Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Notes on Politics -- Obama Goes Dog-Heavy, Scott Brown's Lucky Shot, 'Scandal' & 'West Wing' Quasi-Reunion

Obama Goes Dog-Heavy at D.C. Dinner

This is how presidential humor is supposed to be done, at venues like the White House Correspondents' Dinner. And while President Obama was very funny delivering his litany of jokes -- my favorite was his "What a snob" Santorum reference -- the dog stuff ... really?

Apparently the Obama people believe that the way to short-circuit the Obama-ate-dog story is to drive hard into the belly of the beast like a linebacker. While I can respect the attempt, several of Obama's "I ate dog" lines were disconcerting, like that joke about the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull (stealing from Palin, obviously). Punchline: A pitbull is delicious. What's that now? Comparing the taste of dogs and moms? Bad taste.

Mr. Brown from Downtown

U.S. Senator Scott Brown, who's in a tough race against Elizabeth Warren in my home state of Massachusetts, visited the youth center on Cape Cod recently and, just for fun, tried a half-court shot. And made it.

 Despite the hullabaloo over the fact that his adult eldest daughter is on his Congressional health insurance plan, courtesy of the Obama health care law which he vigorously opposed, he's having a better week than Warren who's doing battle with her Native American ancestry flap. Perhaps she should brush up on her outside shot. Couldn't hurt.

Have You Seen Scandal Yet? Give It a Spin.

It's no West Wing. It doesn't pretend to be. But the new Thursday night ABC drama Scandal, the latest product from Grey's Anatomy guru Shonda Rhimes, is one fun ride.

The lead character, Olivia Pope -- played with intelligent, fierce luminescence by Kerry Washington -- is a powerful D.C. "fixer" who tries to help clients deal with, well, scandals. A former White House aide, Pope had an affair with the married president and, although she projects a ferocious I-don't-need-anyone aura, can project vulnerability, but only in private. She's recently taken on the underdog case of a young White House aide who not only said she too had an affair with the president -- which the president confirmed -- but that she's pregnant with a presidential love child, an interesting amalgam of the Monica Lewinsky and John Edwards scandals.

Sure, the show is larger than life in the way it shows Pope and her loyal collection of "gladiators in suits" prevailing more often than not, always happening to uncover the truth and ultimately doing the right thing. It wildly exaggerates. But given the crop of recent real life political scandals -- Weiner, Edwards, Sanford, Spitzer, Clinton, etc. -- it's not entirely off the mark.

I'm covering the show for CliqueClack TV and am having a blast doing so. If you're looking for dramatic escapism, Scandal's been fun thus fun.

West Wing 'Reunion'

Speaking of dramas about the president and the White House, several members of the cast of The West Wing -- including Josh Malina (Will Bailey) who's also on Scandal -- came out with a Funny or Die video promoting, hold onto your hats . . . walking. It's mildly amusing, and also makes me hanker to watch some West Wing repeats.

Image credit: Danny Feld/ABC.

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