A mayoral election season that has been dominated by one hum-drum debate after the next got a rare moment of levity Friday when former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made an unannounced appearance, courtesy of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Mr. de Blasio was making the point that New York City would soon eclipse Silicon Valley as the nation’s tech capital, so he channeled the none other than star of Kindergarten Cop.
“If Arnold Schwarzenegger were here, he would say this: No-thern Ca-lee-for-nia, your domination of the tech industry is being Terminated,” said Mr. de Blasio in his best (though lacking) Schwarzenegger accent.
The gag drew laughs from the audience gathered at the New York Law School to hear the candidates talk about tech—but his electoral rivals were less than impressed.
“That was a bad imitation Bill,” said former Comptroller Bill Thompson, judging the effort wanting.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn also put her foot down.
“I’m terminating all accents that are not actually yours, moving forward at all debates!” she declared, laughing. “There’s a new City Council rule on that.”
Mr. de Blasio, undaunted, said he knew his accent would be a hit.
“An Arnold Schwarzenegger reference always works,” he said. “I just want to say on it on the record.”
The debate in question focused on the candidates’ visions on technology in the city, with inquiries on whether tablets should be used in schools and wireless accessibility.
No word yet on whether de Blasio’s Terminator will be back.
Update (4:06 p.m.): Here’s the video, via Capital New York.