Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The Perils of Geena Davis

   "Commander in Chief," the new alternate-reality show starring Geena Davis as the first woman president, appears to be set sometime in the near future, because there are references to contemporary political figures -- Mrs. Clinton, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, etc. But it also has a slight 1975 feel to it -- as though it is groping with the basic concept of a powerful woman. There is a telling scene when President Geena is on her way to the Capitol to deliver a speech to Congress. The limo hits some kind of bump, and her little daughter, squeezed into the back seat, already distracting Mommy as she tries to edit her text, spills juice onto the president's blouse. Disaster! A catastrophic stain right before a prime-time address! This is the kind of special problem that women presidents apparently are going to have. (No jokes please about how Bill Clinton had his own stain dilemmas.) An aide, who is also a woman, comes to the rescue: She loans the president her scarf. Or whatever you call the decorative girly thing she's got draped around her neck. The message: In a crisis, women help women. The sisterhood rules. Admit it, you just can't imagine Andy Card whipping off his belt and loaning it to Dubya.

    The new president's first act is to take a dramatic military action. A woman in Nigeria is going to be stoned to death for adultery. The president has barely finished taking the oath of office when she calls in the generals and greenlights a mission to pull the accused woman and her baby out of the prison before she can be executed. It's a wonderful idea: When women take over, the military won't kill people anymore, it'll rescue them! 

   I am sure the creators of the show are fully credentialed liberals who believe they are advancing the cause of women in politics. But what's next, President Geena breaking a nail catastrophically during a state dinner? The show has to somehow get beyond its own gimmick of a woman president. Obviously women in politics face special challenges because of their gender. But it's not all they're about. It's not even necessarily their most interesting characteristic. Women have political philosophies, too, and maybe next week we'll learn more about President Geena's. Apparently she's a lot more liberal than her predecessor. Let's just hope she doesn't try to nationalize the shoe industry.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 28, 2005; 10:41 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Making Waves on the Hill
Next: Dry Rain Again


The only gimmick the show has is that Geena Davis is a WOMAN president. If they simply made her a competent executive doing the usual presidential things, what would each show be about? They're sciptwriters, not rocket scientists.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2005 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"Obviously women in politics face special challenges because of their gender."

This is a 2-way street - justlook at at Dubya trying to project a macho image and look intelligent at the same time.

Posted by: stroy | September 28, 2005 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Mackenzie is commanding - and sometimes sharp-edged. When the stricken president's chief of staff, Jim Gardner (Harry J. Lennix), tries to assert himself by saying, "I must insist," she cuts him off with Thatcheresque hauteur.

"Jim, you're not in a position to insist how I take my coffee." And then she orders him to get the joint chiefs on the phone.

Loved that scene last night! Let's hear it for non-compliant women! This is about as good as Joel Achenbach telling some of us to get our own blogs.

Posted by: L. Plantagenet | September 28, 2005 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I've decided I'm not a "Commander in Chief" kind of girl. I wasn't a fan of it. But I'm also not a big fan of Geena Davis for the most part, so that may have something to do with it.

Posted by: Sara | September 28, 2005 11:04 AM | Report abuse

While I refuse to imagine Andy Card whipping anything off, this is not a women solidarity moment. The scene you describe is a rehash of a another TV show. There was a West Wing plot where a male aide gives the male President the aide's tie because the President's wife just cut the President's tie in half.

In that crisis, one person helped another person. Since only the men were wearing ties it had to be a man who supplied the required plot. The same with the scarf scene. Instead of women helping women in a crisis, couldn't this have been about friends helping friends in a crisis?

Posted by: Sid | September 28, 2005 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Not to get all PC about it, but shouldn't Hillary Clinton be called Senator Clinton rather than Mrs. Clinton?

Posted by: Not-fully-credentialed Liberal | September 28, 2005 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it on at the same time as "House"? I'm a one Tivo household, so I guess I'll never see it.

Posted by: jw | September 28, 2005 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Sid: Maybe your interpretation is correct, but you hit on another problem: There's ALREADY an alternate-reality president, that being Martin Sheen. This show seems very West Wingish to the point of redundancy. I guess my larger point is that the gender issue doesn't strike me as fundamentally enough of a gimmick. I'm not saying we've come so far as a society that it is no longer interesting. It's true we've never had a woman president. But a woman is the leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2008 and her gender isn't her most important characteristic.
I am heading to the Hill. Feel free to call me an imbecile etc. while I'm not paying attention.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 28, 2005 11:20 AM | Report abuse

About Hillary: She's interesting because she's very smart, presumably very liberal, but has been trying to recast herself as a centrist. What's most compelling about her is not her gender but her political philosophy -- whatever it may be at the moment.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 28, 2005 11:22 AM | Report abuse

a)Stain on the blouse.
b) Mike Brown

WWMD (What Would Mike Do)

1. Pat it dry
2. Blame the road crew
3. Blame the driver
4. Say the dog did it

Being that the president is a woman. I am sure she does not tolerate fools. And would have no Mike Brown

Posted by: marko | September 28, 2005 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Considering that the White House Geena is taking over seems to be extrememly Right (although haven't heard any policy to back up, its just kind of insinuated), it doesn't seem that surprising that they would refer to Hillary as Mrs. Clinton and not Senator.

About the only highlight of the show was the First Lady Secretary person who kept mentioning "Mrs. Clinton... (insert something). That didn't go over well." Those lines had me laughing out loud.

Also, what is up with having her husband be her chief of staff in the VP office, but then not once she hits the Oval. They give a lame excuse about people thinking that the husband is really calling the shots, but couldn't the same be said of him in the VP office?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2005 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Good point on "Senator Clinton." But fyi, on the show she's referred to as "Mrs. Clinton" several times, there's a running joke about her. I was sort of quoting.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 28, 2005 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Shoes? Did somebody say somethin about shoes? Yo, yo yo, fuggedaboud them squeaky shoes and tell me where I can get a pair of them magic bootstrap boots. Yeah, you know what I am talking about, them boots with the special straps on them, so you can pull yourself up out of the swampy swamps of desolation and despair without no help from nobody else. That's what I am talking about. I want a pair of them pull yourself up by your own bootstraps boots; 'cause lately all I seem to be asked to do is bend over and grabbing my already chaffed, naked, boney ankles. So, yo yo, what I am saying here is just fuggedaboud them sissy loafers and pansy pumps and tell me where to get a pair of them magic bootstrap boots; and while you are at it you might as well Fed-Ex a few pairs down to the Bayou too.

Posted by: Swampy Peat | September 28, 2005 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Achenbach, I would say Sen Clinton has always been more centrist, the liberal taint was cast-off from her husband. I mean, upstate New York is actually a pretty red place, and she fits in pretty well up there.

Posted by: LP | September 28, 2005 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Mount a rescue mission to Nigeria to save a woman? That tops gays in the military as a stunningly inept thing for a president to do. She should really leave that kind of thing to Bruce Almighty.

Think I'll stick to tivo'ing House.

Posted by: PeterK | September 28, 2005 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Besides, I doubt the script writers can dream up a better name than Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, and C-SPAN is still commercial free tv if you don't count the floor speeches.

Posted by: Swampy Peat | September 28, 2005 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Achenbach writes:
Sid: Maybe your interpretation is correct, but you hit on another problem: There's ALREADY an alternate-reality president, that being Martin Sheen.

The alternate-reality president Martin Sheen showed up in August at Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas. Wish that the reality-president had done the same.

Would an alternate-reality-or-reality woman president behave as her male counterparts have?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2005 12:08 PM | Report abuse

By producing a show that doesn't know what it wants to be they have managed only to achieve the lowest common denominator.
Why oh why do they feel compelled in the 21st century to play on the "oh my gosh - a woman president"? After the fiasco of the 2000 election, how few of us do they imagine haven't read the 25th Amendment (along with all the others)?
I'm not as offended by the poor writing, poor story concepts and less than exciting production values as I am by the producer's "dumbing down" of the potential issues.
Oh by the way - how could character of the President undergone surgery without a transfer of power? Why couldn't they manage to include the final eight words of the oath of office?
What were they thinking? Not much I think.

On one hand they don't want to emmulate The West Wing and on the other they are trying to convey

Posted by: Roo Dunn | September 28, 2005 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey, mo! We're over HERE now!

My 2 cents: The show looks like it's going to be less like West Wing than Judging Amy. Not that Judging Amy is a bad show, mind you. It's just that it's less about being a judge than Amy-the-still-unmarried-woman who is a judge.

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to interrupt the flow of the boodle with a Toni Collette alert. I saw her new movie last night, "In Her Shoes" and it's really good but a definite chick flick. The guys might want to see it for scene after scene of Cameron Diaz. It's her cleavage! It's her fabulously taut tummy! She's in a bikini!

That aside, it's really good and Toni Colette, Cameron Diaz, and Shirley Maclaine (as the grandma!) are amazing. I saw a sneak preview but I think it comes out in a couple of weeks.

Now back to your regulary scheduled boodle. I will probably tivo "House" and watch Geena Davis as President just because I'm curious.

Posted by: AJ | September 28, 2005 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Two things about the show last night that just keep coming back to mind.
1. Why on Earth would someone name a VP that they wouldn't want to replace them. I know that no politician wants to believe they could lose their power or die. But seriously, you're POTUS, you are a huge assassins target, you've gotta realize that you won't be in the Oval Office forever.

2. How many times does she say "God" in her speech to Congress.

Posted by: TulsaFan | September 28, 2005 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry you, via your analysis, missed the broader picture of transition ability....despite mundane but human obstacles. Lest we forget, Ms. Clinton was NOT a senator while in the white house. Calibre of review was mundane and tacky (Bill Clinton's stain?....really. You are probably the only one who didn't know about that and so had to print it).

