Because I need another time-waster like I need another time-waster, I recently bookmarked the Daily Beast, Tina Brown’s new aggregator. Yesterday, Herself speaks on Princess Caroline, in a piece called “Caroline: The Reasons Why.” (How new media! In the 20th century, I was taught that was a redundancy — reasons or why, but not “reasons why.” But never mind that.) After a few hundred words of shivs to the ribs — calling her an “endive salad,” living “a parochial, socially timid life centered on Manhattan’s most cosseted enclave,” Brown decrees: “The Kennedys, blindsided by the success of pea-picking, penny-ante, polyester-wearing provincials like the Carters and the Clintons, were never all that delighted when Bill Clinton’s wife commandeered RFK’s old Senate seat.”
Jeez, you’d never know the Kennedys are only three generations from bootlegging shanty Irish trash, would you? And get that “commandeered,” too. Someone tell Hillary: All that listening? Wasted time.
Then she winds up with a bang:
The hope for Caroline’s troubled candidacy now is that another dynastic story than her own may provide her next act. When The Washington Post’s Phil Graham was the manic, magnetic media king of the New Frontier capital, his wife Katharine was drab and invisible in the background. When her husband died in a suicide, she stumbled uncertainly at first. She was inarticulate, she lacked charm. No one really imagined that she would run The Washington Post herself. Then she found, just as Caroline has with politics, that printer’s ink coursed through her veins. Yes you can, she thought. And yes she did.
I have to admit I’d love to see Princess Caroline get the seat just to watch that transformation. Perhaps that’s what the governor is betting on.
Wha-? That’s what we’re looking for in a senator? A narrative? A reality show? “A transformation” to watch? Does anyone give a shit about policy anymore? And what does Katharine Graham have to do with anything? But the Daily Beast was only getting started. Next was “Lance for Senate?” in which the cyclist takes a break from comeback training to open up to Mark McKinnon, who, it should be noted, sits on the board of his foundation. Not that you’d notice from the questions:
You are such an inspiration to so many people. Who inspires you?
What drives your competitive nature?
And, of course, the biggie:
Is there a future for Lance Armstrong in politics?
But that’s nothing compared to the answer:
If you feel like you can do the job better than people who are doing it now, and you can really make a difference, then that’s a real calling to serve, and I think you have to do that. I felt a strong desire to come back and race right now because I felt we had a place and I could have a real impact and that’s why I’m doing it. I don’t think you want to enter political life unless you really think you can really have an impact. Don’t do it for a bet, or a dare or for your ego. Or for any other competitive desire you have. Do it because you can get in there and change people’s lives. That’s why you do it. So, there will come a time, or not, that I say to myself, “You know what, I can help affect change.” And if that day comes, then absolutely.
Lance? Do you have any idea what a senator does? It may surprise you that the job description doesn’t include “getting in there and changing people’s lives,” although that might be a by-product. I really would have liked to see the unedited version of this, before the “how do you keep yourself so awesome” questions were excised.
I actually might like to see him run. I’d love to see the look on his face when someone yells at him, “How did you manage to keep your doping from being discovered?” from the press pack. Not that he’d ever get close to it. Princess Caroline and Sarah Palin showed you don’t have to do that. At least not when you have Mark McKinnon and his notebook nearby.
And just because we’re on the subject of celebrity, don’t miss this Defamer post about how Owen Wilson’s Rolex watch helped save him from suicide. Thanks to LAMary for sending it along; we’re both at a loss for words.
All is not lost, however: Dana Milbank in a priceless account of the RNC chairmanship race. Stay classy, GOP!