Friday, February 03, 2012


Rosanne Barr could make the race funny and interesting. Her announcement of her candidacy yesterday made me think of the Disney movies I loved growing up. The kind that featured Don Knotts and Tim Conway, or Dean Jones, Kurt Russell and Fred MacMurray. My babysitter Mrs. George took me to the North Hills Theatre on McKnight Road in Pittsburgh and we bought a big bucket of buttered popcorn and enjoyed the show from the 14th row. The premise would be: OFF-BEAT MOM RUNS FOR PRESIDENT. Maybe she has a son who turns into a shaggy dog in the White House.

Rosanne's running for the Green Party nomination. She's a long shot to win. I voted for a third party candidate once in the early nineties when I was younger and less aware politically. Texas billionaire Ross Perot seduced me with his talk of "ending the two party gridlock." That resonated with me and still hits the nail on the head about our current dysfunctional government. I lived in Pennsylvania at the time and my passion for Perot was so contagious I convinced friends of mine who worked as aides for Congressman Rick Santorum to vote Perot.

Then Perot got weird at a political rally in Pittsburgh I attended. He was paranoid about an alleged "plot" by George Bush to take "dirty pictures" of Perot's daughter in a compromising position to ruin her reputation. He dropped out to protect her from "Republican dirty tricks." I knew first-hand Republicans are capable of dirty tricks, having attended a university steeped in extreme right-wing indoctrination but most us thought Perot went crazy. Perot even acknowledged this, dancing a farewell dance with his wife to the Patsy Cline record "Crazy."

One thing I like about Rosanne Barr is that she has been in the shoes of poor people. After a broken marriage, she worked as a waitress to support three young childen while writing her comedy routines on the side. Both Bill Clinton and Obama have also been in the shoes of real people. Obama's single mother was on food stamps and Clinton was raised by his grandparents because his mom went to nursing school to learn a trade after Clinton's Dad died.

Romney is probably the best chance for the Republicans to win, but he's made some verbal mistakes that show he's not personally in touch with what the poor endure. He said he's not worried about the very poor because they have a social safety net. JFK was born rich like Romney but he had more emotional intelligence. Psychologists measure E.I. which is the ability to empathize emotionally, to gauge the effect of our words on others, and which feelings are appropriate to share publicly. Rosanne will say inappropriate things, but unlike Mitt, her gaffes will be intentional for humorous effect.

Rosanne is probably not going to win the Green Party or the presidency and probably does not have the temperament or experience for politics. Then again, I live in the state of California where Arnold was elected governor based on his sheer star power. But she could shake things up a little and whine in her nasal voice at Romney for his insensitivity towards the unfortunate and at Obama for not delivering enough of the change he promised. She could represent the bawdy joke America has become to some who watch from the outside see us go deeper and deeper in debt like a trailer trash redneck running up a credit card, owing bejillions to China for the Iraq War, but we aren't willing to take care of our own kids at home.

I wish Don Knotts were still alive to play the bumbling presidential aide. Rosanne most likely will not get elected in the real world. But she would in the Disney comedy. And if Disney gets John Goodman to play the First Husband, I'll buy a bucket of popcorn and see you in the 14th row.


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