Warren Beatty gave the commencement speech to the University of California class of 2005, wearing academic robes and going after Governor Schwarzenegger in what may be an opening salvo in Beatty's rumored campaign. Current front runners in the race for the Democratic nomination include State Treasurer Phil Angelides and fellow Hollywood millionaire Rob Reiner, after Attorney General Bill Lockyer threw in the towel.

Schwarzenegger has seen his approval ratings drop to around 50% after taking on state pensions and politically unpopular redistricting (the whole groping thing isn't going away, either). We'll leave it to John Burton to colorfully explain why the Democrats might want to run an actor against an actor (which sign of the apocalypse is that? Second, third?):

Former Democratic state Senate leader John Burton, on hand to watch his friend speak, said Beatty could match the governor "camera for camera."

"I don't know if we need that or not," said Burton. "But, Arnold farts and there's like 30 cameras. Celebrity is celebrity."

Chris Lopez over the Contra Costa Times offers his thoughts, and Patrick Rodriguez excoriates Beatty for turning the commencement into a self-aggrandizing political event (and also provides a handy link to the transcript). We're watching to see if Larry David will offer equal time on his show to Reiner and Beatty if both, in fact, run.

Photo: Promotional still from the movie Bulworth.