All Those Cads Look Alike

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 29 2011 9:51 AM

All Those Cads Look Alike

Michael Lewis's interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger is full of typically envy-inducing Lewisprose and insights. It also includes this anecdote from a bike ride Lewis took with the former governor.

A woman pushing a baby stroller and talking on a cell phone crosses the street right in front of him and does a double take. “Oh . . . my . . . God,” she gasps into her phone. “It’s Bill Clinton!” She’s not 10 feet away, but she keeps talking to the phone, as if the man were unreal. “I’m here with Bill Clinton.”
“It’s one of those guys who has had a sex scandal,” says Arnold, smiling.
“Wait . . . wait,” says the woman to her phone. “Maybe it’s not Bill Clinton.”
Before she can make a positive identification, the light is green, and we’re off.
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Just one anecdote, but it says something about the cultural space that Schwarzenegger now inhabits. Also, it's true that people don't process the identities of bikers as quickly as they process the identities of people walking down the street.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.