One of my favorite words is ‘protean.’ The dictionary definitions all say it means versatile and mutable, which I agree with, but nowhere can I find reference to what I was always sure was its other, subtler shade: opportunistic, ambitious.
Anyway, there’s no reason to debate it, because we have a human definition: Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s serious about global warming now. Withholding any kind of actual policy analysis, I am simply in awe of him as a player:
Schwarzenegger argued that in a “Nixon goes to China” way he is uniquely poised to lead on the environmental front. Calling himself a “sane Republican,” he said his pro-business philosophy and fiscal conservatism shield him from accusations of being “the tree hugger, the crazy guy out there who wants to live on the moon and talk about the spirits and all this holistic stuff.”
“With me they can’t do it, because my whole history is different,” he said, puffing thoughtfully on a fat cigar in his smoking tent in a courtyard of the state Capitol. “It’s unexpected, so therefore you have a better chance to have an impact. . . . All those businesses would never have a better guy than me.”