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2005 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I posit that one of the fundamental reasons it could be an interesting show, if the plots improve, is the demonstrated by the tie/scarf thing and the response to it. Some people instinctively feel because a woman is assisting a female president, that it's a woman thing, while others say, hey guys do that with ties. If its a good show, it could lift the roof of the glass ceiling faster than any other single thing that Senator Clinton may or may not do. This show could have a stronger effect on the American psyche than any policy or belief or party loyalty might have on wether or not your next president is a female.

If this show becomes strong and well written, it could possibly be the best free publicity any presidential hopeful will ever have.

Posted by: dr | September 28, 2005 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I guess what irks me is the idea that a woman president is only going to become president by succession.

If you're going to create an alternate reality, have it be one where the woman candidate doesn't get as many votes as the other, encourages voter intimidation, hires legal goons to argue her case up to the Supreme Court, has her brother be the governor of the deciding state.....

But seriously, why couldn't she get elected? That would be more of a strike for feminism.

Posted by: BG | September 28, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Good blog. I forwarded it to my wife. She and my daughter watched the show. I think I was watching the History Channel or something.

Posted by: LB | September 28, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but the spill on the blouse happened in West Wing, it was on the press sec'ys blouse and the Pres's sec'y loaned here a really bad flower-type pin to cover it. (I am no good with names.)

It wasn't very cute then either, and why can't some one do one about the v-pres's open fly just to be really original?

My friend the doctor still gets called 'nursie' when she enters patients' rooms, when is our pres. figure going to get asked for a really good recipe?

Posted by: Ruth | September 28, 2005 12:33 PM | Report abuse

sorry cowtown - i'm late to the boodle... i missed the show last nite... i think i was watching the discovery channel... and i'm a House girl so... i even forgot to catch the game last nite (everytime i miss them play they lose! think they are trying to tell me something?)

and sara - gena doesn't do it for me either - neither does kim basinger (i can't STAND her!)

Posted by: mo | September 28, 2005 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Donald Sutherland looks very one-dimensional and ridiculous in the previews - he needs a mustache to twirl. I watch very little TV anyway, and this isn't going to be one of the exceptions. I wonder though: will this show make more people able to imagine a woman as President, or will more people have their fears confirmed? Given that very few people will change their mind at all, that is.

"In Her Shoes" - I've heard it called a great chick flick, the best since "Terms of Endearment", so good it transends the label and becomes a solid film for everyone. Curtis Hanson (director: L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys, 8 Mile) is one of my favorites.

Posted by: mizerock | September 28, 2005 12:39 PM | Report abuse

As a 60 year old white male, it appears to me in reading your editorial that both you and George Bush don't think in the same fashion.

Posted by: Charles Williams | September 28, 2005 12:39 PM | Report abuse

DeLay was just indicted - any chance that a woman will replace him, if we need a new House majority leader?

Posted by: mizerock | September 28, 2005 12:45 PM | Report abuse

and in other news:

A West Yorkshire hospital has banned visitors from cooing at new-born babies over fears their human rights are being breached.

sorry to be off topic! now back to our regularly scheduled boodle!

Posted by: mo | September 28, 2005 12:59 PM | Report abuse

That scene you describe it´s full of misogenY (not yours, but from the screen writers.).
Sorry to say this, but i still can´t believe in a female POTUS. I´ve got a great admiration for Mrs.Hillary Clinton (just like much people in Europe), i believe she would be up to it(whit far more vision and intelectual skills than Mr. Bush), but she will not resist to all the atacks and dirty tricks when the nomination process begins.(and in U.S.A. there´s no mercy-ex:SWIFT boat).
I would like to know if there is some kind of legal quote for women in politics in USA.For instance, in my country,at least 25% of the runners (for the house of the representatives,here is called the Parliament.) from all the parties have to be female.I know, this sounds absurd,don´t joke whit me...
Best wishes for all

Posted by: suprassis | September 28, 2005 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't tell you how violated I have felt all my life because strangers thought I was an adorable baby.


Posted by: Sara | September 28, 2005 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Not at all, suprassis. In Afghanistan, where a region refused to allow women to run, it was recently revealed that having been required to run women, two elected women had been dead for several years.

Posted by: Ruth | September 28, 2005 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Didn't watch Commhando-in-Chief, watched "My Name is Earl", and the second half of Scorsese's "No Direction Home" Bob Dylan bio while waiting for "The Daily Show".

I haven't been able to take Ms. Davis all that seriously since "Earth Girls are Easy" and "Cutthroat Island", two examples of why actors should never mix their personal lives with their film careers (see "Gigli" and "Eyes Wide Shut" for further examples).

Good question, "Posted by:|" (ahem). I suppose it depends on the woman. Would Iron Maggie Thatcher have done anything different if she were a man?

As far as alternate-reality Presidents go, I'm thinking Jack Nicholson (see "Mars Attacks!"). And Glenn Close as 1st Lady.


Posted by: bc | September 28, 2005 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Hello, Paulo!
I was wondering what had happened to you. Glad you're still here.

Posted by: Achenfan | September 28, 2005 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Commhando? Nice.

Posted by: jw | September 28, 2005 1:11 PM | Report abuse

And let me add Chris Rock and Peter Sellers as runner-ups in alternate-reality presidents.

You can keep Kevin Kline, though.


Posted by: bc | September 28, 2005 1:14 PM | Report abuse

again i hafta veer off-topic for a sec (and actually get serious for a sec) - a link that mizerock posted in the last boodle... it blew me away!

Reports of anarchy at Superdome overstated"

ok - back to estrogen in command!

Posted by: mo | September 28, 2005 1:14 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "And let me add Chris Rock and Peter Sellers as runner-ups in my alternate-reality president contest".

Oh, and thanks, jw.


Posted by: bc | September 28, 2005 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Is it runner-ups, or runners-up?

Bah. Who cares . . .

Posted by: Tom fan | September 28, 2005 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Back in 1998 I went to see A Tribe Called Quest on their farewell tour at the 9:30 club. As the show began I somehow broke my belt (it was college, I was drunk), this left my pants useless as gravity tried to pull them to the floor. Luckily Kevin Tarpe came to the rescue with his belt, which kept my pants around my waist for the rest of the evening. I was able to jump up and down with the crowd and enjoy the best concert experience I have ever had. Kevin Tarpe, wherever you are, this Bud's for you....

Posted by: Lee | September 28, 2005 1:24 PM | Report abuse

President Geena portrays an intellectual with a brain compared to what we have now. Maybe the current president can act intelligent but I guess 60 million people didn't think intelligence was necessary to be president. Oh well, that's all sour grapes now. Maybe he'll get impeached for drinking on the job.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2005 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"Being that the president is a woman. I am sure she does not tolerate fools. And would have no Mike Brown"

Women never make bad decisions about the men they hang around with.
Just another Political Liberal Fantasy Hour, nothing to see here, move along. Liberals can't win real Presidential elections so they create TV shows depicting how they'd govern if they could. Which people then watch and can recall why it is they didn't vote for a liberal in the first place.

Posted by: Mike | September 28, 2005 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Tom fan, I believe "runners-up" to be correct. TFCC Entry #1.

A Bahx upon me!


Posted by: bc | September 28, 2005 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear, I didn't mean to castigate you, bc (especially since I wasn't sure of the correct term myself).

TFCC! Oh, I'm so ashamed of myself.

TFSCC cubed.

Posted by: Tom fan | September 28, 2005 1:36 PM | Report abuse

mizerock, I think they've already answered your questions about who will replace DeLay, at least temporarily.

No women that I can see, so far.


Posted by: bc | September 28, 2005 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, Tom DeLay indicted. The day is good. My hope is that he gets convicted and is not allowed to go to that silly sort of country club prison where he can ride on a tractor like all those Watergate felons.

Didn't see the Geena show last night, opting for House. One of my fantasies is that one of these days, he's going to lapse into a Brit accent. They could possibly work it into the show, perhaps making it happen in a drug-free induced stupor. That would be fun.

As for the post by Charles Williams, hard to see your point. Although there is the assumption that Bush thinks at all. Or, to be perhaps a bit more charitable, that Bush has any intelligent thought (as opposed to wanting to suck at the public trough for himself, his mommy and his friends).

Ahhh, DeLay indicted. Yummy.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 28, 2005 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Come on, guys! TOM DELAY HAS BEEN INDICTED! In the full knowledge that he will probably weasel out of it, nonetheless I am singin' here in Munchkinland. Everybody together now-Ding dong...

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 28, 2005 1:43 PM | Report abuse

mo -

Read that article re: babies in nurseries. I can totally understand the infection concern - babies are extremely vulnerable at this point. But cooing as a violation of human rights? Snort - ha!

Posted by: pls | September 28, 2005 1:46 PM | Report abuse

[Just in case there's any confusion, I'm not a Tom DeLay fan. Tom Shroder, yes. Tom Shales, yes. Tom Toles, yes. Tom Sietsema, yes. I could go on and on. But not Tom DeLay.]

Posted by: Tom fan | September 28, 2005 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"Ooo, is 'e a clever little fella? Is 'e clever? Ooo, can 'e talk? Mmm? Can 'e talk?!"

"Yes, of course I can talk; I'm Minister for Overseas Development"

Posted by: Python fan | September 28, 2005 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The idea of V-POTUS' husband being good enough to be Chief of Staff, but not to be Madam POTUS' CoS I believe is really just showing that the job of V-POTUS is not all that important or high profile...other than his knee surgery, has anyone even SEEN Dick Cheney lately...?

