Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of All Ages …

The circus has officially started. Arnold has declared his candidacy for the Governor of California, but then again so has everyone else. Arianna Huffington has tossed her hat in the ring. (“Does anyone … still toss … a hat?”) Angelyne has put herself on the ballot. Poor Gary Coleman was so out of the loop that I suppose he didn’t even realize that his declaration of candidacy yesterday would be as overshadowed by Arnold’s announcement as Coleman himself would be by Arnold. Even Larry Flynt is running for office. (I don’t even have to comment on that one.)

On The Tonight Show, long known as the center of political discourse in America, Arnold stated that he had plenty of money so he wouldn’t need any special interest money. So isn’t it odd that he couldn’t come up with a few bucks for a decent dye job? Maybe he thought it would be a good campaign strategy to mimic the haircolor of his most formidable opponent, the Huffster.

Add to these luminaries a long list of people that no one has ever heard of (at last count in the vicinity of 300), and no one who goes into the voting booth will know that to do on election day. Has anyone figured out the logistics of this yet? Hanging chads and butterfly ballots ain’t got nothin’ on a ballot with 300+ candidates for one office.

At this point, it seems inevitable that Arnold will be the next governor, for two reasons. First, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante has broken ranks with the party line and is running as a Democratic candidate. (Do the Democrats really think this is the best ace-in-the-hole they can come up with?) Second, after stirring up the hornet’s nest, Darrell Issa has decided to run away before he gets stung, leaving Schwarzenegger as the leading candidate.

There might be some tears about who gets elected, but there won’t be any tears about Gray Davis’ inevitable departure.