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In Arnold’s Shadow

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Updated

C2374234 At Thursday’s Reagan Library debate of Republican candidates, none will have to be reminded of the man whose endorsement they so covet. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be there, with a special introduction at the start of the forum. He gave a hint of what kind of “shadow” role he will play in the election: Pushing candidates to the center. “What’s important is to be in the center and to see that someone deals from the center and accomplish everything by reaching across the aisle — to work with Republicans and Democrats in order to bring people together,” he told The Politico, which is co-sponsoring the debate with MSNBC and the library. “I want to see that because that is very important, especially now the way Washington is going. Nothing is getting done.” The Los Angeles Times notes that the governor met privately with Mitt Romney on Tuesday in Sacramento, in contrast to the public appearances he’s had with John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.

Romney gets some very public exposure this evening when he guests on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” McCain attends a fund-raiser in Beverly Hills hosted by Jerry Perenchio.

Obama’s My Space Daze: The My Space user who managed a Barack Obama My Space page for two years is a bit miffed: The site, in part dedicated to drafting Obama into the race, has been taken away from him. Says Joe Anthony: “The campaign, with the help of Myspace, have seized control of the profile without my consent, and are using it to refer traffic to a new profile they created. I have been blocked from having access to the profile. The campaign will probably have a different perspective on the events leading up to this, but until my personal profile is deleted, I’m going to take a stand on this.” The campaign, however, was worried that the site was being treated as Obama’s official MySpace page.

Iran’s “300” Rebuttal: Iran has released the documnetary “Glory of Persepolis,” a response to Warner Bros.’ “300.” “It reflects the dignity of Iranians and Persepolis, adding that it is a proper response to the insulting Hollywood movie `300′,” says the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Baez Banned: Joan Baez says she has been banned from singing to returning soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. “I have always been an advocate for nonviolence and I have stood as firmly against the Iraq war as I did the Vietnam War 40 years ago,” she wrote in the Washington Post. “I realize now that I might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam. Maybe that’s why I didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation to sing for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, four days before the concert, I was not ‘approved’ by the Army to take part. Strange irony.”

Zucker Punch: The Politico’s Helena Andrews profiles director David Zucker, who went from Democrat to conservative after 9/11. She finds that he’s still quite passionate about environmental issues, even though he expresses many doubts about the Democrats approaches to national security. He does call the recent Hillary “1984” ad brilliant.

New Flip Flop?: The Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam sees Mitt Romney’s statement that “Battlefield Earth” was his favorite novel as another example of flip flopping. “Huckleberry Finn” tops his booklist on MySpace.

Bono’s Lobby: Bono participated in a conference call yesterday with Hillary Clinton and others to push for a bill that would boost U.S. aid to education in developing countries. “This is mind-blowing stuff and this is the real moment,” Bono said from Dublin. “This is the kind of vision that we look to from America.”

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