Posted by: TmC | September 28, 2005 1:57 PM | Report abuse

tee hee hee hee hee!

Indicting Delay
Makes my Day.

Posted by: TA | September 28, 2005 1:58 PM | Report abuse

We've done the Achen-ku thing. Might be time for some Tom-kus . . .

Cow San, are you out there?

Posted by: Tom fan | September 28, 2005 2:01 PM | Report abuse

My fantasy about "House" is that Rowan Atkinson shows up, and it devolves into a "Blackadder" bit. Brit accents, and all.


Posted by: bc | September 28, 2005 2:02 PM | Report abuse

And since everyone is telling whether or not they watched "House" or "Commander in Chief" last night, I'm going to take the opportunity to show off and say that I did neither. I saw the White Stripes and they were fantabulous!

"I can tell that we are gonna be friends..."

Posted by: TA | September 28, 2005 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Not at all, suprassis. In Afghanistan, where a region refused to allow women to run, it was recently revealed that having been required to run women, two elected women had been dead for several years.

Posted by: Ruth | Sep 28, 2005 1:07:01 PM

Ain't no big thing, Ruth. Dead people get elected in Texas all the time.

Last night I watched the second half of "No Direction Home" and enjoyed it. Gotta go buy it now.

Posted by: pj | September 28, 2005 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I was immersed in Tom Wolfe's "I Am Charlotte Simmons," so I didn't watch TV either.

[Hence my silly comments today (as opposed to every other day, I hear you say) -- I have nothing to contribute on "Commander in Chief."]

Posted by: Tom fan | September 28, 2005 2:16 PM | Report abuse

House Fantasy- Stephen Fry as Jeeves plays a visiting expert and Laurie goes all Woosterish. Best set of goggle eyes since Marty Feldman.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 28, 2005 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Delay indicted
His hand was in the cookie jar
Boodlers Delighted

Posted by: CowSan | September 28, 2005 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, CowSan!

Posted by: Achenfan | September 28, 2005 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, my National Geographic came yesterday so I had no time for tv either. Aren't we highbrow. (high five to other booksters)

Posted by: Reader | September 28, 2005 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Porching Hour is nigh
Achenbach is Achenshy
But what about Tom?

[Nice try, Tom fan. The next Tom-ku had better be about a restraining order.]

Posted by: Tom fan | September 28, 2005 2:23 PM | Report abuse

From the article about the Superdome that Mo linked us to:

"Only one of the dead appeared to have been murdered, said health and law-enforcement officials."

If that were said about MY neighborhood, there'd be a huge fuss! Only one, eh? And that's good?

Posted by: TBG | September 28, 2005 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Aw, TA, you definitely got me beat. I'd rather have seen Jack and Meg live than a movie of Dylan.

kurosawaguy, Tom fan, CowSan - ha, ha, ha!


Posted by: bc | September 28, 2005 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Poor Gina Davis
Plays Unlikely President
Cliff Drive in Future?

Posted by: CowSan | September 28, 2005 2:37 PM | Report abuse

CowSan, you kill me.

Posted by: Achenfan | September 28, 2005 2:40 PM | Report abuse

" also has a slight 1975 feel to it -- as though it is groping with the basic concept of a powerful woman."

I took a trip in the time machine and found Shirley Chisolm, running for President in 1972. Power and grace. And this from an on-line obituary (she died just this year, age 80):

"Chisholm always said that she faced more discrimination as a woman than she did as a black person."

Posted by: Memory Lane | September 28, 2005 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Tom DeLay is leaving
The masses inhale deaply
Hopeful of its permanence

Posted by: aroc | September 28, 2005 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Commander In Chief
Should have been Sue Sarrandon
She's More Credible

[Enough already]

Posted by: CowSan | September 28, 2005 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Most excellent haiku CowSan!

Posted by: peanutgallerymember | September 28, 2005 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Must be about due
For the next "Tom's Dumb Question";
I rather like those

Posted by: Tom fan | September 28, 2005 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Susan Sarandon? I like Geena Davis better. And I don't like Geena Davis. I must disagree CowSan. But the haiku's are making my day anyway.

Posted by: Sara | September 28, 2005 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I thought the show was terrific. Yes, a few sterotypical happenings. Overall, I think this show could show just how popculture-ish this country has become. Just think, a tv series opens a door for the first ever woman president. It's about time we give one a try-we couldn't be any worse off than we are now. I think I'll keep watching. It was quite entertaining. Can't wait to see what happens in 2008-Hillary all the way!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2005 2:59 PM | Report abuse

CIC was created by Rod Lurie, the same guy wrote and directed "The Contender", one of the dumbest, most pedantic political dramas ever made. So I wouldn't expect the show to get much better.

Posted by: Drew | September 28, 2005 3:01 PM | Report abuse


You get the award for Best Haiku by a New Contributor.

Many Blessings,

Cow Town
President, Boodle Mutual Appreciation Bureau

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute. I got a little confused at the top of the Boodle: which one(s) was the alternate-realty president(s)? Bush, Davis and/or Sheen? and which had their head(s) in the real world? This reality/living-in-a-fantasy-world thing is all so confusing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 28, 2005 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to read that someone else believes that this "reality series" must go beyond the gimick! And why was the little girl even in the limo??

But I do hope that this "Alternate Reality" show does not provide justification for people to vote for Hillary in the next election...I am not sure I could handle another Clinton! One was bad enough for me!

Posted by: San Mateo Tom | September 28, 2005 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I actually rather liked Commander in Chief. I never got into West Wing and I feel it's too late to pick it up now. I also appreciate a strong female role model on TV.
And as unfortunate as it might be; our first non-white male president will probably be due to succession.

Posted by: Di | September 28, 2005 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm a huge Geena Davis fan. That said, I HATED (seriously one of the worst movies I've ever paid to see) the contender. I don't think Rod Lurie could write or direct his way out of a paper bag. I therefore will pass on this opportunity to ogle Geena Davis on a weekly basis.

Posted by: Left of the Pyle | September 28, 2005 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Instead of this scene being about women helping women don't you think it comes across as no matter what job a woman does, she's still a Mom and has those duties also.

Posted by: Heidi | September 28, 2005 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Much as I admire Hillary (I didn't say I'd Vote for her, but I admire her - I admire Newt Gingrich also), I don't think she's the only female candidate for president. Repub's could have Elizabeth Dole if they wanted to move back towards the center. The problem is, we only elect governors or vice presidents to be president. Jack Kennedy was the last senator to win the position. So, just about any candidate is going to be a long shot.

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 3:19 PM | Report abuse

C'mon folks, get a grip. I interpreted the blouse scene to mean that if you are a high-ranking person (i.e. president of the U.S., chairman of GM, whatever) and you spill something on your shirt/blouse five minutes before a major public appearance, a behind-the-scenes flunkie will do whatever it takes to fix the problem (rightly so). Gimme a break.

Posted by: Curmudegon | September 28, 2005 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my, San Mateo Tom. Regardless of Clinton's much too apparent flaws, the national economy was glorious, there were apparent exit strategies to his war-time efforts (whether they may have worked or not is debatable, but AT LEAST he had them!), this country had a lot more admirers and international collegiality than it does now, he was and remains brilliant intellectually and he did not put us into a security hole so deep that we are much, MUCH, more vulnerable than we were even immediately after 9/11 (and before we stupidly went into Iraq with the real motive's being an insatiable thirst for oil and its attendant profits).

As Joan Mondale once stated: Democrats may screw their secretaries, but Republicans screw the country.

Hillary is smart, too, enabler than she was for Bill's sexual idiosyncracies. Not the choice I woulda made, but not nearly as dangerous for the economy or security of this country as little boy has done as president (I gag on the word in this context).

I will admit to mixed feelings about Hillary's running, but regardless of those feelings, it would be incredibly nice not to have to cringe all the time with a mommy's boy who's always, ALWAYS, gotten rescued. At everyone else's expense.

As long as you're going to trash the Clintons, you could at least come up with some factual justifications. What is it about this economy that you prefer (unless, perhaps, you own stock in Halliburton or Bechtel)? What is it that you prefer that the Taliban is back in Afghanistan? What is it about our being in Iraq as a result of persistent lies and changing motives?

And here's my attempt at a 'ku:

Tom DeLay indicted
Satisfaction on hold
Pending conviction

Was that good enough to join the 'ku club?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 28, 2005 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you, CowTown.

Thought it was about time I participated rather just be a reader for all these months.

I'll be "bach" as soon as the job is a little less hectic. I love all of the boodlers comments.

Posted by: aroc | September 28, 2005 3:35 PM | Report abuse

DeLay's indictment.
Long awaited by lib'rals.
The delay's over.

Posted by: Madeleine Kane | September 28, 2005 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I think we have a winner.

["The delay's over"! Ha!]

Posted by: Achenfan | September 28, 2005 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2005 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Madeleine Kane, that last line was great.

Posted by: Sara | September 28, 2005 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that only a few people posting today thought that a television show depicting the first ever woman president was not culturally significant. I agree with dr that this "show could have a stronger effect on the American psyche than any policy or belief or party loyalty might have on whether or not your next president is a female." As a feminist, I believe the show is a step forward and I personally enjoyed the show.

Posted by: Susan | September 28, 2005 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Unreality abounds.
Can't take anymore.

Posted by: Raoul Duke | September 28, 2005 3:56 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the link. It's worth bookmarking!

