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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Schwarzenegger Taps Warren Buffett as Adviser

Aired August 13, 2003 - 19:07   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Just to -- a programming note to point out we're standing by tonight. Shortly we expect to receive California's final list of certified candidates for governor.
CNN's Miguel Marquez is in Sacramento, monitoring developments -- Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How are you there, Anderson?

Yes, we are waiting for the certification of candidates. Essentially the secretary of state out here in Sacramento puts his official stamp on things. And we expect in about an hour that the list of who is running for California governor will be finalized.

I can tell you that workers here at the secretary of state's office have been putting in a few very long nights, plowing through all 247 filings. Of that, we know that only 171 remain; 131 of those have been completed and they're working on another 40.

Is that everyone running? Maybe not, though. If I can just throw one more thing in here. September 23 is the last day for write- in candidates to qualify. And the only thing you need to qualify as a write-in candidate, 65 signatures and not the $3,500 bucks, so you may see a lot more people trying to join the bandwagon as a write-in candidate.

We do know that we'll have between 131 and 171 candidates on the ballot. The question is will there be more write-ins? I'm sure there will. But we'll have to wait to see that -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Miguel. Thanks very much. As we said, Miguel is standing by. As soon as this list is released we'll tell you if there are any surprises.

As of today one of the most prominent names in this campaign isn't even a candidate. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has agreed to serve as Arnold Schwarzenegger's top financial and economic adviser for his campaign.

CNN's Jen Rogers joins us now from Los Angeles with more on Schwarzenegger's new costar -- Jen.

JEN ROGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson.

Well, he doesn't pump quite as much iron but Warren Buffett is a heavy weight of a different sort. He is easily one of the most revered investors. And Buffett is a star in his own right, not on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but on the New York Stock Exchange.

The so-called Oracle of Omaha is the world's second richest man. He's a very busy man with a day job that already includes overseeing a vast empire of companies as varied as Geico Direct auto insurance, Pampered Chef and Fruit of the Loom.

Mr. Buffett's new duties, according to the Schwarzenegger campaign, will be to help assemble other prominent business leaders and economists to help solve the issues facing California. You can well imagine, he has a pretty thick Rolodex to work off for that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON SIPPLE, SCHWARZENEGGER MEDIA DIRECTOR: A team will be assembled and meet soon and I think you'll see over the course of the next eight weeks a lot of substance and policy that he would apply as governor of the state of California.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROGERS: Now, of course, the campaign so far has been long on publicity, short on details. Today's announcement lent instant credibility to the campaign, some say, as there is no master of detail like Warren Buffett.

Now, Mr. Buffett is not a resident of the Golden State. He is from Nebraska. In fact, he is the son of a Republican congressman from that state. Although he does tend to give to Democratic causes, he has given to Mr. Schwarzenegger before. Anderson, we know from a recent campaign filing that Buffett gave the action hero a $75 coffee table book last Christmas -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. I take it he's not getting paid.

ROGERS: He doesn't need the money and you're right, he is not getting paid. He is doing this as a public service.

COOPER: All right. Jen Rogers, thanks very much.

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