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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Total Recall: California’s Political Circus

Available on Apple Podcasts / Podcasts

In 2003, a porn star, an aging action-movie hero, and a former child actor entered California’s gubernatorial-recall election. The rest is history—and the focus of a new podcast by CNN. Released during the seemingly endless campaigning for the 2021 California gubernatorial-recall race, Total Recall: California’s Political Circus takes us back to 2003, the year Arnold Schwarzenegger ran as a Republican and ousted the then sitting governor, Democrat Gray Davis. Dana Bash, a political journalist and news anchor, deftly explains the lead-up to the 2003 election and interviews its key players, including Davis and Schwarzenegger. Both shocking and funny, Total Recall not only contextualizes the 2021 California recall but also highlights shock, awe, and showmanship as enduring political tactics. Like Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does often rhyme.” —Jacob Robbins

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