Largent Limps, Schwarzenegger Shines

7:15 PM -- The CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment show got off to an unfortunate start here this morning when CTIA president Steve Largent, obviously reading from a teleprompter, gave a non-rousing kickoff speech introducing a painfully "futuristic" video.

Largent's qualifications for running CTIA seem to be that, as a Republican Congressman from Oklahoma, he (a) was a member of the Telecommunications Subcommittee; and (b) never missed a chance to vote against government regulation. Ironically, his pitch now is in favor of federal regulation as opposed to a patchwork of state regulations governing wireless carriers.

The "Magic Is In the Air" video that Largent showed featured a ridiculous forward glance at wireless technologies of the future, including a wristband two-way audio-video communicator straight out of Dick Tracy.

But then, Largent introduced a surprise guest -- the Governator! Just hours after his late-night appearance on the second half of ESPN's Monday Night Football doubleheader (during the Raiders' embarrassing shutout loss to the San Diego Chargers), Gov. Schwarzenegger, looking resplendent in a cream-colored suit, gave a quickie version of his standard stump speech, touting the accomplishments of his first term (a list that, oddly, did not include California's new auto-emissions restrictions). Schwarzenegger, the former steroid-head body-builder, demonstrated why he's a born politician and Largent, the former undersized pro football player, is just a hack.

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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