When California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered a rousing speech in support of President Bush at the Republican National Convention, he energized the crowd with his immigrant's success story and his exhortation to send Bush "back to Washington for four more years."

Apparently, his wife, Maria Shriver, a niece of president John F. Kennedy and a staunch Democratic, was less enthused.

"Well, there was no sex for 14 days," Schwarzenegger said at a public forum Monday in Monterey, Calif., according to Reuters news agency. "Everything comes with side effects."

Schwarzenegger served up that inside scoop on his marriage before about 1,000 people at the Panetta Institute for Public Policy headed by former White House chief of staff Leon E. Panetta. In an on-stage conversation, Panetta had asked the governor how his wife had reacted to his convention speech.

Apparently undeterred by the prospect of another frosty reaction from the better half, Schwarzenegger continued: "I don't know why I watched the presidential debates. If I want to watch a smart liberal Democrat and a Republican leader argue, all we have to do is go out to dinner. They [Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry] were lucky. They only had to do it three times."