It’s going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship between politics and show biz come Jan. 20th when the most famous celebrity in the world is sworn in as our 44th president.
Heck, Barack Obama even created a new Cabinet post: White House Performance Officer. Actually, the title isn’t exactly new: under a different set of circumstances, Bill Clinton had a White House Performance Officer — he just didn’t want it announced. And Obama was considering appointing CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta as surgeon general. Gupta — that sounds like the part of the anatomy that the late Johnny Carson would have embraced in a monologue. “Ah, yesterday the doctor told me he found traces of Sanjay in my Gupta.”
Obama needs to recast his major Cabinet posts to make it look not like the TV version of “The West Wing,” but rather a multi-million dollar blockbuster movie version with bigger stars:
* Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry Callahan for attorney general: Sure he’s a throwback to how Hollywood of the 1970s saw the Nixonian fascist war on crime — but he’s just what Obama needs to toss a bone to conservatives, the NRA, and the far right, who would find it a crime to ever vote for him. It would be worth it to hear Clint deliver lines like, “Miranda rights, my Gupta. What about the rights of those little kids on that school bus, punk.”
* Robert DeNiro as defense secretary: Consider that stare from “Meet the Parents” as the Raging Bull takes on Iran. “I’m watching you, I’m watching you.” But could he stand up to Putin? Fageddaboutit! He’d be Travis Bickle in “Taxi Driver” again: “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You gotta be talking’ to me, ‘cos there’s no one else here.” Putin the former KGB agent would be SOL.
* Dustin Hoffman as “Tootsie” for secretary of state: Keep your Hillary Clinton, we’ve got Dorothy Michaels in the role of top diplomat. Sure, he/she’s more genteel than Hillary, but Dorothy’s got the inside track on knowing how to make men feel guilty about the bad things we do. Hillary hasn’t had much luck with her Bubba. Besides, foreign policy is never what it appears to be. And Hoffman, game as he is, probably couldn’t wait to try and fill Hillary’s pantsuits.
* Salma Hayek for White House press secretary — just because she’s nice to look at and a joy to hear her speak. Who wouldn’t want to cover her daily press briefings?
Are you ready for all that entertainment value at Obama’s inauguration? Parties guaranteed to Barack the house. Actually, they’re called Inaugural Balls (would that have been changed if Hillary won? Never mind.) Of particular interest could be the ball where performers offer their takes on Obamaworld:
Simon and Garfunkel will reunite (again) to sing their revised version of one of their folksy hits from the 1960s — now called “I am a Barack.” Three Dog Night will be plucked from obscurity to also do a rewrite of one of their hits — updated to be called “Obama told me not to come.” Sha Na Na will be resurrected from their crypts to perform “Barack Around the Clock.” And there’s even a rumor that The Clash will be loaded enough to join in the fun to perform “Barack the Casbah.”
Every musical group needs an opening act, and this one will be an impersonator who isn’t that guy who always imitates John Madden. Here’s an example of his routine:
1. Richard Nixon doing his rendition of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.”
2. Ronald Reagan giving props to Pink Floyd: “All in all, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down ‘The Wall’.”
3. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich reworking the title song to the hippie musical “Hair”: “Oh, gimme a head with bad hair — really in your face bad hair. Here Obama, there Obama, everywhere my bad hair, Obama. Bad hair!”
Meanwhile, those party poopers over at Fox News are going to eat sour grapes and offer their own twisted version of how they see the incoming Obama administration. They’ll host a segment where Jerry Lee Lewis will give the Devil his due when Satan covers The Killer’s version of “Great balls of fire.”