JANUARY MARKED THE first time in American history that a president-elect launched a Twitter feud with his celebrity replacement on a reality TV show.
"Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got 'swamped' (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT," Donald Trump tweeted after the 2017 debut of Celebrity Apprentice, the show he long hosted before obtaining new employment. "So much for being a movie star... But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary."
Schwarzenegger, who governed California from 2003 until 2010, had indeed backed Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the GOP primaries, and then anti-endorsed Trump in the general election for a reason dripping with irony: groping allegations.
"For the first time since I became a citizen in 1983,1 will not vote for the Republican candidate for President," the former Mr. Universe said in a statement last October, the day after a tape emerged of Donald Trump bragging about how his celebrity status allowed him to "grab" women "by the pussy" without fear of being refused.
Schwarzenegger, you will recall, was accused of far more than just bragging about having his way with the ladies: Days before his first gubernatorial election, the Los Angeles Times published testimonies from a half-dozen women that he had groped and humiliated them, accusations that prompted the actor to apologize and concede that he had "behaved badly." Within hours of the Terminator's self-distancing from the GOP nominee, Trump supporters were circulating images of Arnold pawing the nether regions of a babe on his lap.
Still, anyone who has watched the classic documentary Pumping Iron could have predicted that Schwarzenegger would find a clever way to respond to Trump's Celebrity Apprentice taunts. Sure enough: "There's nothing more important than the people's work, @realDonaldTrump," the new host tweeted out. "I wish you the best of luck and I hope you'll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings."
Get to the chopper!
In any B-grade action movie, this is the part where the antagonist says, "We are not so different, you and I." For in fact Trump and Schwarzenegger have even more in common than hosting the same television show, taking the same unusual career path from celebrity to executive office, and surviving the same type of sexual allegations.
Each man was a rank outsider in the field he would come to dominate: the bodybuilder with a thick accent in Hollywood, the Queens...