You didn't really count him out, did you?

After previously ruling it out, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) appears to be softening his rhetoric on a possible run for the Senate, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.


The governor regularly dismisses talk of another political run - specifically for U.S. Senate - as something he's just not interested in, but recently he appeared to soften his words.

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Asked by a Chronicle reporter at a Commonwealth Club of California appearance this month whether he ruled out a U.S. Senate run, the governor wasn't definitive - and deftly sidestepped the question.

"I have my hands full with all the stuff I'm doing now," he said, referring to his campaign to pass a package of budget-related propositions that are on a special-election May 19 ballot. "I'm concentrating on that and not what I'm going to do next," he said.

"You know," he added, as he signed autographs, "I'm not a politician. I'm a public servant."

Hmmmm.

Always highly ambitious, and since he can never run for president, challenging Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBass raises nearly million since launching LA mayor campaign Harry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate majority leader, dies Congress can prevent another Jan. 6 by updating a key elections law MORE (D) might make the most sense. Schwarzenegger would like have a hard time overcoming this tremendous budget problems in California. A recent poll show Boxer has a sizable lead - 50 percent to 34 percent. That is particularly significant since Schwarzenegger has very high name ID.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com