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The last action hero

Arnold preps political life

Back in 1972, the year Nixon won his bid for a second term in the White House by a landslide, Robert Redford starred in “The Candidate,” a prescient, biting political satire about a liberal lawyer with star appeal who’s recruited to run against an incumbant California senator. The deal for telling it like it is? He loses. On our cover, Arnold Schwarzenegger recalls the poster art from that classic.

The difference between Redford’s fictional Bill McKay and the real Arnold is that Schwarzenegger plays to win — in politics and in his career.

While Arnold won’t yet cop to the idea that he’ll run for governor in 2006,his successful stewardship of Proposition 49, the after-school funding

initiative, has tongues wagging. He views his heroes — whether world leaders like Vladimir Lenin, JFK and Ronald Reagan, or movie idols Clint Eastwood,

Charlton Heston and Steve Reeves — as men of action. As the Last Action Hero,”he’s about direct action. He’s about being decisive. He’s about knowing what you want and going for it,” said his “T2” director James Cameron.