Dodging everything from living room ottomans to most
anything else a political family can deftly navigate around without tripping
to the floor ...
Indeed, when I initially happen-chanced upon the Obamas featured on the cover
of 'TV Guide' during my supermarket checkout event, I couldnt
help but think, how perfect ... The Mocha-Mint version of Rob
and Laura Petrie had, indeed, made it to the White House. It was only then
at that very moment that the couple I favored had, somehow,
In truth, I had never previously seen the Obamas or the political
season they came to dominate as something that could be transposed
to the small screen. I, in fact, had viewed the entire campaign of 2008 in
far larger, cinematic terms. While I dont recall the precise day that
a familiar bell rang in my head, I do know that it was about half-way through
the primary season that it occurred to me what I was witnessing and
watching ... In short, Campaign 2008 was a Paddy Chayefsky script
as directed by Robert Altman. The surreal merger of Network and
Nashville as viewed on acid.
And you probably think Im kidding. But when one simply compresses time
as most of cinema does further itemizing people and events
in overview form as a film draft, the ensemble cast
surely begins to look as if they were modeled after a Chayefsky/Altman
cinematic realization. The kicker is that few of the actual characters require
much in the way of Hollywood-style script enhancement. Many, indeed, may
be portrayed straight 'out of the box' ... On with The Show ...
The Central Cast Overview:
Barack Obama The junior, African-American senator from Illinois
who would run for the highest office in the land on a lark after playing
a round of Truth or Dare, where the latter option was unhesitatingly
Michelle Obama The candidates wife, playing the role
of the angry Angela Davis militant, though fully camouflaged as a matter
of concealment by campaign operatives. (Wardrobe Department: See The Gap,
AJ Wright, and Marshalls).
Hillary Clinton The former First Lady and worlds most
celebrated cuckold as the heir-apparent for the presidency. Long anticipated
that she would screech the inaugural address, if elected. But for the campaign,
itself, she would go soft, with a tear. Then hard. Then soft. Then hard again.
The tactical-binary Viagra of American politics. Speaking of which
Bill Clinton Candidate Hillarys husband who also happened
to be the former President of The United States. Often best remembered for
an Oval Office affair with a White House intern during his presidency. Had
once been politically brilliant, but loses his touch at the expense of his
candidate spouse. Stunned and angered by the imponderable notion that his
wife as well as his own legacy could be dwarfed by a green-leaf,
Obama candidacy that out-maneuvered his own prowess. Becomes increasingly
embittered behind the scenes while remaining camera-ready with a drop-jawed
John Edwards The mirror-gazing, narcissistic candidate with
the a southern-charm accent and a dedicated, cancer-inflicted wife. Has an
affair with a campaign staffer shooting a trail documentary with a home video
camera. Think of the BBC reporter, Opal, from Nashville. Edwards
is followed by the tabloidian press, capturing his exit from a hotel rendezvous,
further speculating that he was the father of the campaign staffers
Plumber Joe (Wurzelbacher) Would ask candidate Obama if he
believed in the American Dream at the head of a driveway in Toledo, Ohio.
And, with this simple act, would become a new media sensation as an iconistic
representation of the 'common man', further agreeing to be used on the
Republican campaign trail all expenses paid with
his rally-cry presence. Would additionally become a repetitive topic during
presidential debates, prompting the news media to surround his house in search
of his reaction and insightful comments regarding the utterance of his name.
Televised guest appearances on conservative talk shows would ensue while
Joe the non-licensed plumber would endeavor to
parlay the pandemonium into a change of career-path with a book contract
and country-western recording career. A run for public office would further
be entertained ...
Is this just beginning to seem so Chayesfky and
Altman yet? Lets continue
Wright Candidate Obamas proclaimed spiritual leader who
temporarily derails the campaign with the video replay of his anti-white,
damn-America rhetoric, delivered from the pulpit. Momentarily dominates the
presidential race, as well as the nations race-consciousness.
Bill Ayers Anti-war activist from the 1960s and co-founder
of the radical-left Weather Underground, supplemented by his involvement
with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Participated in the bombings
of the New York City Police Headquarters, the United States Capitol Building,
and the Pentagon. Would be tied to candidate Obama while more recently serving
as a professor at The University of Illinois at Chicago, holding the current
titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior
Oprah Winfrey Popular, morning television fluff host whose
televised endorsement singlehandedly catapults the Obama campaign from the
negligible margins onto the central page.
Rudy Giuliani Former cross-dressing comic as the Mayor of New
York, regarded as nominee-apparent after saving all of New York City from
Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome following the 9-11 attacks. Ultimately terrorized
by his own campaign strategists who brought his race to a quick, pancaked
collapse, leaving behind Republican rubble and debris in its wake to vie
for the partys nomination ...
Mitt Romney The former and curiously Republican Governor of
Massachusetts who offers a new kind of synthesized and cheap counterfeit
knock-off of what a conservative is said to be, now available off-the-rack.
Made in China, but alas, raised as a Mormon. Otherwise, picture-perfect on
the campaign trail with some one of his wives
Mike Huckabee The amiable and folksy, bass-playing, Keith
Richards-worshipping Reverend-Preacher-Governor of Arkansas running for president
on a shoestring budget, operating out of a small rental van selling flowers
at busy intersections. After putting up an admirable, but losing fight, a
conservative cable news network gives him his own one-hour television program
as a campaign-loss, consolation prize.
John McCain The Republican candidate, finally nominated for
his Oscar after years of party neglect. War Hero. Prisoner of War, partially
crippled by the experience. Cant comb his own hair, without assistance.
Awkward presence, all around ... And the Republican partys curious
selection as their presidential candidate to counter the smooth-talking and
far more polished political presence of Barack Obama.
Sarah Palin Not to be confused with John McCains actual
vice-presidential pick, but rather, the selection of campaign operatives
wishing to offset the historic novelty of the opposing African-American candidate
on the Democratic side. Clothes whore, while fashion illiterate. Previous,
flute-tooting beauty pageant contestant. Barbie Doll sports reporter in
Anchorage. And, ultimately, the one who Alaskans would select as their Governor.
Husband, a celebrated snowmobile racer. While moose-hunting from a helicopter,
her unwed daughter becomes pregnant with the participation of a fellow underage
teen, named Levi, soon forced to participate on the campaign trail with the
encouragement of a shotgun, as well as at the GOP convention. Combined with
sporadic cameo appearances of the bastard child, named Tripp,
as an homage to father Levis drug-addicted mother. Character ultimately
rejected and revised by Chayefsky and Altman due to over-the-top, implausible
improbability even for Hollywood.
And, in consideration of the above, I could only be reminded of Robert
Altmans opening title sequence of Nashville with Henry
Gibson as Haven Hamilton singing, we must be doing something right
to last two hun-dred years.