kevyn: (Default)
( Jan. 24th, 2009 12:34 am)
Prince Albert came over tonight, and took me out to dinner at Phở 99. Then he took me to the movies, to see Frost/Nixon. Fascinating film, and Frank Langella did a brilliant job as Nixon. An Oscar-worthy performance, for which he has been nominated. Top rate.

Spoilers below

For a political and news junkie, the movie was pure gold. I was far too young at the time to pay attention when Watergate was happening, and just a 9-year-old kid in Germany when the actual Frost/Nixon interviews took place in 1977. I have studied the events of that time in journalism school, and done a fair bit of reading on my own, so I wasn't lost in the multitude of historical details that the film throws at the viewer.

But the facts of the story aren't really what this film is about: this is a character piece, about two men engaged in a verbal duel, with the world as an audience. Nixon walks all over Frost the first three interviews, but in the fourth, Frost comes back out swinging, and gets Nixon to admit he was involved in a cover-up.

The climax of the movie comes when Nixon loses his cool during the fourth interview, and states, "I'm saying that when the President does it, that means it's *not* illegal!"

The moment was breathtaking in its pure hubris... Nixon really did believe that he was above the law, and was rather let down by the fact that America didn't agree. This reminded me more than just a little of a recent ex-President.

And then, just at that moment, Nixon's walls are down, he's revealing the flawed human underneath to the cameras...

A cell phone goes off in the audience!

AAAAAGGGGGGGH!

And instead of shutting it off, he answers it while leaving the auditorium!
"Hello...?"

You could hear the wave of annoyance going through the audience, the collective exhaled breath, the mutters of "jeez!" from rows ahead of us. It was like he had punctured a balloon.

IDIOT!

Anyway, Ron Howard directed, and managed to get BOTH his father (Rance) and his brother (Clint) small roles in the film. Clint STILL looks like Balok, over 40 years after The Corbomite Maneuver.

Thumbs up for news and politics junkies, anyone who lived through the era, and for Langella's performance as Nixon.

I have a dilemma. I can't figure out who to vote for president:

Cynthia McKinney (Green Party) or Ralph Nader (Independent).

They're the only candidates talking about the real issues.

I've voted for the Green Party every presidential election since 1996 (1996: Nader, 2000: Nader, 2004: Cobb).

My dilemma is, should I give my protest vote to the Greens, or to Nader?

I like Nader. I really, really do. I wear as a badge of pride the fact that I worked very hard on his campaign to defeat Gore and Bush in 2000 (And if you blame me for Bush, you can just go back to one-party Soviet Russia where you belong, asshat).

But I also want to see the Green Party continue to grow and build in the United States.

Decisions, decisions.
Well isn't that interesting. She's still in the race.
After (barely) winning Ohio & Texas last night, Hillary Clinton managed to stay in the game, and is still competing against Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for POTUS. Obama still has a slight delegate lead (he won Vermont yesterday), and if she hadn't won Ohio & Texas last night, he'd be the clear choice. But she managed to hang in there, and isn't conceding.

What's most interesting now is how close these two candidates actually are. The Democratic party appears to be almost evenly split between them.

I've said for months now that an Obama/Clinton ticket would be the ideal campaign for the Democrats to run this year, in the wake of eight years of George W. Bush. The American people are ready for fresh faces, and a fresh approach. They want change. A black man as president and a woman as vice president would be almost unstoppable. Old white guy vs. young black guy and groundbreaking woman: That's a contest that people will care about. That's a campaign that speaks of change.

Hillary supporters keep telling me that there's no way she'd accept the VP position -- she doesn't want to be a woman in second place to a president again -- but I think she might. Here's why:

  • Obama has the charisma that would make him ideal for "Cheerleader-in-chief." She, honestly, is less of a charismatic leader and more of a capable manager. He inspires. She directs. After 8 years of Bush, someone inspirational is more needed than a capable manager. If she and her advisers can get past her ego, they would see that, at this point in time, she's not the ideal candidate. It's not a slam against her capabilities, just a statement of where the people are.

  • Large swaths of the American people want to follow someone like Obama right now. She shouldn't fight that.

  • A woman as VP is still groundbreaking and history-making.

  • After 8 years as VP, she'll be well-positioned to go for the Presidency in '16. She's young enough, and if she does a bang-up job as VP, she'd be well-proven to the people as capable of filling the leadership slot.

  • If Obama were assassinated (c'mon, you know you've worried about it, admit it), she'd be in place to assume command, and prove herself.

  • An Obama/Clinton ticket would unite the Democrats.

  • Obama/Clinton vs McCain/(whoever) would be almost unstoppable.

  • Obama vs. McCain can credibly be framed as "pro war vs. anti-war." Clinton vs. McCain cannot.

    But the MOST important reason I can see Clinton accepting the VP position:
  • Cheney has shown us that the office of the VP can wield a lot more power these days. She could make the changes she wants to make, more quietly, and from behind-the-scenes, if she takes the #2 position.


  • So, I've been mulling these points in my head the past couple of months, and then, today, we have this:

    Clinton Hints At Sharing Ticket With Obama.

    Yep. She'll consider it.

    I's just a matter of time.
    .

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