For more than a decade, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger managed to keep secret the fact that he had fathered a child with a member of his household staff, misleading not only to his family, but also to millions of Californians who may not have elected him had they known.
Battered by years of fiscal problems, Schwarzenegger's public approval rating had dipped to 23 percent when he left office in January. On his final day in office, he shortened the manslaughter sentence for the son of his political friend Fabian Nunez, angering his shrunken pool of supporters. If that had not already ruled out any political future, observers said, his acknowledgment Tuesday almost surely did.
"This layered on top of the Nunez thing pretty much means his political future is done at this point," said Jeff Randle, a Republican strategist and former adviser to Schwarzenegger.
In the months since leaving office, Schwarzenegger has traveled extensively in Europe and South America, negotiated movie and animated TV show deals, and been mentioned as a possible federal appointee.
Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver announced last week that they were separating but gave no reason. Shriver moved out of their home in Los Angeles' Brentwood neighborhood earlier this year, after Schwarzenegger acknowledged having a child with a household employee.