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I've ever been as horrified by a TV scene as when Geena (and her lips) dragged the Nigerian ambassador into the room full of generals (Massa!), all set to whup his ass. They made that guy play the scene like Amos, with his eyes bugging out and sweat popping out all over.

I'm a white woman, BTW.

Posted by: newbie | September 28, 2005 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Frist's hyp'critic oaf,
Winner of our dissed content:
Delay, in handcuffs.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 28, 2005 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Lest I be accused of being a cave-man I should clarify that my comment on the "unreality" of the show is not a snarky rejoinder about the prospects of a woman president (see Bhutto, Benazir, and Maier, Golda et. al.), but rather the inane situations created by the writer(s).

For example, the notion that United States foreign policy will henceforth be based on the particulars of one woman's case- and backed by the force of the military- is laughable.

Also found it interesting that the writer(s) chose to give the fictional President a line in her address to Congress that ran basically to the effect of: "Freedom is our [the United States] gift to the world." What is particularly striking about that line is the fact that the real President, in his second inaugural address, used a very similar line that took nearly the opposite position: "We know that freedom is not the gift of America to the world, but God's gift to humanity". (Or something to that effect)

Posted by: Raoul Duke | September 28, 2005 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Newbie- I was also horrified by that scene, though for slightly different reasons (yours is a good point, though): why would anyone allow a foreign national into what appeared to be the Situation Room?

Posted by: Raoul Duke | September 28, 2005 4:12 PM | Report abuse

There's so much going on at the Capitol today, it's a miracle anyone can keep it all straight. Delay indicted, Katrina hearings, another Supreme nomination imminnet, plus votes on Arctic Drilling, the endangered species act -- today would have been a great day to sneak some pork into legislation, because no one would have noticed.

Naturally we always default to What Does This Mean For the Elections. Charlie Cook yesterday said a Democratic takeover of the Senate is possible, though it sounded as though he wouldn't put any money on it. The House is still pretty solidly GOP. Check out this interesting and informed summary from the editor of Roll Call in a chat online today on this site:

"Tim Curran: It's certainly the last thing Republicans needed right now, and to say that they're shell-shocked today would be an understatement. Behind closed doors, Republicans in both the House and Senate have been howling about their constituents' complaints about Iraq, the plans to overhaul Social Security, gas prices, and hurricane response. Now the one-two punch of the investigation into Frist's stock sale and the DeLay indictment have left them reeling. The best news for Republicans is that the 2006 elections are still 13 months away."

Posted by: Achenbach | September 28, 2005 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you're right. Breaking a nail and rescuing a woman about to be put to death for adultery are such girly things.

As to your point that the show has a "1975" feel to it - well, so does 2005. I really believe that many (most?) Americans would be kind of freaked out by a female President. Still. Very sad, but I think it's true.

And the point of that scene in the limo where Geena gets juice spilled on her shirt wasn't to show that girls help girls - it was to show the frustration and impotence of Geena's husband, who had just been stripped of his Chief of Staff role and now couldn't even help her in a small, trivial way.

Posted by: Lobsterbreath | September 28, 2005 4:26 PM | Report abuse

And I just loved the liberal reference to 'WMD-Gate'....never heard that one before!

Posted by: euw | September 28, 2005 4:28 PM | Report abuse


The WMD-Gate reference (who made it?) misses the mark. It should have been "WMD-Gap." As in "Credibility-Gap," an old Nixonian reference.

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Benazir Bhutto, how is it possible that a woman was democratically elected as Prime Minister in a Muslim country back in 1988 while the US still seems appalled at the idea of a female president in 2005?

I think that an African-American male will be elected president before any female. (Alternate-reality President Palmer from 24...)

Posted by: Pixel | September 28, 2005 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Excellent points, Joel. Let's hope they hear you.

Posted by: Stephanie | September 28, 2005 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Who let the child in the limo with an uncovered cup of cranberry juice? Certainly no one who's ever driven in DC before.

And what about the line that the former pres's widow says to Geena Davis and her lips? "If Moses were a woman, the Jews wouldn't've wandered for 40 years--they would've stopped for directions." Gag.

Next week, POTUS is pissed that someone left the toilet seat up in the oval office.

Posted by: 5 of 15 | September 28, 2005 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Forget the blouse scene, the hamfisted dialogue (a Rod Lurie staple, unfortunately), the Amos-and-Andy ambassador; the show had me hooked from the first minute, when Geena's listening to the kid choir, an aide comes in to drop the bad news about the prez, and...SHE GETS RIGHT UP AND LEAVES! No seven-minute doofus delay! I was cackling. That alone gets me invested for at least another week.

Posted by: jdcgate | September 28, 2005 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy your column, but this time you and I differ. Probably because you are a man and aren't subject to the condescending innuendos in the work place; not included in policy meetings; or, have had your child spill juice on you on the way to a meeting because dad had a golf game that was more important than being a parent. This show raises the ugly head of sexist attitudes, as Katrine did for - gee - poor people in the United States.

Posted by: TheScholar | September 28, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy your column, but this time you and I differ. Probably because you are a man and aren't subject to the condescending innuendos in the work place; not included in policy meetings; or, have had your child spill juice on you on the way to a meeting because dad had a golf game that was more important than being a parent. This show raises the ugly head of sexist attitudes, as Katrine did for - gee - poor people in the United States.

Posted by: TheScholar | September 28, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I would vote for President Palmer from 24. He's attractive and a good actor. And those state farm commercials he does--he just has a commanding presence.

(Don't worry everyone, that isn't what I really base my vote on.)

I do think Pixel is right, though. An African-American male president will be voted in before a woman. I'd most definitely vote for an African-American male president if he were qualified and stood for what I stood for.

Posted by: Sara | September 28, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Now that I think of it, the Republicans have had the right idea all along. Elect a person with positive name recognition and credibility arising from media performance. For females: Oprah Winfrey, Jane Curtin, and Jessica Lange are examples. Male African-Americans? How about Morgan Freeman (he's already played a president in Deep Impact, so we know what he looks like in a presidential position).

Might work.

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy your column, but this time you and I differ. Probably because you are a man and aren't subject to the condescending innuendos in the work place; not included in policy meetings; or, have had your child spill juice on you on the way to a meeting because dad had a golf game that was more important than being a parent. This show raises the ugly head of sexist attitudes, as Katrine did for - gee - poor people in the United States.

Posted by: TheScholar | September 28, 2005 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Cow town - WMD Gate was said by the President in the flashback scene where he asks Mac to be his running mate

Posted by: euw | September 28, 2005 4:47 PM | Report abuse

For the Dems, Candice Bergen. I still remember Quayle's attacking the show "Murphy Brown" as encouraging single motherhood.

2008: Candice Bergen attacks Bush for encouraging bankruptcy, financial mismanagement, nepotism, and shoddy work ethics...

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 28, 2005 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Y'all are making my brain hurt with the 'kus.

Posted by: pls | September 28, 2005 4:55 PM | Report abuse


Thanks. Sounds like an example of the "hamfisted dialogue" jdcgate (?) mentioned.

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 4:56 PM | Report abuse

For the Dems, Candice Bergen. I still remember Quayle's attacking the show "Murphy Brown" as encouraging single motherhood.

2008: Candice Bergen attacks Bush for encouraging bankruptcy, financial mismanagement, nepotism, and shoddy work ethics...

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 28, 2005 4:56 PM | Report abuse

wilbrod - that's a good one! ah that we were back in the day when all we had to care about was "encouraging" single motherhood! and how to spell potato... and that it was just our veep that was the idiot not the potus!

Posted by: mo | September 28, 2005 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the entire show, but I caught the last few minutes of it and enjoyed it. I especially liked the speech she gave at the end. Maybe the tv writers should be writing the speeches for our officials. As for the scarf, it wasn't about women helping women, it was how a woman president will always be a mom. Male presidents can put their parental issues aside and have the wife take care of things, but a woman president will need to be all things at all times (as in real life!). Whether she's shopping for shoes or running a country, a mother never stops being a mother.

Posted by: lf | September 28, 2005 5:00 PM | Report abuse


Hillary Clinton's name still evokes a visceral reaction from many conservative Republicans, and it isn't pretty. Candace Bergen would provoke a mad fury among the same folks. Dittoheads everywhere would explode. I'd prefer a "uniter." Oprah, anyone?

Myself, I'm holding pat with Morgan Freeman.

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Looking for a black president? Hark back to "The Man," Irving Wallace's 1964 (yes!) novel and the 1972 (pretty good but not great) movie starring James Earl Jones.

Yeah, yeah, most of you blogheads weren't even twinkles in Bill Gates' eye back then.

(big sigh)It's lonely being this old in the blogosphere.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 28, 2005 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Women lead England and Israel and broken nails didn't seem to be a problem. Your comments were very demeaning and insulting to women. For a modern world power, America is very much in the 18th century when it comes to women in power.

Posted by: wolf | September 28, 2005 5:17 PM | Report abuse

wolf - the funniest thing about joel comparing broken nails to women is that i'll bet not a one of the women that regularly boodle here care one WHIT about breaking a nail (i know i don't)... it's called humour...

Posted by: mo | September 28, 2005 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Earlier, the question was raised--would a Presidential candidate choose a running mate with such radically different qualities? Yes, on occasion this happens strictly to balance the ticket; i.e., JFK and LBJ. Plus, given the type of power-driven folks who run for President, it seems unlikely that they (seriously) consider their own possible mortality when selecting a VEEP.

