Roger L. Simon

Fear and Shame on the Campaign Trail #5 — Waiting for Isaac

In my experience, conventions are about the parking — how close you can get your car to the venue and whether you’re prepared to lay a sawbuck or two (or three) on a parking lot attendant to be your new best friend for the three or four days duration of the event. (We Angelenos have great practice at this from the Staples Center.)

And never so much as now with Isaac cutting an erratic path up the north coast of Cuba heading for Florida. The target city is Pensacola, but Tampa is scheduled for a soaking, making it a possibility, as of this writing, that the opening day of the convention will be shifted to Tuesday. I’m on the plane for the city at the moment, checking Drudge, Accuweather, and our own Brendan Loy (the self-described “Weather Nerd”) as I go on the inflight wifi to stay abreast of this.

I’m also remembering that other great piece of advice for political convention attendees — don’t trust your GPS. Most streets surrounding the venue are temporarily blocked off for security purposes but the satellite doesn’t know it. Therefore, your GPS sends you on a merry chase more frustrating than the old Kingston Trio song about riding forever on the streets of Boston. At least, that’s what happened to me in Minneapolis four years ago.

So the press is saying this may be the convention of Isaac instead of the convention of Romney. (Maybe that’s what they’re hoping for.) But I’m thinking something different. Dinesh D’Souza’s movie on Obama, 2016, continues to perform at the box office and hot on its heels another Obamadoc (is that a new genre?) from David Bossie’s Citizens United — The Hope And The Change — is opening at the convention. From what I’ve seen of the Bossie film, it also promises to be good.

So this may be the convention of the conservative filmmaker, of all things. Arrivederci, Michael Moore. In the era of Michelle Obama’s tedious fitness campaigns, he does seem even more passé. Perhaps Bloomberg will ban Moore’s films in New York until he loses seventy-five pounds or promises never to drink a fourteen-ounce soda again. (NOTE to Harvey Weinstein: Slimming is in, Moore is out.)

Is this the beginning of a trend? Will conservative films now start to spew forth from Hollywood where the bottom line still, on rare occasions, trumps political pretentiousness? You never know. But if Romney wins, look for at least a slightly different product from Tinseltown. They do have stockholders, you know.

Speaking of show biz politics (what other kind is there?), one of the more amusing developments today is a HuffPo report that Nathan Lane has accused Paul Ryan of being the “Wicked Witch of the West.” Broadway’s highest-paid star was apparently accompanying Joe Biden at a fundraiser when he leveled this charge.

Enough said, but re: the HuffPo, they are going to be at the Republican Convention and are holding a luncheon about “entrepreneurship and jobs” with Tom Brokaw as the host. I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted that I have been invited. Some people warned me this was a trick and they would be holding PJM up to ridicule. Somehow I’m skeptical, but I’ll let you know.

Well, that’s it for now. Time to put away our “electronic devices” and get out our galoshes. Next stop Tampa. (No, I will not be doing a Geraldo hurricane imitation on PJTV.)

But… as Steve Jobs would say… one more thing. By way of prep for this, or any, convention, don’t miss “Conventional Wisdom” by Michael Barone in today’s WSJ. Who better?