the question Jon Stewart asked him last night: Why write the book now? Couldn’t you give it another year or two to wait until the heat cools off? The public may have a short memory, but this is ridiculous.

And why confess to multiple affairs that no one outside your immediate family knew about or cared about (and to describe said affairs as “hot”)? This is pure tabloid fodder–and it makes Maria Shriver’s defense of her candidate husband in the wake of the infamous groping allegations seem even more bizarre. While Arnold did manage to say that his affair with his housekeeper was “the stupidest thing” he did during his marriage, we’re not sure that his performance has been terribly convincing. His “I’m not perfect” moment on “60 Minutes” was particularly lame.

Schwarzenegger admits that his kids aren’t comfortable with him airing his dirty laundry to anyone who will listen (ya think?), but his publicist didn’t seem to mind. Why is that? Oh right—he has a book to sell.

60 Minutes” may have gone easy on the guy–Joy Behar credits him for somehow “[getting] through the entire “60 Minutes” interview without groping Lesley Stahl”– but we can’t see the public doing the same. He claims that he wants to “reconcile” with Shriver; given his sudden desire to reveal all kinds of things that she would almost certainly prefer to keep under wraps, we feel that this is further evidence of his being “an expert at living in denial” (his own words).

Will Arnold’s exhaustive semi-apology press tour convince Americans to take him back as their favorite washed out muscle man? Will they still pay twelve bucks to see him spout one-liners for 90 minutes? And will anyone actually read his book?

We’re skeptical. But we are certain of one thing: He’ll never win political office in this country again!

Here’s the one interview in which Arnold doesn’t come off as a self-centered cad (though we can’t imagine his “bipartisan think tank” getting much done):

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.