Posted by: alert reader | September 28, 2005 5:23 PM | Report abuse

As a woman I applaud the show although l would have preferred if she was elected. However, as a Nigerian I'm a tad offended. First of all the ambassador was depicted as a blubbering idiot. We would never send such an inexperienced ham to be the Ambassador to the US. Secondly, she basically told the guy what she was going to do with or without the Nigerian government's approval - ever heard of sovereignty? And thirdly, with a little bit of research the writers could have found out that Nigeria is a presidency and we don't have a prime minister - just a small detail but it shows they didn't do their homework and were just going for pizzazz. Sorry for the tirade but I'm just really tired of negative African representations in the media.

Posted by: omodudu | September 28, 2005 5:28 PM | Report abuse

All our joking aside, this issue raises an interesting question: Would a woman president have launched the invasion of Iraq? How much of our current foreign policy is fueled purely by testosterone?

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Interesting note on Morgan Freeman, and the gentleman from 24. I'd forgotten about their portrayals of presidents. Is it possible that Colin Powell's persona influenced the choice of actor there? In his media exposure after the First Gulf War, he certainly came across very well internationally. Colin Powell is a very presidential looking person. He even smiles dignified. And well Morgan Freeman, well, lets just say...sigh. And ok, though I don't think he played a president, or declined to run for the post, James Earl Jones.

You know, its just come to me. I thinks its the voices and the way these gentlemen speak, the wonderful deep cadence and rich timbre of their voices. They all Sound presidential.

Posted by: dr | September 28, 2005 5:34 PM | Report abuse


James Earl Jones! Another fine media-based candidate. If I can't have Morgan, I'll take James.

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Re: Would a woman president have launched the invasion of Iraq?

Falklands/Malvinas, anyone?

Posted by: Les | September 28, 2005 5:34 PM | Report abuse

There you go, I was wrong. James Earl Jones played a president! I just knew he sounded very presidential.

Posted by: dr | September 28, 2005 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm suddenly reminded of that saying, "A woman has to be twice as good as a man to be considered half as good." Regardless of whether that's true, I don't think any woman president could get away with being as dumb as Dubya is, so a female president's foreign policy might reflect more intelligence.

[Did I ever mention that I was thinking of adopting an angry feminist persona?]

Posted by: Achenfan | September 28, 2005 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Over at the photorialist portrays the slippery situation, with satire, that an actor can get herself into when going up against the likes of the Sheen. Hint, "I'd buy that for a dollar."

Posted by: Esbiem | September 28, 2005 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell was on the Republican short list throughout the late 80's and early 90's. But now he'd have to run as a Democrat if he had a prayer of becoming president. That could be a good thing as he's admired by moderates of both parties, maybe even a few Greens. And, you're right, he LOOKS presidential. That counts.

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 5:42 PM | Report abuse

What a useless review. The FIRST episode was entertaining, and I will tune in to see where it goes.

Posted by: Mark Hill | September 28, 2005 5:49 PM | Report abuse

How Colin Powell ever ended up working for Bush is a mystery to me. I've heard him speak (he was the guest speaker at our sales kickoff a few years back, pre-Bush) and he said so many things that I agreed with; he was so darned moderate! He's one of those people who would make a fantastic president but knows that it's a sh*tty job and doesn't want it.

Posted by: Pixel | September 28, 2005 5:50 PM | Report abuse

What I find interesting is Little Boy and his hangers-on always talking about what a leader he is.

In my view, if you have to TELL people you're a leader, you AREN'T one!

For omodudu, in Bush's first term, he referred to Africa as a "country." Africa is as diverse a continent as they come. There are unfortunately few people in high position in this country who continually believe that a strong work ethic is not in their job description. Don't count on anything's changing anytime soon.

I do look forward to the next episode of House, however.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 28, 2005 5:55 PM | Report abuse


This show is loaded with stumbling Hollywood-esque cliches and has none of the thinking edginess that makes West Wing a success.

Won't last past the one season.

Posted by: DrC | September 28, 2005 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Oops! Sorry. What I really meant to say was that there are few people in high position in this country who do NOT believe that a strong work ethic is not in their job description.

Gotta go get the cobwebs out.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 28, 2005 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Geena Davis as President Mackenzie did well last part of the show (to me) was when the teleprompter went blank and she was able to "handle her business" Hats off to you girl!

Posted by: Stuffin | September 28, 2005 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Joel Achenbach whines, " I am sure the creators of the show are fully credentialed liberals who believe they are advancing the cause of women in politics."

With all the Right Wing Kool Aid people like Achenbach drinks while watching Fox News Network it's no wonder he's having a hissy fit over anyone suggesting our country can have a little levity, even in a fictional scenario, that implies or alludes to an iota of criticism of the mob now running the White House.

Next thing you know, Geena, as Commander-in-Chief, will be demanding to speak to ticket-holding-only audiences purporting to represent "town hall meetings." Oh, my achin' blog!

Posted by: Richard | September 28, 2005 6:08 PM | Report abuse


The Boss drinks Right Wing Kool Aid? Our Joel? Are we talking about the same Achenbach?

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Tip of the day: go to, fill in the blank with the word "failure" and click on I Feel Lucky.


Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 28, 2005 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Ignore it, CowTown -- it's gibberish. (Don't you just love the word "gibberish"?)

Posted by: Tom fan | September 28, 2005 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I actually tend to watch what used to be called the Clinton News Network.
Lots of good comments today, maybe we should do TV more often! I regret not watching more of the Dylan documentary. What I did see was great, particularly the interviews with Dylan today.
About "Commander in Chief," I just felt it was ham-fisted. The show made its dramatic points one cudgel to the side of the head at a time.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 28, 2005 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Tom fan

I give all bloggers the benefit of the doubt. Part of my All Are Welcome (Tm) philosophy.

Gibberish sounds like it's used to make gravy, doesn't it?

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Rescue mission to Nigeria? I guess they have the same quality of military consultants as does West Wing, that is to say abysmal. Then again, script writers seem determined to get everything wrong about the military when it comes to TV drama. Note the tag line from that other new show about the Pentagon: "You're a warrior, that's why you're here." Truth is warriors don't want to be caught dead there and the bureaucrats feel diminished in the presence of a warrior so that line has about as much validity as "I smoked but didn't inhale."

Posted by: Observer | September 28, 2005 6:29 PM | Report abuse

MacKenzie's White House must be the most efficient, slimmed down operation ever -- what, her staff is not waiting at the Capitol with extra wardobe and makeup? She hold a high-level foreign policy meeting in her family room with take-out Chinese? And while the previous president lays dying (in a cramped private room), there's but a single agent guarding the door and no crush of staffers, aides, and officials in the hallway?
This show might want to actually visit Washington one day, you know, just to see what it's really like. Do they really think that a protocol office staffer would continually call the president's husband "the First Lady"? That the entire executive branch is run by 2 or 3 people? That Yencheng Palace delivers to the ultra-secure Naval Observatory?
If "West Wing" is a social studies lesson, "Chief" is junk food.

Posted by: Gene Cowan | September 28, 2005 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I am humbled in your presence, CowTown.

Another TFSCC entry for me. (Or is that a CTFS entry?)

[Resumes sitting-on-hands posture]

Posted by: Tom fan | September 28, 2005 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell would be THE man for the job principally because he does not want it. If you don't want the job, you don't focus on keeping power to the detriment of all else, and in a second term, would not be forced to hand out patronage appointments to 'pay' for support in getting elected, and re-elected. And maybe, just maybe, the good of all the people would be what counts first, most and always.

This will never happen in my country, because our leaders are not voted for by all people, AND we have no set limit on how many terms of anything any one elected official can serve. It be nice to see it happen in the neighbourhood though.

Posted by: dr | September 28, 2005 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, where did I go wrong? when I read
" I am sure the creators of the show are fully credentialed liberals who believe they are advancing the cause of women in politics."

There I go again, misunderestimating the hidden meanings and nuances. The Boss?

Posted by: Richard | September 28, 2005 7:32 PM | Report abuse

TheScholar writes:
"Enjoy your column, but this time you and I differ. Probably because you are a man and aren't subject to the condescending innuendos in the work place; not included in policy meetings; or, have had your child spill juice on you on the way to a meeting because dad had a golf game that was more important than being a parent. This show raises the ugly head of sexist attitudes..."

Achenbach writes:
"About "Commander in Chief," I just felt it was ham-fisted. The show made its dramatic points one cudgel to the side of the head at a time."

I ask, what does it take to educate a man about what it's like to walk for a day in a woman's shoes (moccasins)?

...why, a cudgel to the side of the head, numerous blows at one time. (insert emoticon) Repeat exercise until desired effect achieved. (insert emoticon)

(I can write volumes on this subject, from personal experience, but shall refrain for the moment...)

Posted by: Linda Loomis | September 28, 2005 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I watched a few episodes of West Wing and my own personal take, in all deference to their Emmy winning drama award, is that it's monotone to the point of being boring. I'm not sure if I'll watch CIC on a weekly basis either since the thought of an Independent thinker (male or female)in our politically poisoned atmosphere today qualifies more as science fiction -- or maybe comedy.

I just wish the Science Fiction channel would get better animation and graphics, especially after watching a giant rat making 5-foot cartoonish-like vertical leaps.

As they say, beauty or art is in the eye of the beholder.

Posted by: Richard | September 28, 2005 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I will watch the show, just because it's different than most anything else that's out there (West Wing included). Already brings back memories of Glenn Close in "Air Force One"....

