For her part, Feinstein, who survived a recall attempt as San Francisco mayor in 1983, called the drive to kick Davis out of office "a terrible mistake." Most of the dozens of potential candidates vying to replace him, she said, "have no background or knowledge of the state's enormous portfolio of issues," from public schools to health care and terrorism.
The oddity of the recall - being used for the first time against a statewide officeholder - has spawned a profusion of candidates, including former Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and billboard pinup Angelyne. Their entrance has enabled the Davis campaign to portray the recall as a circus, a framing that Feinstein echoed yesterday.
One of the crowd
Steve Smith, director of the governor's anti-recall campaign, responded to Schwarzenegger's announcement by depicting the actor as little more than a name in the crowd.
"Today, one more name has been added to the long list of candidates in this recall election," Smith said in a statement.
"Arnold Schwarzenegger now joins a list that includes Darrell Issa, Bill Simon, Tom McClintock, two Huffingtons, Larry Flynt and even Angelyne.
"We expect many more names and far more rumors and we remind all Californians that this has been brought to you by millionaire Darrell Issa and Republicans bent on pushing their harmful agenda on California."
Some California members of Congress who had been urging Feinstein to run said they still would like a well-known Democrat to get on the ballot to ensure that their party does not lose control of the nation's biggest state government.
In Sacramento yesterday, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer said Democrats might still need the "safety net" of a "Plan B" candidate in case the governor is recalled.
The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.