CBS: George Clooney plays a presidential candidate in the political drama “The Ides of March,” but he’s not looking to be one in real life. Clooney told reporters at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday that he has “no interest” in heading to the White House.
“As for running for president, look, there’s a guy in office right now who is smarter than almost anyone you know, who’s nicer and who has more compassion than almost anyone you know. And he’s having an almost impossible time governing. Why would anybody volunteer for that job?”
I haven’t had the chance yet to reply to emails or comments from the last few days (weeks!), things have been kind of nuts – a gazillion sorries, I’ll try to catch up soon. But thank you to everyone who’s been in touch, really appreciate it.
And the warmest of welcomes to anyone who has come here from The Only Adult In The Room. While I’m genuinely thrilled to see you all here, I’ll be waaaaaaay happier when BWD springs back in to action after her break, I can’t even begin to describe how much I miss her and her blog. But I’m beyond happy that she’s taking a break, no one deserves it more ….. love ya BWD.
Meanwhile …. I’m noticing some fretting in the recent comments about the latest polls.
Call me an incurable optimist, but seriously: who do you think can beat the President in 2012? If he had a semi-normal opponent I might worry, but……
Are you kidding me?
Honest, even I could produce the ads to vaporize these freaks.
Talk soon – love ya all ;-)
PS If you’re feeling low, just keep taking your garlic:
Richard Cohen (Washington Post): Someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like. The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult.
To become a Republican, one has to take a pledge. It is not enough to support the party or mouth banalities about Ronald Reagan; one has to promise not to give the government another nickel. This is called the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” issued by Americans for Tax Reform, an organization headed by the chirpy Grover Norquist. He once labeled the argument that an estate tax would affect only the very rich “the morality of the Holocaust.” Anyone can see how singling out the filthy rich and the immensely powerful and asking them to ante up is pretty much the same as Auschwitz and that sort of thing.
….. Something similar has happened with global warming. It has become a conviction of much of the GOP that you and I, with our cars and factories and leaf blowers and barbecue pits, are off the hook – innocent of cooking the atmosphere. That being the case, it therefore is not the case that anything has to be done about it. Only much of science, common sense and your average walrus differ, but the GOP soldiers on. This is a version of Nancy Reagan’s pledge: Just say no.
….the net effect is to establish an intellectual barrier for admittance to the presidential race: Independent thinkers, stop right here! If you believe in global warming, revenue enhancement, stimulus programs, the occasional need for abortion or even the fabulist theories of the late Charles Darwin, then either stay home – or lie.
This intellectual rigidity has produced a GOP presidential field that’s a virtual political Jonestown. The Grand Old Party, so named when it really did evoke America, has so narrowed its base that it has become a political cult…..
The Carlow Nationalist: The imminent arrival of US president Barack Obama has prompted 96-year-old PJ Furey to let his creative juices flow ….he has written a poem in tribute to the US president, honouring his historic visit to Ireland…
Arise you friendly Irish folk, And give a rousing cheer,
For the President of America, And his wife are coming here.
They arrive in Dublin City, On the twenty-third of May,
And thousands will be greeting them, On this historic day.
Then Barack gives a timely speech, And clearly lets us see,
He is the man for creed and clan, For peace and liberty.
And so to Offaly they go, To give a special call,
To visit their ancestor’s place, In dear old Moneygall.
And the people of the village, So faithful and so true,
Will proudly greet them when they call, With a Céad Míle Fáilte too.
They will thank the noble couple, And their good friends one and all,
And wish everyone fond memories, Of their time in Moneygall.
Now young and old in Erin’s isle, Wish Barack and Michelle,
Success in all they undertake, And a very long life as well!
Chicago Mag (1993): In the final, climactic build-up to November’s general election … the number of new voter registrations hit an all-time high. And the majority of those new voters were black. More than 150,000 new African-American voters were added to the city’s rolls….
…At the head of this effort was a little-known 31-year-old African-American lawyer, community organizer, and writer: Barack Obama.
… By 1991, when Obama, law degree in hand, returned to Chicago to work on a book about race relations – having turned his back on the Supreme Court clerkship that is almost a given for the law review’s top editor – black voter registration and turnout in the city were at their lowest points since record keeping began … Six months after he took the helm of Chicago’s Project Vote!, those conditions had been reversed.
…Within a few months, Obama, a tall, affable workaholic, had recruited staff and volunteers from black churches, community groups, and politicians. He helped train 700 deputy registrars, out of a total of 11,000 citywide. And he began a saturation media campaign with the help of black-owned Brainstorm Communications…
….The success of the voter-registration drive has marked Obama as the political star the Mayor should perhaps be watching for. “The sky’s the limit for Barack,” says Burrell.
Some of Daley’s closest advisers are similarly impressed. “In its technical demands, a voter-registration drive is not unlike a mini-political campaign,” says John Schmidt. “Barack ran this superbly. I have no doubt he could run an equally good political campaign if that’s what he decided to do next.”
Obama shrugs off the possibility of running for office. “Who knows?” he says. “But probably not immediately.” He smiles.
“Was that a sufficiently politic ‘maybe’? My sincere answer is, I’ll run if I feel I can accomplish more that way than agitating from the outside. I don’t know if that’s true right now. Let’s wait and see what happens in 1993….”
LA Times (March, 1990): Barack Obama stares silently at a wall of fading black-and-white photographs in the muggy second-floor offices of the Harvard Law Review. He lingers over one row of solemn faces, his predecessors of 40 years ago. All are men. All are dressed in dark-colored suits and ties. All are white.
It is a sobering moment for Obama, 28, who in February became the first black to be elected president in the 102-year history of the prestigious student-run law journal.
The post, considered the highest honor a student can attain at Harvard Law School, almost always leads to a coveted clerkship with the U.S. Supreme Court after graduation and a lucrative offer from the law firm of one’s choice.
Yet Obama, who has gone deep into debt to meet the $25,000-a-year cost of a Harvard Law School education, has left many in disbelief by asserting that he wants neither.
“One of the luxuries of going to Harvard Law School is it means you can take risks in your life,” Obama said recently. “You can try to do things to improve society and still land on your feet. That’s what a Harvard education should buy – enough confidence and security to pursue your dreams and give something back.”
After graduation next year, Obama says he probably will spend two years at a corporate law firm, then look for community work. Down the road, he plans to run for public office…..
Vanity Fair (June 1990): The new president of the Harvard Law Review was somewhat taken aback by the deluge of media coverage that followed hard on the heels of his election. The New York Times ran a “First Black” headline, which probably won’t be the last time that label is affixed to Barack Obama.
The twenty-eight-year-old law student says he wasn’t going to run for the office until a black friend talked him into it. “There’s a door to kick down,” the friend argued, “and you’re in a position to kick it down.”
The job does give him a great forum, but there’s a trade-off. “I like to read novels, listen to Miles Davis,” he says. “I don’t get to do that anymore. I don’t get dates anymore.” Still, he’s philosophical, even briskly cheerful, about his lost leisure….
…..he responds warily to the assumption that he himself will run for office. “If I go into politics it should grow out of work I’ve done on the local level, not because I’m some media creation.” Though, as media creations go, he’d be a pretty good one.