Movie director/initiative promoter Rob Reiner stepped away from his controversial post as chairman of the First Five Commission yesterday in a private letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, taking a “leave of absence” through the June primary election. Don’t expect him back.
The governor, who gave a smoothly delivered, politely received speech over an hour later than scheduled to kick off the state Republican convention in San Jose last night, wasn’t taking any press questions. He still wasn’t taking press questions when I ran into him at a private event after his speech.
Some Reiner friends in Hollywood saw the bad situation he is in, as, reportedly, did Reiner himself. His refusal as a public official to return my repeated calls regarding his status and plans coupled with his aides declining to simply say something like “Rob has done nothing wrong and will remain as chairman” made his crisis obvious. As a fellow Hollywood star, Schwarzenegger was in an awkward situtation. This face-saving option to attempt to defuse the situation is the result.
Will it work? Like most half-measures, probably not.