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Schwarzenegger wields giant knife in video - critics upset

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Schwarzenegger video screengrab.

(Read caption) California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger brandished a knife to symbolize budget cutting in a video he released for his Twitter followers. Spokesman Aaron McLear says the creative use of Twitter is what's important, not the knife.

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Come on. It's the Governator. He's going to do things differently.

So when he talks about cutting the budget, should you be that surprised that he whips out a two-foot hunting knife for dramatic effect?

That's exactly what Governor Schwarzenegger did in a video he released for his Twitter followers.

The video begins with Schwarzenegger admiring his knife (symbolic of budget cuts) and then goes on to thank his Twitter fans for coming up with creative ideas on how to balance the budget. The governor says he will follow the recommendation of one constituent who advised he autograph State of California cars that will be sold later this year, thereby giving the vehicles more value.

It's not the autographing that has people bothered. It's the idea that he would release a light-hearted video in the midst of a crumbling economy and budget crisis.

"I just thought it was in poor taste because I think we're in a bad time economically and, I mean, I know there's, there's a time for levity, but I don't think this is one of those times," one constituent told Sacramento's KABC TV.

But that's criticism that Schwarzenegger doesn't buy.

El Stiffo

"You sent a governor to Sacramento -- not El Stiffo, like some in the past were," Schwarzenegger said in a press conference yesterday. "[I am] someone a little bit more entertaining, and who has a little bit more fun with the whole thing, not have fun making the cuts -- they sadden me -- but fun with the job itself."

And coming from Schwarzenegger, the knife is pretty tame. Think of all the special effects he could have used from his box office past. Grenades, dynamite, bazookas, or liquid metal killing machines.

Schwarzenegger spokesman (full disclosure: my former colleague) Aaron McLear says get off the knife. The knife isn't the story. It's what the governor is doing -- IE: using Twitter to really interact with constituents.

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