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Eastwood talks politics in Blighty

Thesp gives cagey endorsement of Schwarzenegger

LONDON — As Arnold Schwarzenegger plans his move into the California governor’s mansion, another Republican movie star politician had a few encouraging words for him.

Clint Eastwood, addressing Blighty debating society the Oxford Union on Friday, gave a cagey endorsement of the Governator: “Arnie makes a fine governor. If he progresses forward I wish him the greatest of luck. God knows, California needs it.”

At the same time, Eastwood rebuffed claims that he had hoped for higher political office himself. “People started thinking that I was going to use (being mayor of Carmel) as a springboard for some sort of senatorial post or maybe governor,” Eastwood said. “But I had no ambitions to go further.”

Eastwood then joked, “It’s nice in England, where people just call you guv’nor.”

Eastwood won 73% of the popular vote in his adopted hometown of Carmel, Calif., in 1986. After two years as mayor, Eastwood decided to call it a day, satisfied he had delivered on his pledge to cut bureaucracy. While in office, the actor-director cut back on his film projects, although he did complete “Heartbreak Ridge” and “Bird.”

Eastwood, in the U.K. to promote “Mystic River,” fielded questions from the packed house of Oxford students and press on topics ranging from Californian politics to drinking.

One student asked whether it was true the filmmaker had a penchant for Newcastle Brown Ale, to which he replied that he had “tried a few and they were good” to the appreciation of the students.

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