Mike Allen
July 14, 2008

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in an interview aired Sunday that he would be open to the idea of serving as energy czar in a Barack Obama administration.

Regardless of whether he takes that particular job, Schwarzenegger, a Republican, added on ABC’s “This Week” that he’s now committed to continuing public service even after he leaves Sacramento.

Schwarzenegger endorsed John McCain at the end of January, and McCain has appeared with “the Governator” to praise his efforts to deal with climate change.

A Schwarzenegger appointment would add even more star power to a hypothetical Obama administration, and would allow Obama to make an appointment from across the aisle that would not upset his core supporters.

When George Stephanopoulous asked Schwarzenegger about the idea on “This Week,” the governor replied that he doesn’t “think about taking on a national role.”

“It’s hypothetical,” he added. “I’m always ready to help in any way I can, the United States. I’ve committed myself to be a public servant. I said to myself, ‘This country has given me everything. It’s my time, now — I’m through with the acting and all of those things that I’ve done, body building.

“Even though I love all of those things still, for me, it’s important to give something back, do my work without getting paid and give something back, no matter what I do. If I have this position or not, I will be traveling around the world and I will be promoting [energy independence], renewables, solar, windmills, … protecting the environment, protecting the oceans.”

Stephanopoulos followed up about Obama: “If he were president and he called, you would at least take that call?”

Schwarzenegger replied: “I would take his call now, I will take his call when he’s president — any time. Remember, no matter who is president, I don’t see this as a political thing, I see this as we always have to help, no matter what the administration is.”

Stephanopoulos said his question was prompted by a news report that he attributed to Newsweek.

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