Posted by: MJL | September 28, 2005 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I didn't watch CiC for one (probably very petty -- but snarky!) reason: The woman's name is MacKenzie, for crying out loud. Are we really supposed to take seriously a woman with a name that sounds like it was derived from that porn star trick (your pet's name and the street you grew up on, or whatever)? I'm just surprised they resisted the temptation to name her Madison... Like I said, a petty reason for not watching, but one that just bugs the heck out of me.

Posted by: Snarky Squirrel | September 28, 2005 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I didn't watch CIC - I like Geena Davis and Donald Sutherland, but the clips looked pretty cliched. I watched NCIS (Mark Harmon, yum - and the Goth lab gal reminds me of mo - in a good way!). Then the Dylan documentary, which was excellent. Great bits of interviews with Dylan, and Joan Baez was wonderful, as were the other people who knew him way back. No bitterness, at least none that made it to the screen. Great selections of songs.

Someone way back in the boodle mentioned Shirley Chisholm - loved her. Would have voted for her, but I was too young (and you had to be 21 to vote - at least I think I remember that correctly). Barbara Jordan is another person I would have loved to see run for president.

Is Hillary going to run? I love how everyone assumes she will, but I'm not so sure...

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 28, 2005 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Richard, the Boss would be Joel Achenbach.

Well, aside from his editor, She Who Shall Not Be Named (teasing, ma'am). And Hal the Schemer, who plots to take over the Achenblog from deep inside his Computer Room / Achenblog Penthouse (ahem). Hal's wardrobe consists of big white padded-shoulder Nehru suits, and he's ably assisted by his crack team of jumpsuit-wearing beehive hairdo-ed Fembots.

Right. Aside from them, Joel's the boss.


Posted by: bc | September 28, 2005 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Joel points to the 1970s feel. Couldn't one of the points of the show be that despite all our ostensible progress -- and let's hear it for the real, actual steps that have been made! -- women still encounter 1970s and dare I say 1950s and back to medieval attitudes about women's abilities, women's places, women's sensibilities, women's etc. in the workplace even in our oh so modern aughts? I wish I could say that because women can drive themselves wherever they want to go in America whenever they want, unlike in Saudi Arabia, we're obviously over the stupid gender barriers and stereotypes. But such obvious equalities aside, there are still subtle gender discrimination issues that need to be cleared up. And for MEN too. Another point of the show was how the White House staff and society as a whole has to adapt to the concept of a First Gentleman. Hubby had his own string of issues to contend with while wifey was composing her speech to nation. Lot of show dialogue was over the top (Sutherland's "you should resign" and Davis's speech to Congress/nation the exemplars), but I'm willing to watch a bit longer to see if it shapes up.

Posted by: Oaton Viewer | September 28, 2005 8:39 PM | Report abuse

This is the first time I've heard of the Fembots. I know this is utterly frivolous, and we're supposed to be engaged in a serious discussion about a television show, but this discovery is exciting to me.

Posted by: CowTown | September 28, 2005 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Well lets see we have an incompetent President now so the TV one looks good. Funny how many people don't like the idea of a women President but every person has gone to their MoM for everything. Behind every great man theres a good woman. When a joke (I hope) was made that Laura Bush would be a better President then Hillary it was interesting. We can get another male President to run our country I just we as a country have grown up and come to realize a women is capable of running this country. Most of the companies that were charge with crimes owe it to a woman with knowledge who wouldn't play the male game of steal from America in the name of male leadership. So if you don't like the idea of the show Commander-in-Chief because you feel a woman can't be President well don't complain about how the male Presidents have put us in debt that we and our great grandchildren will be paying. Mom's handle the money in the house, clean up messes and solve problems nice to see what we really think of them.

Posted by: Jackie Rawlings | September 28, 2005 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Joel would choose to label the creators liberals and imply that they know nothing about the military (as do other comments posted). Turns out the creator, writer, director, and executive producer is a graduate of West Point who served five years active duty as an officer in the armored cavalry in Germany after graduation. I know - he's my classmate.

Posted by: Mike | September 28, 2005 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Cowtown excited by Fembots?

Why, Cowtown, the cookie-cutter Stepford Wives were custom-made just for you...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2005 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I believe the point in the show is having an insider's view of what might occur in real life situations, though fiction here. Remember the real life episode of Bush choking on a pretzel? I think that's what we're seeing here. And that's ok, because, as Madame President states in here address to the nation, the Presidency is to be honored, but the President is our employee to be credited by deeds.

Posted by: Roy Mearns | September 28, 2005 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Regarding script writers getting their facts straight and trying to inject a little reality into the show: One episode of 24 has enough ridiculous moments to last a lifetime. "Chloe, I need you to pipe a window to Jack's workstation." Uh, yeah. Cell phones all over the classified area, Jack's phone ringing while he's sneaking into a building or whatever... it makes me literally scream at the TV.

Posted by: Pixel | September 28, 2005 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Woman President? Been there, done that. On Sci-Fi Channel's Battlestar Gallactica, there's been a female president for two years (albeit President of the Colonies, not President of the United States). However, they never had to play up the whole notion of "Oh geez whiz, our president is a woman!"

Posted by: Michael | September 28, 2005 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Look, President Bush is a cartoon. So what's wrong with a little reality in our fiction?

Posted by: Wisdom lover | September 28, 2005 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, ooh, one of the most amazing revelations on No Direction Home was that Bob Dylan thought about going to a military school - West Point! Now, it wasn't clear when he had this ambition, but he did say he couldn't get in (but not why). Or he could be making the whole thing up.

I do think Laura Bush would be a better president than W. I've often thought that about various president's wives, Republican and Democrat.

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 28, 2005 11:37 PM | Report abuse

...always liked alice..ralphs better half
in the honeymooners as being a well drawn
woman in charge...the woman in charge on
the lou grant show was also well done also
....glen close in air force one somehow
comes across a bit strident...and the
chief terrorist's line about perspiring in
her blouse just way too obvious and thus
very hollywood script sounding...........
...have seen "THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT" many
times on cable....mike douglas does a good
president portrayal...and martin sheen is
in on that movie too.....the movie revolves
around romance in the WH...a contrived yet
watchable story....douglas's anti-rumson
press conference scene is a favorite part..
....have not seen cic and likely will not
until it is in rerun is the
case with many other shows...seldom find
these shows first time around...i am tv
time and channel challenged.... :-)......
joel was right at 4:23:22 about lots going
on....after seeing the HAMMER getting the
NAIL just had to surf some issues in the
previous blog....the mike brown punch and
judy show was surely a waste of congress would really be nice to hear or
see some serious discussion and airing of
views about taking the human disaster part
out of severe hyper weather patterns in
florida and the gulf....this may be a
natural weather disaster but allowing all
these people to build homes in such areas
where the water and wind can wreak mayhem
is at the end of your nose long term land
usage,zoning and realestate risk taking...
...mike browns failure already is history
and cant be undone...rebuilding or adding
more buildup to these lowlying coastal
areas and delta areas in light of what is
emerging as a uncharted weather pattern is
just stuck on stupid to quote the general
from louisiana...........................

Posted by: an american in siam.... | September 28, 2005 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Achenbach - I'm just wondering why you didn't write anything about the protest march in Washington? 370 people arrested in front of the White House is not a big story?

Were you in Japan at the time?

Having read your articles for many years I simply assumed you would be "all over this one". What am I missing?

Posted by: off topic | September 29, 2005 5:18 AM | Report abuse

Hello off topic,

What was the purpose of your post? Do you want Joel to write about the march and the arrests or are you trying to poke him with a stick.

I have always thought that Joel's approach has not been direct to the news, but a side take on something large or small in the news. Joel doesn't always come at something that is the lead story.

I agree with you, off topic, if you were to ask Joel why a story like the march didn't get much coverage in the cable news world. (Rita). Or, the sense that one "shouldn't" march while people are suffering on the Gulf coast. To me, that was a head-scratcher.

I find that Joel's approach to be refreshing and I suggest that you don't hold Joel responsible for the attention level to a subject that you feel necessary.

BTW, I was personally underwhelmed by the level of coverage of the march my most news sources. I think that most of the problem of coverage may be found in the fact that "news outlets" are new more like "entertainment mega-companies."

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2005 7:08 AM | Report abuse

I for one will not be voting for Colin Powell for anything. I can recall a little performance he gave at the U.N. regarding WMD. To those who would say he was just being a good soldier, I refer them to Eliot Richardson and Watergate. When Nixon told the then AG Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox, Richardson refused and resigned. His deputy William Ruckelhaus also refused and resigned. Then the responsibility fell to Solicitor General Robert Bork (future Reagan Supreme Court nominee). He knew which side his bread was buttered on and he fired Cox. Where would we be now if Colin Powell had resigned in protest over WMD and Iraq?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 29, 2005 7:17 AM | Report abuse

kurosawaguy, I am totally with you on that. My dad used to have a little tale he would tell about how he was asked to do something by his company that wasn't right. He argued, and his boss said, just go ahead with it, and I'll take responsiblity. My dad, my hero, replied, "I think this issue was settled at Nurenberg."

I was so sick watching Powell in front of the UN. He completely surrendered his dignity and basically sold his soul.

Posted by: Reader | September 29, 2005 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey kurosawaguy,

Interesting point there. I was just wondering if you had taken into consideration that Powell was not aware of the intel mistakes and clear mis-representations were included in his UN presentation?

My concern about an administration which routinely stove-pipes and "adjusts the facts" to meet their needs is that others often are co-opted to go along because they have no access to the correct information or others misgivings.

Powell may very well be an innocent DUPE.

But, I do think that the failure to provide solid information within the administration makes their decisions questionable--no matter the topic.

