The Guilfoile-Warner Papers

Oct 19

Two big pieces of news over the weekend, Obama's $150 million fundraising haul for September and Colin Powell's endorsement. Naturally, those of us worried about Obama's ultimate fortunes can figure out how to read this as bad news, but there's worse problems to have, like say a vice presidential candidate that's a national joke. Powell joins Christopher Buckley as the latest erstwhile republican to join the Obama bandwagon. Buckley has a new satirical novel out called Supreme Courtship, which is centered around one Pepper Cartwright, a Judge Judy-style television judge nominated by a President Vanderdamp in an effort to frustrate a senate that had dinged his previous nominees. Pepper, the Texas spitfire, charms the media and the public with her one-liners and colloquialisms and is quickly confirmed to the high court. Hijinks (and lots of latin jokes) ensue. In the end, Pepper finds both true love and her judicial voice and like all of Buckley's novels, you're grateful for the time spent amongst the pages. I was reminded of Pepper Cartwright while watching Sarah Palin on last night's Saturday Night Live. Rich Lowry, engaging in some unintentional self-parody, said that during the VP debate that Palin was giving off "little starbursts" right through the screen, by which I think he meant he got a chubby. The thought of her actually being president is enough to give me erection interuptus when it comes to Sarah Palin, but it's hard to deny that she is a telegenic presence. I wouldn't say the camera necessarily loves her, but based on her willingness to face up to the humiliation on Saturday Night Live, she clearly loves it. Depending on your view, the Palin VP candidacy has been more saga than satire, but a couple of things are clear: She loves the idea of being famous and she's absolutely convinced of her own self-righteousness. After McCain/Palin goes down to its likely defeat, I see a Supreme Courtship-like life-imitating-art scenario, only in reverse. In Buckley's novel, Pepper Cartwright is a television personality who becomes a major figure in government. Sarah Palin is a major figure in government who should become a television personality. Say it with me: Conservative White Oprah. For me, the move is a no brainer, given, you know . . . she's got almost 100% name recognition, a compelling personal story and a passionate fan base that will squeal like hyenas in a nitrous oxide factory when she drops Ski-Doo GSX Limited snowmobiles on them. She's got the folksiness of Dr. Phil and the gams of a young Cloris Leachman and she doesn't pal around with terrorists. For those of you who worry about her accent wearing thin, I have two words: Rachael Ray. The upside is that once she realizes that being a beloved talk show host is not only more lucrative, but also more influential than being president, we won't have to worry about her showing up back on the scene in 2012.

TMN contributing writer John Warner’s first novel, The Funny Man was recently published by Soho Press. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books. More by John Warner

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