I know this blog is supposed to be about entertainment, but let’s face it- politics these days, especially the Republican contenders of late, are pretty entertaining. I mean, when Sarah Palin was paraded out over four years ago, I thought I’d seen it all. I was insulted as an educated, successful woman, to see what had become of American politics. That the Republican party thought they could get away with hoisting an obviously ill prepared and unseasoned female candidate onto the American people knowing how many other qualified women in politics (i.e., Hillary Clinton) were out there, was nothing short of a slap in the face. Here you go, America- Alaska governor Sarah Palin: a pretty face, a charming accent, a mother and devoted wife… just ignore the fact that she is in completely over her head. (We’ll get some more behind-the-scenes perspective on that in about a week when HBO releases the highly anticipated “Game Change” starring Julianne Moore as Palin). Then came Michelle Bachmann, and she made me long for the days of Mrs. Palin… clearly I’m exaggerating, but you get my point. Michelle didn’t make it very far, but the four men who have done nothing but turn this race into an amusing display of “We know we’re not exactly what you had in mind, but you gotta choose one of us!” I almost feel for the Republicans out there who have to do just that.
Now I’m no expert on politics, but I do know that Super Tuesday is a big deal (essentially setting the stage for who will become the candidate officially backed by the Republican party to go up against President Obama) and so far, as I write this post, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in the lead, which is probably not a shock to those who are following the race closely. But something doesn’t feel quite so “super” about this year’s primary elections – especially compared to the culmination of the race between Hillary Clinton and then Senator Obama that unfolded four years ago. Of course, supporters of either Republican candidate probably feel differently, but I would argue that nothing monumental is taking place, underscored by the fact that neither of their Super Tuesday speeches was nearly as inspiring or promising as President Obama’s was back then… only to be topped by his election night speech that brought tears to every proud American’s eyes- mine especially. I’ll never forget that night, being out on the plaza at Rockefeller Center gathered with hundreds of Obama supporters, waiting anxiously as the poll results came in. We watched on a jumbo screen as he walked out to give his first speech as the newly elected president, and merely seconds into it, there wasn’t a dry eye on the plaza. What a historic, exhilarating night that was. PCA President Fred Nelson and I experienced that historic moment together and I’m sure it’s one that neither one of us will ever forget.
While we may not see quite as dramatic a real-life political moment for another few years, political speeches can be as inspiring in film and TV as they are in real life (the swelling music and fancy cinematography often help!) So voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these notable fictional presidential speeches is your favorite?
Jeff Bridges, The Contender
Michael Douglas, The American President
Morgan Freeman, Deep Impact
Bill Pullman, Independence Day