Thursday, March 01, 2007

"And Now, Heeeeerrrrre's Johnny!" How TV Talk Shows Today Can Swing An Election

It’s a phenomenon that Bill Clinton perfected with his 1992 saxaphone-playin’ performance on Arsenio Hall: presidential-candidate-as-cool-TV-talk-show-guest. The goal? All you need is a musical instrument or some witty repartee and your likeability quotient will propel you into the White House. It worked for Bubba. Trailing in the polls, many believe his rendition of “Heartbreak Hotel” was the turning point in his campaign. Since then, every major candidate has bantered with the likes of Jay Leno, David Letterman, Oprah and has “chilled” with the MTV crowd. Some more successfully than others.

Ever since the infamous 1960 presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon we’ve learned that a candidate’s telegenic appeal can mean the difference between winning and losing. Those seeking the nation’s top job are now regularly paraded before the cameras like the Flying Wallendas on a political tightrope. The pressure to be funny and appealing is immense. As Sen. John Kerry deftly demonstrated in 2004, not everyone is up for the task.

With the 2008 race heating up, let’s look at some of the top candidates on both sides of the aisle. Take Sen. John McCain, for example, who’ll be appearing on Thursday’s Letterman show. Here’s a guy whose presidential aspirations are larger than life, yet he’s as stiff as a board. So stiff in fact that his upper lip refuses to move, making him appear like his own ventriloquist dummy. When he speaks, all that’s missing is the string in the back of his head and someone pulling it. So does appearing with Dave make McCain any more appealing? To me, he could dance with Shakira and it wouldn’t change a thing.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is another story. An engaging chap, he’s usually full of humorous anecdotes and a big toothy grin. He’s charming and witty, and, both his lips move, which is a real asset when up against McCain. The camera loves him.

On the left, Sen. Barack Omaba is a bonafide rock star. In some circles, put him on a talk show and he can make you forget Shakira. Now that’s star power. He will only benefit tremendously by appearing on these shows. And I predict he will do as many of them as he can, possibly ruling out only Jerry Springer and Talk Sex with Sue Johanson.

Former Sen. John Edwards is generally a very entertaining, likeable guest, but so is Ashton Kutcher…and neither of them in my opinion is going to become president.

The oh-so-coy, I’m- not-running Al Gore stands to gain tremendously by his continued appearances all over the tube. Long lambasted as a wonkish bore, Gore’s shown an incredible sense of humor and a general ease before the camera. When (not if) he announces he’s running (likely in September), look for him to be everywhere…even on Springer and Sue Johanson. That’s right…Talk Sex with Al Gore. Now what would be cooler than that?

That brings us to the Big Kahuna, Sen. Hillary Clinton. With her hard-as-stone, polarizing reputation, she could score home run after home run on the talk show circuit, as she often comes off girly and giggly at the same time she’s brilliant and presidential.

Lastly, what about our current president, George W. Bush? Well, by law he can’t run again, so we won’t be seeing him on any talk shows in the near future. But if he could run again, Letterman’s “Stupid Human Tricks” would be the perfect segment.


Larry Simons from "real truth online" said...

Ostroy, you are an imbecile! Only you would think talking sex with Owl Bore would be cool. Don't you remember when he kissed his dog-wife on national television? What are you going to ask him - if he spit or swallowed after blowing Bill Clinton in the Oval Office?

Christopher said...

It would very cool to see Gore in a variety of pop culture settings.

How about TCM's The Essentials? In the audience at American Idol and naturally as a guest on Bill Maher and Jon Stewart?

Such appearances humanize politicians and make them seem approachable.

Anonymous said...

Andy-Don't know how you feel about all the troll slime trails left all over your site lately, but if this column is any indication, I gotta hand it to you, you're even better than I thought! And Sean Hannity is just a pathetic little nebbish with nor forehead. He would no more accept your challenge than he would read a real book.

And yeah, Al on sec would be interesting, tho I think he's like a lot of southern men (oddly) and rather private about it.

I so hope you're truly prescient about Gore's intentions. See Joe Conason's latest opinion on that whole subject over at Salon, btw.

You the man, Andy---always great writing, great thinking.

Anonymous said...

Don't know how you feel about all the troll slime trails left all over your site lately, but if this column is any indication, I gotta hand it to you, you're even better than I thought! And Sean Hannity is just a pathetic little nebbish with no forehead. He would no more accept your challenge than he would read a real book.

And yeah, Al on sex would be interesting, tho I think he's like a lot of southern men (oddly) and rather private about it.

I so hope you're truly prescient about Gore's intentions. See Joe Conason's latest opinion on that whole subject over at Salon, btw.

You the man, Andy---always great writing, great thinking.

Larry (the REAL one) said...

AGAIN< the 9:39 post is NOT mine!!!!! WHO IS THIS COWARD posing as me?????? Andy, this is the REAL Larry----I am NOT saying this stuff about you!! Now I know why people login under "anonymous"! You type a real name in and people can just pose as you! Unreal!!

Larry said...

I just sent Andy a personal email and said if the posing as me continues, I will sue the guy posting my REAL first and last name. That is called libel or slander, and I will find out who you are you little bastard, so you keep it up. Watch a lawsuit hit your ass as fast as you can blink pal!

Anonymous said...

