Friday, June 08, 2007


By Ivan G. Goldman
IF REPUBLICANS THROW “Law & Order”’s Fred Thompson into the national campaign I’m figuring the Democrats may have to pull out all the stops and go with one of the regular panelists from “American Idol,” which has even higher ratings. I mean this is serious business, and Democrats can’t afford to be defeated in the race to the very most bottom of the inanity barrel.
Although Republicans are always crabbing about Streisand, Baldwin, and the Dixie Chicks, the fact is, they’re eating the Democrats’ lunch in celebrity politics. While Democratic stars content themselves with guest spots on Bill Maher, Republicans file for office and win. Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Thompson, the list goes on and on.
The thing to do is fight fire with fire. Check out those ratings and grab a ringer off the top. I mean, I don’t know Paula Abdul’s politics, but with Nielsens like those, who needs a brain or a heart? Wait a minute, do I hear you asking questions about substance? Now there’s a laugh. Ever hear Bush open his mouth? Okay, so after six and a half years voters are on to him. But top columnists and the like are already taking this Thompson guy seriously, an empty vessel who’s a big threat because he’s been seen by millions of Americans playing the part of a capable, decent person, and perception is everything. What’s more, because he stands for nothing he carries no negative baggage. Like somebody once said, once you can fake sincerity, you've got it made, and for years he's been jumping back and forth between playing politician and playing the part of a poltician in films and on TV. Neither he nor the public seems to know the difference. And maybe there isn't one anymore anyway. When you can pull some guy off a B movie set and call him The Great Communicator, the lines of demarcation are gone.
But if the Democrats can get to Abul before the other guys do, watch her run right over Thompson with her even higher recognition factor. And when archeologists from another planet pick through the burned out ruins of this civilization, if they can find just one DVD of our presidential debates they’ll understand everything.

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