CNN Audio

Sunday Edition: The State(s) of Abortion in America
5 Things
Listen to
CNN 5 Things
Sun, Jul 3
New Episodes
How To Listen
On your computer On your mobile device Smart speakers
Explore CNN
US World Politics Business
special

Total Recall: California's Political Circus

It reads like a movie script. The year? 2003. The mission? Defeat hundreds of challengers to save the state of California and become its leader. But this wasn't a movie... it was a real-life election for governor that featured adult film stars, sumo wrestlers, comedians, and ended with the election of action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. In Total Recall: California’s Political Circus, CNN's Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash will unpack the scandal, partisanship, and celebrity of the Golden State’s 2003 recall election – and explore what it might have forecasted about politics today.

Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 2003 is against a neon background containing the Hollywood sign and palm trees

Back to episodes list

Hasta La Vista Gray Davis
Total Recall: California's Political Circus
Trailer

Join us for the stranger than fiction story behind the 2003 California recall election that replaced a sitting governor with America's most famous action hero. We'll unpack the scandal, partisanship and celebrity surrounding this circus and explain how it may have influenced our current political reality. CNN's Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash talks to key players including the two men at the very center of it all: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis.