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Run, Maria Shriver, Run!

Maria Shriver is restless and needs a worthy challenge to the role of wife and mother. I have a suggestion

The news that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have split after 25 years of often-tempestuous married union came as a surprise.

After all, if Maria was ever going to leave Arnold, it might have come at any of those many moments when he made it excruciatingly hard to stand by him.

Instead it happened as he moved back home from Sacramento and started taking up space in the house. So she’s moved out.

Maria Shriver, it seems, is restless, impatient and at that critical stage of life where she needs a worthy challenge to the role of wife and mother.

I have a suggestion: Run, Maria, Run!

Also read: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Separate

That’s right. It’s time to think about running for public office. For what? I don’t care. Mayor. Assemblywoman. Congress. Traffic Czar.

Shriver’s four children are nearly grown. She’s not going back to the ever-shrinking broadcast news world. (Why bother? Not even Katie or Meredith want it anymore.) And, please: we have enough mediocre children’s books to last a lifetime.

Shriver clearly reveled in the role of First Lady of California, using the position to shine a spotlight women’s issues with an ambitious, annual conference and showing an instinctive intelligence for the issues the public cares about.  

Politics is in her blood. As the daughter of Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver, Maria grew up in a home dedicated to private generosity and public service.

 Sargent Shriver devoted his life to that work, founding the Peace Corps in the Kennedy Administration. Eunice Kennedy devoted her life not only to her own children but to creating the Special Olympics, giving disabled individuals the dignity of competition and achievement in sports.

That is in addition to her incredible uncles, John and Robert and Teddy (Time magazine photo of her on left with JFK). They knew how to run campaigns, how to win elected office and how to leave their stamp on history.

That is a rare legacy to carry forward. Losing both her parents in recent years (her father just earlier this year) must be a harsh blow. But one way to honor the lives of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver is for their daughter to carry their message forward to a new generation of voters.

It’s time. Maria was always known to adore her larger-than-life husband. But now that perhaps she doesn’t anymore, it’s time to step out of his shadow.

And run for elected office.