The Magazine

Conan the Resuscitator

Will Schwarzenegger revive the fortunes of the Kennedys and the GOP?

Sep 15, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 01 • By NOEMIE EMERY
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Arnold arrived in this country with free-market dreams, and then married into the Shrivers of Maryland, one of the least partisan branches of the political Kennedys, and also the most philanthropic. Long before George Bush the elder discussed "points of light," the Shrivers were their very own twinkling galaxy. Arnold's mother-in-law, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was always the most serious Kennedy sister, the one most akin to her brother the president. As a young woman, she had a job with the Department of Justice that took her deep into prisons and slums. "At Alderson Prison, she had caught on to the inmates and their cons, and knew that to help them was not to excuse them," writes Laurence Leamer in "The Kennedy Women." "In Chicago, she had wrestled down a juvenile delinquent, and her concern was tough, and if need be almost merciless." Talk about muscular liberalism! Match this approach with a free market message, and you might have a theme that could cross party lines. Can it pull left and right from their dire miasmas? Maybe. Of course, "Death Wish" was a hit movie too.

Noemie Emery is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard.