“Either You Lose or..get Assassinated”- Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Ex-wife Was Against His Political Career

Published 06/20/2022, 10:15 AM EDT

Being Arnold Schwarzenegger is not a simple task. Although Arnold makes it look easy, he has had to pick his battles over the years. While some were easy, some proved to be immensely difficult for the seven-time Mr. Olympia champion. Thankfully for him, his ex-wife, Maria Shriver, was a constant pillar of support during some tough times for the bodybuilder-actor-politician.

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While Shriver was on board with all of Arnold’s roles, there was one role she did not want him to undertake. Mostly because she did not have a glorious history around that aspect.

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Maria did not want Arnold Schwarzenegger to join politics

Personal history often plays a dictating role in the choices one makes for their future. It affects not just one’s own decisions but also has a cascading effect on those close to one. Maria Shriver was a victim of one such aspect of her life, and it could have affected Arnold Schwarzenegger equally.

Talking to her long-time friend, Oprah Winfrey, Shriver admitted she did not want Arnold to step into politics. Shriver said, “I married a bodybuilder who became an actor and lived in California. No one thought, ‘Well, there’s somebody who’ll go into politics.’ I don’t think I’d ever even met a Republican before I met Arnold. When he told me he was interested, I said I’d spent my whole life getting away from politics.”

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 16: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger with his wife Maria Shriver wave to fans as the couple arrives for the screening of the film “Les Egares” at the Palais des Festivals during the 56th International Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2003 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Maria added, “My experience with politics was one of loss. My father lost his vice presidential bid on the McGovern-Shriver ticket in 1972. Campaigning was a great experience for me because it’s where I was introduced to journalism, but the rejection of my father was so painful, so personal; I remember the sting of that defeat. Then my father tried to run for president in 1976, and that didn’t go anywhere.”

Shriver also said she’d learned early in her life that politics involved constant travel and close to 50 people’s constant presence in the house. “Either you lose or you get assassinated,” and Maria wanted no part of that.

The effect of Arnold’s campaign on Maria’s life

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While we often focus on the fame Arnold has achieved, we forget to pay heed to the effect it had on his family. And as the leading lady in Arnold’s life for over 30 years, Maria was the first person in the line of attack.

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 20: Arnold Schwarzenegger attends photocall for ‘Wonders of the Sea 3D’ during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Nikki Beach on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images)

Shriver was a journalist with NBC when Arnold ran for office in 2003. The company told her it would be a conflict of interest if they aired her. She was told it would look like NBC was endorsing Arnold’s campaign. She thought they would bring her on-air when the campaign ended, but Arnold won the elections. NBC eventually fired Shriver from her job.

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While Arnold’s win was an enormous success, Maria could not continue with her career in journalism.

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Naman Gopal Srivastava

292 articles

Naman Gopal is a US Sports Writer at EssentiallySports. Naman is an Undergraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor’s degree in Cinematography from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology. An ardent fan of basketball and soccer, Naman was once a national level soccer player himself.

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