Schwarzenegger follows his passion; Maria follows hers — a new boyfriend

November 1, 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger leading a pep rally at Stuart-Hobson Middle School (Jennifer Harnish/ After School All Stars)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a busy, busy man. While hoping for a constitutional amendment that would allow the Austrian-born former governor of California to be eligible to become president, he’s following his passions.

“My passion is after-school programs, my passion is environmental issues, my passion is promoting health and fitness, doing movies, being a businessman, running UC’s Schwarzenegger Institute and teaching our kids about bipartisanship and working together,” he told us, without taking a breath. “There are a lot of different passions. I’m always busy.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 29: Journalist Maria Shriver attends the International Women's Media Foundation's 2013 Courage in Journalism Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel on October 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for IWMF)
Maria Shriver (Jason Merritt/Getty Images for IWMF)

On Wednesday, Schwarzenegger followed his passion to Washington where he lobbied congressional leaders for after-school programs, became an honorary Forest Ranger, and led a pep rally at Stuart-Hobson Middle School in Northeast.

Hobson is the first D.C. location for After-School All-Stars, as academic and fitness initiative Schwarzenegger founded in 1992, which has expanded to 15 cities. He pumped up the kids with a brief but enthusiastic speech, urging them to keep out of trouble and focus on their education. “I feel strongly that each and every one of you can be a winner!”

Schwarzenegger’s greatest asset isn’t his fame or fortune — it’s his optimism. At 66, he oozes upbeat energy from his pores. He’s terrific, he said, and his kids are terrific.

An aide dragged him away before we could ask about his personal life, presumably also terrific. Although he and wife Maria Shriver split in 2011 after revelations of his affair and child with their housekeeper, the two have not divorced and, a source close to him told us, they get along very well.

Matthew Dowd (ABC/Lorenzo Bevialqua)
Matthew Dowd (ABC/Lorenzo Bevialqua)

But Schwarzenegger’s plan to win her back — which he’s discussed publicly more than once — appears to be on hold. Looks like Shriver has found herself a boyfriend.

Sources tell us that Shriver, 57, and Republican strategist Matthew Dowd, 52, have been seriously — but very quietly — dating for the past few months; photos of the two together in Georgetown earlier this month made the tabloids.

Dowd is best known as the chief architect of the Bush-Cheney 2004 reelection campaign who famously fell out with the former president over the Iraq war. He’s now a political contributor for ABC and a regular on the Sunday morning shows.

Dowd declined to comment; Shriver didn’t get back to us.

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Emily Yahr | October 31, 2013