The Electoral Revolution Will Be Televised
Donald Trump’s standing in the New Hampshire primary polls, even in the wake of his second-place finish in Iowa, points the way for victory this November. But not for the Republicans. Rather, by following Trump’s lead, the Democrats can hold onto the Oval Office, have judicial nominees ignored by the Senate, and be vilified by Fox News for at least four more years.
Donald Trump is well-known for being on a very popular television show. He is on his third, ever more sultry wife. He comes from a wealthy family, and has become successful by attaching his name to things that everyone can see (especially the people in neighboring buildings who no longer have a view of the river, or the sky). He has (or, perhaps more accurately, appears to have) hair that you just can’t help noticing. That he is pushing seventy years old presents no electoral challenge, not only because he is male but also because he is as nimble with Twitter as any Millennial . He is an outsider. He is “The Donald”. Voters have no reason to doubt he’d be a lousy President, but many seem to really like him.
And whom do the Democrats offer in opposition? Hillary Clinton. Secretary Clinton is an accomplished public servant, well-educated on the vital issues of the day. She is clearly of the Al Gore “This person again? Change the Channel!” school of telepolitics. For many decades, she has remained married to, and in the shadow of, the same person. She comes from a middle-class family, and she and her husband have made their fortune by writing books that few have read and giving speeches in places that their handlers take pains to make sure they won’t be seen. Despite a variety of hair styles, people just don’t notice. That she is pushing seventy presents a major electoral challenge, not only because she is female but also because she has demonstrated a grandmother’s inability to handle something as simple as e-mail. A consummate insider, her titles of “Madam Secretary,” and, before that, “Senator,” are easily trumped by “Mr.” Although she too is known by her first name, it is, unlike Mr. Trump’s, not preceded by the definite article (and even becoming President wouldn’t change that until Hilary Swank stopped winning Oscars). Voters have no reason to doubt she’d be an excellent President, but there aren’t many who seem to really like her.
Democrats should tell our 42nd President’s apprentice, “You’re fired.” Her supporters will argue that the party has no electable alternative, but they would be wrong. Taking another cue from Mr. Trump, the Democrats should get a younger and much hotter woman to replace her. A woman who has been acclaimed for her performances on one successful television show after another. A woman born to wealth who has outperformed colleagues in her field. A woman faithfully married to the same man for decades, with whom she first came to public attention working side by side but has since eclipsed in accomplishment and fame. A woman with hair to die for. A woman safely south of sixty that everyone thinks of as still in her thirties or forties. A woman who has conclusively demonstrated that she can be President of the United States.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Ms. Louis-Dreyfus, the heiress to a substantial fortune, parlayed her star turn on Seinfeld (where, as Elaine Benes, she demonstrated that she would make thoughtful and reasoned decisions as to whether a foreign tyrant was bomb-worthy), into a succession of acclaimed performances. Although only a small devoted following took to “Watching Ellie,” her bandwagon swelled with Emmy winning roles on “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and HBO’s “Veep,” on which she has surpassed not only the glass ceiling but also the show’s title. Long married to her former Saturday Night Live cast-mate Brad Hall, she long ago passed him by any measure of success, just as she alone among the stars of “Seinfeld” has thrived in subsequent shows. Jason Alexander can’t carry a series, Michael Richards was rightfully reviled for resorting to racism, and Jerry Seinfeld himself was last seen on a streaming service as an Uber driver getting coffee for people funnier than he is.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is beautiful, but not threatening. However, despite her paternal ancestry, she is not Jewish. Because a lot of younger and more liberal Democrats prefer a Jewish, New York-bred curmudgeon who is even older than Hillary Clinton, she can name as her running name Larry David, who, after his impersonation on Saturday Night Live earlier this season, is out-polling Bernie Sanders among the Senator’s own family. Julia and Larry wouldn’t even need to campaign or buy ad time; their reunion could bring Thursday nights back to NBC. If you have any doubt that Ms. Louis-Dreyfus is right for this role, Elaine Benes has two words for you: “Get! Out!”
(c) 2016 Gary S. Simon, with thanks to Russ, Janie, and Ryder