Andy----the REAL Larry here----that was a great story---im still laughing my ass off. I don't even think Bush will appear on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" for obvious reasons. Although what you said about Giuliani MAY be true, that he is likable...I think it's all a facade. I think he's really an asshole. Did you see the story about him recently making fun of the man with Parkinson's disease? Heres the link:

And let's not forget the mysterious cloud that surrounds him involving 9/11. Until he answers TOUGH questions about that day like HOW HE KNEW in advance that the towers were going to collapse (when NO steel framed buildings have EVER collapsed due to fire...I repeat EVER) and WHY he had the evidence removed (steel from the towers) from the biggest crime scene in the history of the world---when, as a former lawyer he should KNOW that you DONT remove evidence...WHY his personal mayoral records are sealed for the next 23 years, then I will NEVER vote for this man. I think he's a total fraud and anyone who thinks he's more than a common criminal is sadly deceived. Wake up people. Stop thinking Giuliani did anything great on 9/11 that ANY OTHER MAYOR wouldn't have done in ANY OTHER city in America. He did NOTHING but walk around in the dust filled streets of NYC on 9/11. He knows MUCH more about 9/11 than we think, the secrets, the cover-ups--he knows WAY more and the American people are fools for thinking he's some hero. Give me a freakin' break!

Anonymous said...

"...that ANY OTHER MAYOR wouldn't have done in ANY OTHER city in America"

How about New Orleans Mayor Nagin? You know, he's the Democrat mayor who in conjunction with the Democrat Governor of Louisiana, DID NOTHING and are completely to blame for Katrina deaths. Remember the mayor turned down offers from Amtrak to take free passengers out of the city before the hurricane came. Remember the pictures of the hundreds of school buses parked under water.

Rudy did a great job on September 11th. A job that not every mayor in every city could have done.

I knew the towers were going to fall on 9/11 and I had nothing to do with your conspiracy theories.

My question about the 'bush conspiracy' on 9/11 is why did the clinton administration help the 'bush conspiracy' by avoiding Osama Bin Laden in the 90's. OBL attacked American interests 7 times without response from the clinton administration. The 9/11 commission report details 4 opportunities to kill OBL, but Clinton and Sandy Berger PREVENTED the CIA from killing OBL before he killed more americans.

What's the clinton role in your imaginary Bush 9/11 conspiracy theories?

Anonymous said...

You KNEW the towers were going to fall?? Can you tell me HOW you knew that? Explain specifically HOW you knew, being that a steel framed building has NEVER EVER collapsed due to fire in the history of steel framed buildings----how did you know that? Funny you mentioned Nagin in New Orleans----the same city that Bush KNEW was going to get hit BAD and did NOTHING as well? He even admitted it on that video of that conference call---remember that? Also, Nagin really didnt KNOW those levies were going to break---like Bush KNEW. He may have been able to get people out, true, but there was really no way of knowing those levies would be destroyed. Tell me ONE thing Giuliani did on 9/11 that NO other Mayor would have done----just name ONE---thats all you gotta do, name ONE...ONE! And by the way, I dont spend time with THEORIES. Everything I said about Giuliani was FACT, NOT theories. Until he answers those questions about 9/11 and his Mayoral records----he'll NEVER get my vote. Name ONE thing he did...just one. Giuliani is an asshole---and I can prove THAT too!

Anonymous said...

If you think the 9/11 Commission was a REAL investigation, then I know where your intelligence level is and therefore, we are done discussing anything. I refuse to debate with someone who think the 9/11 Commission was ANYTHING more than a total whitewash cover-up from day one and the hiring of Philip Zelikow to lead it. How was that INDEPENDANT to get a guy that had DIRECT ties to the Bush administration and worked in the White House for 20 years to lead the investigation? Do you know that in the ENTIRE investigation they did not even mention the collapse of WTC 7? Did you know that? Im guessing you didnt, since you think the 9/11 Commission was thorough and valid. They even ADMITTED that the purpose of the Commission was NOT TO FIND OUT WHO DID IT but was to prevent future attacks! NOT FIND OUT WHO CAUSED IT?? Why wouldnt that be their #1 goal????? Seems to me it would be IMPOSSIBLE to prevent future attacks UNLESS they found out who did 9/11!

Anonymous said...

Of course the 9/11 commission was a sham. Jamie Gorelick was on the committee, that right there is a sure sign. Does anyone really believe she is going to honestly criticize HER WALL that was unnecessary and legally excessive, which prevented the CIA and FBI from sharing information?

The 9/11 commission did NOTHING about Sandy Berger stuffing top secret information down his pants and into his socks. He stole documents from the national archives and admitted to it. Do you care what about democratic crimes or only republican ones?

The 9/11 commission also ignored the Able Danger program, which pinpointed Mohammad Atta as an Al Qaeda suspect, living in New York, and suspected of planning against america.

Anonymous said...

Amen, anonymous 10:26am!!

Turk said...

Letterman and Leno both have done countless Cliton/Lewinsky/Blow Job jokes for the past 8 years. Neither one of them ever mentioned Jeff Gannon and his 200+ trips to the White House, however.

Anonymous said...

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Larry Simons from "real truth online" said...

There were no planes you morons. You stupid moronic Americans. It was Bush and Cheney all along. God you dumb fools. Just go to the website, check out the comments sections for my intelligent debating skills. You are all idiots if you think any planes even came up missing that day. It was done with movie technology, did you see King Kong dumb asses? They can do anything with cameras now. The towers fell by controlled demolishion. All proof on the site