Roger L. Simon

And the winner gets to be.... President?

I can identify with the ambivalence – assuming he is ambivalent – with which Fred Thompson is being tarred in this campaign, because I imagine the process of running for President is even more humiliating than being a screenwriter. In fact, it is not entirely dissimilar. You have to spend your time nodding politely to idiots and pretending everything they say is important and not to be dismissed – for fear in the candidate’s case that they won’t get a vote and for the screenwriter that they will be fired (pretty much the same thing.)

Of course for someone running for President it’s endless and enervating beyond the worst screenwriter’s nightmare, but, again similarly, the audience is easily bored. It’s not really surprising that the frontrunners in this election are in trouble. I mean who could put up with the same people for that long? It already seems as if Hillary and Rudy have now been president for a couple of years and we’re sick unto death of them, the honeymoon long over. We’re now midway into the Huckabee and Obama presidencies. Who’s next? I hope not Ron Paul… when it really counts. But who knows?

Nevertheless, whoever gets to be President, gets the booby-prize. Think about this. Back in the deep, dark media ages of 1992, when Clinton-Gore ascended, they partied all night long – and several days thereafter. “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow” was reprised so many times we were longing for the days of the Macarena (or did they come later – but you know what I am).

But the winner in ’08 is not in for party time. They can forget about the rock and roll on January 21, 2009. No time for anything remotely that frivolous. Time to get up and look at the daily intelligence briefing (such as it is). Now let’s see… who’s getting the bomb this week? Egypt? Saudi Arabia? Mozambique?… Where was that suicide explosion? Algeria? Pipe bomb where? What’s Russia up to? China? Aren’t I supposed to be having fun?… No, sorry, sir or madam, you’re the President. No backsies. (Just like Toyota… you asked for it, you’ve got it.)