Schwarzenegger Will Announce Political Intentions on “Leno”

Finally, an end to the suspense.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been toying with idea of running for governor of California, will publicly announce his political intentions on NBC’s The Tonight Show With Jay Leno next week, Reuters reports, days before the Aug. 9 filing deadline.

The network issued a statement saying: “While an abundance of rumors about whether or not Schwarzenegger will join the historic race for the governor’s office have been circulating in the past week, next Wednesday viewers will finally get an answer from Schwarzenegger himself.”

“Arnold has not made a final decision but nothing has changed about his leaning against running,” Schwarzenegger‘s aide told Reuters Thursday night.

The actor has been hinting at gubernatorial aspirations if a recall against Democratic Gov. Gray Davis were to be put in motion. Davis, who faces rock-bottom approval ratings because of his handling of California’s deep budget shortfall, has said the recall effort is a waste of taxpayers’ money and a “hostile takeover by the Right,” Reuters reports.

Schwarzenegger could also opt to throw in the towel and simply provide support for former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan, a moderate Republican who shares many of the actor’s views, the star’s aide told Reuters. Riordan has said he would consider a run if Schwarzenegger decides to bow out.

In yet another possible scenario that would leave the door open for a future Schwarzenegger bid, Riordan, 73, could announce that he would serve only to the end of Davis’ term if he were to win the recall vote, Reuters reports. This would clear the way for the former Mr. Universe to run on his own ticket in 2006.