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Arnold, the Marriage Terminator

Arnold Schwarnegger becomes the 9,576th politician to admit he had an affair with a subordinate.

When one shoe drops in the dissolution of a long-standing public marriage, you generally only have to wait a matter of days for the the other shoe to thunderously crash.

This week, that scandal belonged to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had a 20-year affair and 10-year-old child with a member of his household staff, and that his patient, too-understanding, long-suffering wife Maria Shriver only learned the news late last year.  She stayed with him so he could finish out his term as California's governor. In an additional irony, one of Arnold's first post-Sacramento jobs was to do cartoon as a superhero called "The Governator."

This follows the weekend's revelations, which continue to unfold, of IMF managing director Domique Strauss-Kahn's alleged attack on a Manhattan luxury hotel chambermaid. The papers in Europe and New York are filled with reports of Stauss-Kahn's serial history of reprehensible behavior toward women, the attempted rape  of a reporter and coercian of a subordinate at the IMF. More power to the chambermaid, an African immigrant, for coming forward and pressing charges. The powerful Stauss-Kahn, who was expected to be the next Socialist candidate for president, was remanded to  Riker's Island without bail.

In the meantime, it's hard not to feel horrible for Maria Shriver, a smart, successful, civic-minded mother of four who abandoned a network reporting career to allow Schwarenegger to pursue California's governorship -- while he was also pursuing an extended extra-marital with his air hostess. He's utterly humiliated her.

And, yet, Shriver may find herself in a Hilary Clinon situation, being able to pursue whatever she wants. May she write her own ticket and leave this loathesome character in the dust. Terminator, indeed.

-- Karen Heller