Saturday, December 4, 2010
Why I Might Just Run for Office After All
On Twitter she's @HotComesToDie. On her blog, she's Suzy Soro. No relation, I should add, to evil uberillionaire and liberal George Soros. One letter makes all the difference between Suzy working her skinny ass off in comedy clubs instead of swanning about Biarritz.
Around our house, she's The Woman Who Got the Chocolate Babka.
The other day Suzy sent me that tweet and I thought "Really?" because deep thinking isn't just my hobby, you know.
Part of me would love to run for office, but there's that profound question again. Really? I've blogged about why I can't do it. Oh, sure I meet all the qualifications. I'm over twenty-five, have been a United States citizen for the last seven years (plus another thirtysome) and I've never been convicted of a crime which isn't a qualification, but I thought I'd toss that in there to make up for all those other reasons why I don't think I should run for office.
I couldn't stop thinking about it though. Now that I've been lured back into the brain-gumming habit of turning on MSNBC for company during my days home alone, I must distract myself from wallowing in all this business uncertainty. I'm despondent with concern for those three hundred fifteen thousand millionaires and billionaires who are on the brink. I'm sure they're chewing their manicured nails to the quick, breaking out in stress-induced Rosacea and sneak-eating simple carbs while they wait and wonder if their taxes will go up by three percent. Their suffering is almost too much to bear.
By ingesting all the news that isn't, I learned that former Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) signed a book deal with St. Martins Press. Bam! I'm inspired. If Ms. O'Donnell and former Governor Palin can draft off their electoral losses and stick the landing smack in the middle of a big pile of money, then why shouldn't I attempt it?
Goodness knows we need the money and the only thing I have to lose is my dignity and I think I may have accidentally loaned that with my copy of David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day to a friend of mine back in the late nineties. I haven't seen either since.
It doesn't take much careful observation of Palin or O'Donnell or many of our elected officials, to conclude that saying and doing ridiculous things does not disqualify anyone from running for public office. In fact, one could make the case that both Palin and her protegee O'Donnell became quasi-celebrities for that very reason. They're well-known primarily because they make big news. They're conversation starters, those two. Gifts to the late night talk show hosts. But we all know who they are, don't we?
It's some kind of genius at work.
While they share political DNA and could pass themselves off as sisters, they each possess their own schtick. That way, they'll never compete with the other for a share of America's attention.
For example, no one works petty thin-skinned paranoia like Sarah Palin who prizes her ability to make the boys pop boners while beating them at their own game. She can get right in there with them, and boss them without emasculating them.
On the other hand, Christine O'Donnell has that kooky factor that some find very appealing. I can't wait to read her book. I mean, we still haven't heard her thoughts on cannibalism or her unique take on being probed by extraterrestrials. I'm sure she's got things to share about her past lives and what nonfiction masterpiece is complete without telling us the author's favorite flavor of Ramen noodles? Bill Maher held out on us, I'm sure of it. And lucky for O'Donnell, too. If he'd shown all the video of the quirky and outrageous things she said on Politically Incorrect, she'd have to make stuff up for her book. Not to suggest that's ever done.
I suppose it's only a matter of time before she has her own "reality" TV show.
Madame Former Governor's schtick is to highlight the rosy-cheeked exhilaration of Tweeting in the middle of a bear hunt with Todd and her uniquely-named children. I can just imagine the riveting drama that will derive from watching some shaky camera as it follows O'Donnell around. We'll get to see her pick up her dry cleaning or make appointments to get her teeth whitened. We'll sigh over meaningful moments like when she pops by the library to see if that book of Ronald Reagan quotes she has on hold has been returned and she ends up in a discussion with the librarian about how the library should be privatized. And don't forget that funny montage of the first and last time she goes to see what all this fuss is about waxing.
So if the financial success of these two women demonstrates the concept that sometimes when you lose, you win, then why am I taking myself out of the race before it's even begun? Of course there's the small detail of political leanings, but this isn't the time for tiresome convictions and ideologies anyway. Americans are sick of that divisive shit. Besides, the independent voters, those twist-yourself-into-a-pretzel-wooing-my-vote undecideds are the only voters I have to worry about anyway. I can take the Democrats for granted and count on the Republicans to vilify me for any number of things.
If I'm going to use Palin and O'Donnell as a template for achieving celebrity that will sell books, then I'd better study the matter. I've looked at how I and my life choices overlap with theirs. Setting aside politics, I've started a list of things we have in common. Here's what I have so far:
Things in Common with Sarah Palin
1. We're both women.
2. We're both married for many years to hotties. Oh, settle down. Todd Palin isn't my type, but he's not a bad looking man.
3. We're both mothers. She's got quantity, I've got quality. Okay, that was mean. I take it back.
4. We're both former beauty queens. Okay, so I didn't place, but out of my entire senior class, I was chosen to represent Rising Sun High School in the 1983 Farmer's Fair Queen contest.
5. We've both quit good jobs. She quit the job of being governor to go work at Fox News and not run for president. I quit AARP to go back to Rising Sun to work for the tourism bureau. Okay, so she is clearly smarter than I am. Does that disqualify me?
6. She's a brunette. I was once a brunette. Naturally, I mean. I was also a blond and a redhead, but those don't count.
7. We both like to beat things with clubs. She goes for halibut, I go for..., well, nevermind what I go for.
Things I have in common with Christine O'Donnell
1. We're both women.
2. She claims to be a virgin at 41. I was once a virgin.
3. We're both unemployed. I was laid off, she never got hired in the first place.
4. She looks like she might be a stress eater, but I'm only guessing. If so, I can relate.
5. She's been a witch. I've been called one.
6. See number 6 above
7. She had a strange "no sex" one night stand with a guy who later wrote about it, noting that she apparently didn't get swept up in the waxing craze. I've had a one night stand also including nudity, but no sex. It was complicated and awkward and he cried a lot. But at least he never wrote about it that I know of. And like O'Donnell, I'm not waxed. We gals living on a shoestring budget can't afford to get waxed. Besides, I like to use my razor to create political statements in my pubes.
So do I run or not? I'm discussing the possibility with the family. I mentioned it to my mother and she reminded me how much I hated being the daughter of a politician because she was always reminding us that she was being judged by our behavior. I hadn't forgotten.
She also asked me not to mention it to my dad until I decide. It's bad enough that I've threatened them with the idea that I'm writing a potentially embarrassing novel. Mom is convinced that Dad couldn't take the added stress. He's already tied up in knots worrying about all those frightened millionaires and fretting about any potential stain my novel could leave on the family's good name. Fair enough.
MathMan and the kids are incredulous although I think MathMan secretly wishes I'd run and win so he could say he's screwing the government for a change. I haven't actually bothered Chloe with my ideas yet. She's in finals this coming week and I don't want her to lose focus. Nate thinks we'd have to move first. He's probably right. By the time Georgia has finished gerrymandering Democrats out of existence, it would be pointless to try to run in a couple of years. Sophie thinks it's fine if I run because she's sure I can be wacky enough to lose and get a lucrative book deal and hopefully a reality TV show, too. She's dying to be on television.
I just want to write books and get paid to do it. If running for office and losing is the path that will get me there, then so be it.
And were I to win? Think Bernie Sanders with boobs.