The LuLac Edition #249, June 21rst, 2007
PHOTO INDEX: COLORADO DLC OFFICIAL AND BEST FRIEND, JIM GIBSON, PRESIDENTIAL WANNABE FRED THOMPSON AND SENATOR OBAMA WITH FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON.
THE OBAMA GIRL
The Obama Girl piece is taking the country by storm and in a conversation with good friend and Colorado DLC official Jim Gibson, we touched on the popularity of the video as well as the new way that YOU TUBE seems to be paving for Presidential politics. It's current as the second hand on your watch and can be helpful or hurtful. (Ask former Virginia Senator George Allen who had a candidacy and a Presidential bid derailed by YOU TUBE in the 2006 elections.) We are a long way from Richard Nixon appearing on "Rowen & Martin's Laugh In" during the 1968 campaign where he said in mock surprise (Nixon could've been Brando I tell ya!) "sock it to me!!???" Here's the YOU TUBE video in case you haven't seen it, by special request.
THOMPSON? OH COME NOW!!
When I was a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis". A character in the show, Maynard G. Krebbs, played by Bob Denver had a signature line when someone suggested something incredulous to him. His response was usually "oh come now!" That's how I feel when people talk about Fred Thompson for President. I cringe at the comparisons to Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a two term California Governor. He ran for President, lost twice (in '68 and '76) and tried again. He refused a co-presidency idea with Gerald Ford in 1980 because he knew he wanted to govern unfettered. His TV career was well in the past when he embarked on his Presidential bids. Like him or not, he had a core set of beliefs that, unlike Thompson, never changed. New York Daily News Sports Columnist and Author Mike Lupica has been let loose to comment on politics. Let me share with you one of the finest appraisals of Fred Thompson's career and legitamacy as a Presidential contender written in a long time. Lupica makes great points. Here's that column from the Daily News:
Fred Thompson really started out his political career as Richard Nixon's errand boy to the Watergate Committee, back when Nixon still thought he could take the Constitution and fold it into a paper airplane.
Thompson ultimately went from there to be elected twice as U.S. senator from Tennessee, then to a career as an actor, most notably as District Attorney Arthur Branch on the "Law and Order" television series. Now he might actually go from there to what could be the role of a rather pedestrian career, in both show business and politics, as a Republican candidate for President.
So it should have surprised no one last night that the unannounced candidate went from NBC's prime-time lineup - such as it is - to a role as guest political analyst on Fox News after the latest Republican presidential debate. It was kind of beautiful, the professional actor evaluating the performances of the amateur actors already running for President from Thompson's party.
It was as close as we have come yet to where the political process in this country is headed eventually, which means straight to "American Idol."
You want to know how the clown line between what is real news and what is fake news blurs more by the day in this country? Somebody like Fred Thompson is how. Maybe Sam Waterston - who is expected to be promoted to DA to replace Thompson's character in the fake world - can moderate the next Democratic debate.
"But if you think about it, what politician isn't an actor?" Lowell Weicker said yesterday. He is a former Republican senator and governor from Connecticut, and served on the Watergate Committee when Fred Thompson was its Republican lawyer. "I got my start as the head of theDramatic Society at Lawrenceville, I'd like you to know," Weicker said.
In his day, Lowell Weicker was as good a show as they had in the Republican Party and, let's be honest, never much of a team player, back when "maverick" was probably the most polite thing people in his party called him. At a time when almost everybody running for President as a Republican genuflects every time Ronald Reagan's name is mentioned, Weicker takes great pride in being called a pompous, no-good fathead in the new Reagan diaries because he stood up to Reagan on school prayer.
Weicker is one who remembers Reagan as he really was, not the saint he has become over the last 20 years in America, as if he somehow has become the President anybody even thinking of running from the right should aspire to be.
Weicker was asked yesterday if he ever saw any acting potential in Fred Thompson back in the days when Thompson would go running back to Nixon as soon as he heard anything good in Watergate Committee meetings.
Weicker is a big guy with a voice and opinions and a laugh to match, and he laughed big now. "No," he said, "I didn't see any potential for acting, and why don't we just leave it at that?" He was asked about somebody like Thompson running, if he does run, more because he is a face and a character everybody knows from television than for anything memorable he did as a senator or lobbyist.
"Are you are asking me a general question if I'm surprised that something like that could happen in this country?" Weicker said. "Because then the answer is no."
Maybe it was inevitable that somebody would try to run straight from a long-running series all the way to the White House. Or maybe Thompson thinks he's ready to lead the free world because he plays President Ulysses S. Grant in the current television adaptation of "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."
This all started a half-century ago when we had a President, Jack Kennedy, who looked and lived and carried himself like a Hollywood leading man. Then 20 years later came Reagan, who went from acting to governor of California and finally to the White House. Now there are people who have urged Martin Sheen to run for some kind of office because his heart seemed to be in the right place on "The West Wing" and he did a good job delivering Aaron Sorkin's speeches.
This all does really make sort of screwball sense. Every day it is a knockdown, drag-out fight to separate the news from the real world and the news from the trash world, when the late-night adventures of Lindsay Lohan and an authentic no-talent like Paris Hilton seem to dominate everything.
And last week here came Alex Rodriguez to join the bimbettes on the other side of the clown line with a blond of his own, even managing to shove Lindsay and Paris out of the way for a couple of days.
You couldn't help thinking at the time that if we had somehow been able to consolidate some of the trash news, if the blond with A-Rod in Toronto, the one with whom he was reportedly photographed between a strip club and his hotel, had been Paris or Lindsay - or both! - how much space we could have saved for news that actually mattered.
Fred Thompson isn't a moral authority on anything, he just plays one on television. He isn't famous for anything he ever did in politics. These days he is just someone else in America famous for being famous, even as a supporting actor.
At least Reagan was a leading man, in the fake world and the real one.