Schwarzenegger Lays an Egg; Hit By Egg

Arnold Schwarzenegger, action hero and budding Republican political star, laid a big egg on democracy when he announced that he will participate in only one of the four scheduled gubernatorial debates, and even then only the one which gives candidates the questions beforehand. In related news, he was pelted with an egg at California State University, Long Beach.

As Schwarzenegger worked the crowd, the egg splattered on the back of his left shoulder. An aide tried to wipe it off, but he simply peeled off his coat and went ahead with his speech.

Schwarzenegger has agreed to participate in only one debate, on Sept. 24, in which the questions will be provided to candidates in advance -- unlike Wednesday's debate. That decision has drawn criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Even though Schwarzenegger has opted out of the debate, organizers say they would welcome a last-minute change of heart.

Schwarzenegger's absence fit into his campaign strategy of appearing in public in controlled settings where he avoids protracted questioning from reporters, and critics have said he is not attending because he cannot see the questions in advance.

Hundreds of students crammed the university quad for Schwarzenegger's speech under the hot afternoon sun. Some were Young Republicans invited from other schools, according to the actor's campaign.

Several opponents from La Raza Student Association heckled him for his past support of Proposition 187, which sought to deny services to illegal immigrants. They held a sign saying "Hasta la vista Latinos." Supporters drowned out the hecklers with chants of "Arnold, Arnold, Arnold."