In fact, carrying my thought process further, it makes me wonder what we don't know about Iraq that would impact our ability to say what would be lost if we just left now. We in the public really have now way of knowing. At the same time, I have heard no real plausible argument as to why we should stay longer (to ensure democracy--or for whatever reason) ... I see no evidence. It has me asking myself that question. Why stay?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2005 7:49 AM | Report abuse

The thing that really gets me is that we are paying Brownie AGAIN!!! Why, so he can lie to us for the umpteenth time?

At some point, he has to lie on his own dime. If I can read the letter that Gov. Blanco sent to FEMA, why can't he? Why does he get away with the same BS all the time?

Why are we paying for this?

Signed, Stunned in Maryland

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2005 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Dear Off Topic: I didn't cover the protest march for the same reason I did not write something this morning at 5:18, as you did: I was doing other stuff. I would have loved to write about the protests. But this blog isn't what you'd call a comprehensive look at the world. It tends to be digressive. At the moment I've got a big project that involves the Hill and I've been mostly focusing on that. But here's a suggestion: YOU write about the protests. We've have people here send in long dispatches from protests (such as Sheehan's vigil in Texas).

Posted by: Achenbach | September 29, 2005 8:00 AM | Report abuse


Sometimes, it is easier to complain than just do. Doing takes work. Last night, while trying to get some work done, I decided to turn on South Park (fatal error) ... the boys were trying to come up with some good ideas for the "exciting" news and features show--they had to raise their ratings, so, after sitting at a conference table for a while and arriving at no good ideas, they decided to turn to drugs (cough syrup) and sit around with pads of paper and pens ...

Joel, have you ever turned to cough syrup for ideas? Is that what you guys do?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2005 8:20 AM | Report abuse

re: House. It's on break until the end of the MLB playoffs! Good thing too, because we all know what would win that battle.

Posted by: jw | September 29, 2005 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I was all set to kit up a storm and then had technical difficulties. Maybe later. Here's the scary message: I am getting REALLY INTO the Congressional Record. All those columns of tiny gray type. The bloviation. The pomposity. References to bills by number rather than name. Outrage that an appropriations bill will be passed BEFORE the authorization bill for that appropriations bill. It's all fascinatin'!!!

Posted by: Achenbach | September 29, 2005 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Achenbach,

5:18am your time. 11:18am my time. I live in Switzerland. So that's one reason I didn't write a first-hand account of the Washington protest march. Another is: I'm not a writer. I'm a reader. So I depend on you to give me the 'inside scoop' on all things within the Beltway (and also Japan, Hollywood, Florida and perhaps even the newly discovered "baby galaxy"). I know, it's a big responsible, but thus far, you haven't let me down.

Having said that...I'm gladdened to know that you *wanted* to write about it. That brings my world back into alignment.



Posted by: off topic | September 29, 2005 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Well D'phin Mike, obviously I don't really know, but I have enough respect for CP's intelligence and enough recollection of his major participation in planning and implementing Gulf War Uno, that I cannot but believe that he opposed this war and\or the way it was Rummified strenuously from within the administration and then caved and saluted and marched when it became obvious that his point of view was not going to carry the day. Then he gracefully exited stage right when the term ended. I don't associate the words Colin Powell and dupe in my mind. This looks like "go along to get along" to me.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 29, 2005 9:10 AM | Report abuse

So, when the congressmen say that thay request the right to revise and extend their remarks, they do?

Joel, you could very well be the first person ever to read that stuff. Are you sure that you aren't reading the asbestos of writing? Though you may find it interesting, are you sure that it is healthy to look at?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2005 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I still love Dylan's music and so glad I taped the documentary to play for the g-kids this weekend and in turn, I've agreed to watch 8 MIle. (M&M was sweet on SNL awhile back). The footage in the doc slams you right back into those turbulent 60s, such a loss of innocence/naivete for us all. Vietnam, police brutality, marches, devastating losses of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby. Other footage is of happier note, Muddy Waters, Odetta, Maria Muldaur, Joan Baez. Dylan - I love him. He disappointed some, but my goodness he poured out his heart and soul in his lyrics and music, who are we to demand more?

Posted by: Nani | September 29, 2005 9:17 AM | Report abuse


Fair points all, and don't get me wrong, I am not a big fan of the Powell clan--especially Michael. That guy pretty much set my industry back a decade to feather the beds of large RBOCs (ma bell) and cable.

My concern is that we have a couple thousand zealots (political appointees) who are adjusting information to meet their political needs. If that can't be done, then they just pull numbers and facts out of their #$$. In that world, how can we have any faith in any act of the government, even when coming from reasonable and unbiased public servants.

I am not one who believes that one gets rid of a department if it isn't doing its job, rather, let's fix it and make it more effective. This administration's incompetence has reached into places that no normal American spends much time looking at, such as the Labor Department and FDA. I hear of frustration everywhere. AND, usually, there is an agenda associated with the problems.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2005 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Let's be VERY serious for a moment.

I'm unaware of "people" posting "dispatches" to the Achenblog from Camp Casey(s) outside the Bush ranch compound in Crawford in August. Yes, sure, I posted material--point-by-point to convey additional information about the eight photographs that the Washington Post put up on its website depicting Crawford scenes. I posted to the Achenblog the information for two reasons: first, I didn't think that the cutlines/captions on the photos told the story (that needed to told) very well, and second, some of those Camp Casey(s) photos were rather "dated" by the time the Washington Post displayed them. I also posted a bit of info about my journey to and from.

If I had written a "dispatch" I would have worded it much differently. I would have discussed the negatives of the experiences--and there were two. The first is small and minor and inconsequential. The bites I got during my stay were no mosquito bites, as they would have lasted no more than 30 minutes. The bites/welts that I received--that I assume were biting flies as there were many cow pastures and cow patties surrounding Camp Casey II--lasted more than a week. So, my hat's off to those individuals who stayed a MONTH outside Bush's ranch--and endured portapotties, hell-hot heat, flies and bugs of all description, sleeping on the ground, cooking meals in fairly primitive conditions for hundreds, etc.

The "big" negative was seeing how Cindy Sheehan was "handled" by two young ingenues who must have graduated with a college degree in P.R. in the last year or two. These waifs reminded me of the twins Mary Kate and Ashley. To think that these two wispy young women were dictating the motions/activities, to some degree, of a mother of a fallen soldier, a mother with plenty of life experience? I first encountered these two young women at breakfast at the Crawford Coffee Station, and they were wired in at their dining with some type of manager/coordinator on the East Coast. (I am a great eavesdropper.) They were so much in the know that at first I thought they were media people.

The blonde/redhead are employed by Fenton public relations in Washington, D.C. The more I saw them operate during my time at Camp Casey II, the more distasteful they seemed to become--in part because they seemed like such flibbertygibbets. Someone older and wiser, like me, remarked that they reminded that "someone" of fresh, gung-ho, inexperienced campaign workers--full of idealism with little first-hand knowledge of the real world and experience in dealing with people of all stripes.

So what I saw is that Cindy Sheehan is "handled" as much as George W. Bush is "handled." I understand Fenton is also involved in P.R. for organizations such as I wish I hadn't seen the P.R. effort--but instead a lot more genuineness regarding Sheehan's movements. (It reminds me of Nathan Diebenow's reporting about Sheehan for the Crawford Iconoclast--"Lights! Camera! Action! Diva!")

Maybe this harkens back, in some small degree, to the Geena Davis discussion of yesterday--how is a powerless woman to get the attention of the President--let alone a nation? Who is going to coordinate such a movement? (Noted: There were scores of volunteers in both Camp Caseys.) Was the P.R. firm necessary? How much was the P.R. firm paid and by whom?

Sure, I had several reasons for going, but my ego was far less involved than you may at first surmise. My reason for going first and foremost was because of my closest lifetime friend and her son. It's a heck of a story, if I do say so myself, and I just might end up writing it up (but not for the blog) some day soon.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | September 29, 2005 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Dolphin Michael:

This is to inform you that "#$$" does not conform to broadcasting standards for this sector of cyberspace. Please report to my office to pay your fine immediately.

Posted by: Michael Powell | September 29, 2005 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Dolphin Michael writes:
"Joel, you could very well be the first person ever to read that stuff."

Sorry, but Ralph Nader beat Joel to the punch by decades. If you ever have the chance to hear Nader speak about gov't. spending, or about gov't in general, do so. Nader reads the Congressional Record like some people read comic books...

Posted by: Linda Loomis | September 29, 2005 9:40 AM | Report abuse


Given your comments about Cindy Sheehan's "handlers," how do you feel about ANSWER sponsoring the protest last week? Although most of the mainstream media glossed over the ideology of that organization, Howard Kurtz had some troubling facts about ANSWER that were from an article on Slate: "...the group run by the 'Worker's World' party and fronted by Ramsey Clark, which openly supports Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, and the 'resistance' in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Clark himself finding extra time to volunteer as attorney for the génocidaires in Rwanda."

Posted by: jw | September 29, 2005 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Linda, that makes at least two posts that fit on my screen completely in one thread alone. Are you ok? If you keep everything this short, I just might have to scroll.

Just kidding!!!

On your point, yes, and I have also had the grave misfortune of reading the CR and it is astounding what you find. At times, it is enough to make one want to make congress voluntary. To me, it demonstrates the high level of garbage and distractions that our representatives face.... along with a whole lot of "pompitude"

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2005 9:49 AM | Report abuse

A little levity. Canada has sent a ship to the Gulf of Mexico to assist in re-setting weather buoys. Our ship was recently asked if there was anything they needed from home and they replied, 'cooler weather'. What kind of ship have the Canadians sent? An Icebreaker.

