The week got off to a good start, with news that John F. Kerry is determined to raise the stature of his middle initial. After months of flirting with a francophone rendition he has revealed himself an America-Firster, insisting it stood for the F word he now uses at every public appearance with voters under age 60. It won’t be long before Tina Brown declares him a hot item and sets him up with some sweet thing named Paris Hilton, though again just to avoid patriotic misunderstanding that sweet thing had better call herself Paris Texas Hilton.
Either way conspiracy king Howie Dean is angry and he’s not going to take it anymore, even after he’s committed. His tongue is wagging every which way as he craftily weighs whether to ascribe his success on the Internet to the same forces that turned Ms. Hilton into a Dean-age sensation. He finds himself conflicted in part because of the genius of honorary U.S. President Emeritus Al Gore, who has the briny Howie in a pickle. Gratitude would require El Deano to give all credit to Al Gore for inventing the medium that made Ms. Hilton possible and accessible. But that would mean Dean-dumb has to concede Al Gore also invented the medium that made him possible and unacceptable.
In happier days, when a political giant endorsed a candidate the two would appear at a brief ceremony, raise their hands in unison, and disappear from public life. But involve Al Gore in the procedure and right away everyone is noticing the big sweat stain under the arm he’s raised. Then everyone is startled by Al’s suddenly long wavy hair. Has he been on a surfing safari? Or is he just psychotically hiding his fabled bald spot, which has spread as relentlessly as the ozone layer above his beloved home state of Antarctica?
Pretty soon Al has pushed whoever it is he endorsed out of the picture, out of the ring, out of the arena. Dean was short of stature to begin with. Now he’s not even there. By Al’s calculations, it’s one down, eight or so more to go. Next up for his endorsement is Kerry, whom he’ll break in two like a twig and turn into a giant set of chopsticks. Dick Gephardt he’ll find hiding in a Iowa cornfield. Once Al tabs him, it’ll really dawn on him what it means to be charisma deprived. Once he learns Al is headed in his direction, John Edwards will disappear in the Smokies above South Carolina. As for Joe Lieberman, he’ll turn down any plug from Al on the grounds Al didn’t call him to give him advance notice.
Once he’s cleared the deck it’ll be just Al and Hillary, in a high noon showdown, with Hillary’s Bill in the role of Grace Kelly getting out of Dodge on the first available train. Or will we have a reprise of “The Person Who Shot Liberty Valence,” with Tipper playing John Wayne in the shadows, though this time no one will know in advance which of the duelists she’ll choose to plug. Who knows, Sandra Day O’Connor could put in a cameo appearance, determined to shoot every last Democratic critter in order to separate them from their soft money.
And watch out for Ted Koppel. In his gracious manner he allowed the Democratic field to participate in this season’s final presidential debate, all so that he could demonstrate to them that this race is all about him. Afterwards even Dennis Kucinich’s ratings were higher than Ted’s, and that was before anyone knew Denny was on a dating spree. Is there a Paris Texas Hilton in his future? Or will Ted counter by renaming Nightline “Nighty”?
It is a pity how George W. Bush is having his revenge on European versions of Howie Dean and John F— Kerry, shutting them out of soft money earnings as the administration goes ahead with its redistricting and pork barrel projects in Iraq. Word is he was going to let them in on the action, but they insisted on having the right to name their construction sites after Saddam, his sons, Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac. So no go, after all, and that includes the mighty subcontractor nation of Canada, whose fab premier, Jean Chretien, is hanging ’em up after 10 achieving years on the ice.
Good luck smoothing out the rinks during breaks at hockey games, Jean, or with whatever other activities await you in retirement. We suspect you’ll now have more time to spend with your best friend in the hemisphere, Fidel, who’ll want to hear straight from the horse’s mouth how you won this week’s EOW award. Thanks for the memories, Jean, which aren’t likely to be remembered.