Rudy and Arnie

Fresh off his “statement of candidacy,” Rudy Giuliani will head off to California this weekend to raise some money and address the GOP convention in Sacramento.

What isn’t on the public schedule is a private meeting with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, said a source familiar with the trip.

With talk of California possibly moving up its primary schedule, the state takes on added importance for Giuliani, whose moderate positions — relative to the rest of the prospective 2008 field on the GOP side — should be an unqualified positive there.

Giuliani already enjoys the diehard backing of Bill Simon, the 2002 Republican candidate for governor of California, who held a fund-raiser for Giuliani at his Pacific Palisades home on Jan. 29th. With all the necessary caveats about the overstated importance of endorsements, the addition of Schwarzenegger would be big.

–Jason Horowitz