Posted by: dr | September 29, 2005 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Re:Two things about the show last night that just keep coming back to mind.
1. Why on Earth would someone name a VP that they wouldn't want to replace them...

Bush #1 and Dan Quayle.

Posted by: 1st_timer | September 29, 2005 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad news organs like Slate are catching the co-opting of the anti-Iraq-war movement by groups like ANSWER. Better them than FoxNews, Drudge, et al (though they're probably on it like white on rice right now).

Posted by: CowTown | September 29, 2005 10:15 AM | Report abuse


It is a concern and probably why less is said about the topic. While one should disassociate with certain groups, sometimes a single issue is a strong draw to demonstrate, even when there is disagreement in other areas. Similarly, when you use the term supports, one may miss that Clark may only support certain issues that they face. One could now say, perhaps that, with the latest agreement with North Korea, Bush now "supports" North Korea. Or, more correctly, Rumsfeld supporting Saddam.

Likewise in elections, we see some odd partnerships standing together and electing people. Take the Bush election. There was a combination of PR campaigns targeting different interest groups that would have a hard time agreeing on everything. By doing so, the White House and the President's handlers got about 1/2 of those who voted to support him... Basically voter mobilization.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2005 10:18 AM | Report abuse

In a previous life, I did a little work for the lobbying arm of an industrial trade group and was able to browse hardcopy of the CR.

Joel, I look forward to your take on Forensic Reading of the CR.


Posted by: bc | September 29, 2005 10:19 AM | Report abuse

My mom was a secretary for a Democratic Congressman from her home district in Texas in the late 30's. After her experience on the inside, she didn't vote for another Democrat for over 50 years.

Linda, sounds to me like you got chigger bites. The wee beasties borrow into your skin and stay there. We used to paint them with clear nail polish. Suffocates 'em.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 29, 2005 10:33 AM | Report abuse

FYI: the Congressional Record is also available on line

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2005 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I used to read the CR as well. Fortunately it was an example of aberrant behavior that didn't last too long. I suggest you lie down with a cold compress on your head and use bourbon judiciously until the feeling passes. Don't worry, Joel, it's just a phase.

Posted by: pj | September 29, 2005 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Actually Bush #2 puts the Quayle choice in a very illuminating light.

"Oh, pick that senator from Indiana, he'll get the votes, and he feels just like a son to me. Dubaya'll love hanging with him, keep him busy."

"Stargate SG-1", to talk about another TV show, had the storyline of an evil senator (who always wanted the stargate shut down or in his charge), become vice president because he had the moola and the president was willing to play for the pay.
Big mistake.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2005 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Linda, I appreciate your honest assessment and questions of Ms. Sheehan's "handling", and the tradeoffs involved with becoming a Media Celebrity (whether it's as a focal point for political issues or a pop star).


Posted by: bc | September 29, 2005 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I think that GW1 picking Quayle makes more sense than the POTUS-VP pick that CiC shows.

At least GW1 and Quayle agreed on their politics. That doesn't look to be the case on CiC. Hence, why they ask Geena to resign. GW1 and people knew that even if Quayle didn't resign, if asked, they would be able to control him. We'll have to wait and see if Pres. Men can control Geena.

Posted by: TulsaFan | September 29, 2005 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Obviously, Donald Sutherland's character in CiC will be Mac's nemesis and I'm looking forward to the power struggle between them to keep things lively.


Posted by: Pixel | September 29, 2005 10:56 AM | Report abuse

FYI, I just posted a kit on the phenomenon of Dry Rain, but I hope this discussional thread doesn't evaporate. Though I never try to control the boodle, I am curious about a kind of running theme of the past 24 hours or so: Is America ready for a female president, could the country elect one, would that one likely be Hillary, if not Hillary then who else might have a shot (and the fundraising power), was I a Neanderthal or even your basic Cro-Magnon for not perceiving the great leap forward that Commander in Chief represents, and so on.
I love Donald Sutherland, or at least thought he was Malkovich-level cool back in the day (MASH, etc.), and so he's great fun as the nemesis to Geena Davis. That said, the scene where he sabotaged the teleprompter was ridiculous. They have cast him as the bully in the back of the class in 8th grade. Next he'll dip her pigtails in ink. And don't presidents carry a hard copy, always??? Or maybe an aide has one? I'm shutting up now. Going back to my cave.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 29, 2005 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I killed the conversation.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 29, 2005 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Boodle Homicide. A first degree felony.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 29, 2005 11:20 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Achenbach | September 29, 2005 11:20 AM | Report abuse

LindaLoo, I appreciate your bulletins, dispatches, thoughts, philosophies, etc., and apologize for calling you "people" when I could have named you. But no one is reading this anymore so the apology is flung into a void.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 29, 2005 11:23 AM | Report abuse

At least he didn't call you "you people". I have always thought that the prize for fine actor in most bad films was a dead heat between Donald Sutherland and Michael Caine, but I will listen to dissenting opinions.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 29, 2005 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Some say we have already had a woman president. Her name was Edith Galt Wilson. Eleanor Roosevelt would have made a fine prez, as would my sentimental fave, Barbara Jordan.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 29, 2005 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Well fellas, I agree with you both. Kurosawaguy, I think you are right about everything (as usual). And Joel, you did kill this conversation.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | September 29, 2005 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Hmm interesting question about fundraising power. That really is what it all comes down to these days isn't it. Who can raise enough funds for the party, and also who has his/her markers in line that will get him into the forefront.

The saddest commentary on government and politics is that those are the things that matter when nominations are made, and it really does not matter what country you look at. It justs comes down to bucks.

You know another underrated but known factor is the media. How media portrays one candidate over another, one party over another, makes an enormous difference to who wins elections. I find that a little worrying.

Posted by: dr | September 29, 2005 11:58 AM | Report abuse


my question is: in our quest to finally make a woman potus - would you vote for her if you didn't agree with her political views just to get her into office??

Posted by: mo | September 29, 2005 1:04 PM | Report abuse


Great question. I would answer that I have never completely agreed with "THE" political views of anyone for whom I have voted.

I personally weigh the expected effectiveness of each candidate and select the candidate who will have the either the greatest positive impact on my life and the lives of my fellow Americans (and the world citizens, as well).

Right now, we have a president who's major support from religeous groups who state that the "Equal Rights Amendment" was an "attack on the family."

Though I am not a woman, I have concern for the women in this country, if we were to step backwards.

mo, I may very well vote for a woman who was pro-equal rights just to put a woman in charge who could stop this pressure.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2005 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Re: The teleprompter thing

Didn't something like that happen to Bill Clinton? Not because of sabotage, but the file was saved wrong then loaded onto the teleprompter. He just start talking while some frantic aide scrolled through the speech on the teleprompter to find the right place.

Also, earlier this summer, Jeanne Pirro (running against HRC) lost the page of a speech, and just shuffled papers around for about 30 seconds before asking an aide for the right page.

Posted by: 5 out of 15 | September 29, 2005 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"was I a Neanderthal or even your basic Cro-Magnon for not perceiving the great leap forward that Commander in Chief represents, and so on."

Yes, Joel, I'm afraid so. But you so seldom miss the mark that I'm overlooking it this time. When I read the Kit yesterday I was not amused. In particular, the remark about "nationalizing the shoe industry" hit a sour note for me. I wondered if I had temporarily misplaced my sense of humor. I seem to be a tad bit touchy on the subject of women and power. Maybe its because I'm in my fifties and remember what it was like when it was a given that most girls would grow up, marry and have children. Careers were considered optional and tended to be in the helping professions. When I interviewed for my first job out of college the male interviewer asked me if I was in a serious relationship or had plans to marry soon, the assumption being that I would quit my job if I got married. Yes, those were the dark ages. I sometimes think that women today in their twenties and thirties may not realize what it was like to grow up before Title IX. I came of age when women like Gloria Steinem and others were trying to increase women's options. I hope in my lifetime to have the opportunity to vote (and elect) a woman president. And I hope I'm not ninety before this happens. I do regard CIC as a positive step in this direction.

As to whether this country is ready for a female president, I hope so. I can't think of another woman besides Hillary who has the star power or the fundraising ability to attempt a presidential run. Would I vote for a presidential candidate based solely on her gender? Probably. Unless it was Ann Coulter.

Posted by: Susan | September 29, 2005 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this boodle is dead (thanks, Joel). Would that I could boodle from work. I'll make up for it now (kurosawaguy, you slay me).

I thought the shoe remark was funny - and I'm one of those "old feminists" with no sense of humor, supposedly. But it made me chuckle.

Condi Rice is getting some hype - William Kristol is pushing for a Condi vs Hillary race. I would be hard pressed to vote for a woman despite her stands - have never been tempted to do that for other offices. Condi, although obviously smart, just doesn't seem competent to me.

I have grown to admire Sandra Day O'Connor. She, like Ruth Bader Ginsberg, graduated at the top of her law school class and couldn't get a job (except as a secretary). I was a bit surprised when she said she was disappointed W hadn't picked a woman to replace her (both that she actually had the guts to say that out loud, and that she thought he would have picked a woman!). Anyway, she is one tough, fair-minded woman. Why on earth she's a Republican, I don't know.

dr, many elections have been influenced by the media. The Republicans have figured out how to manipulate the media very well, and the Democrats just help them along. It's very discouraging - Bush and his cronies have set this country back. Maybe Gore or Kerry would have been as bad or worse, but I don't think so. But you know, they were stiff and boring, and you wouldn't want to have a beer with them. Sheesh!

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 29, 2005 9:49 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company