Liz Smith: Michele Bachmann — Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss Uncovering the Woman Who Would Be President
And more from our Liz: “Game of Thrones” agonies … Richard Burton, a star at last? … in synch with Esther Williams
“MICHELE BACHMANN is the champion to those tens of millions of Americans who have read the ‘Left Behind’ books, the apocalyptic works of Christian fiction that posit an elaborate fantasy in which all true believers are whisked off to heaven … here on Earth meanwhile, the guilty are bent to the will of a marauding Satan, who appears in the guise of a smooth-talking, handsome, educated, pro-government, superficially pacifist, international politician — basically, Barack Obama.”
That’s Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, writing about Republican presidential aspirant Michele Bachmann. This is one sensational and scary profile. It’s so good, I think, that Rolling Stone should have been very brave, saved Katy Perry for another month, and put Bachmann on the cover.
Taibbi notes, “The secret of Bachmann’s success is that every time you laugh at her, she gets stronger.” Once upon a time, that was the secret of Sarah Palin’s success, but now that Mrs. Palin has come to look like an empty pair of Manolos, it is Bachmann who could actually wrest the presidency from Barack Obama. Taibbi writes that no matter how much you find out about Bachmann, one is never sure if she feels divinely inspired or if it is just a great big con job. “Whatever she is, she’s no joke … while Romney and Pawlenty battle over who is the more ‘viable’ boring white guy, Bachmann could swallow the Tea Party vote whole.”
The author concludes: “It could happen.” (Bachmann as prez.) “She has found the flaw in the American Death Star. She is a television camera’s dream, a threat to do or say something insane at any time, the ultimate reality show protagonist.”
I know. It’s Friday and you wanted to prepare to get some rest and maybe hear about mindless celeb comings and goings. Me too. Then I read this damn issue of Rolling Stone. And I’m not laughing.
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PRESIDENT OBAMA announced that by summer 2012, more than 30,000 U.S. soldiers will return from Afghanistan — the beginning of a gradual withdrawal from that no-win situation.
The Left says “not enough”; the Right says, “too much.” This means that like Goldilocks, Obama’s calculation is probably “just right.” But when one is president, there’s really no pleasing anybody. Who’d want this job?!
Oh, right — Mrs. Bachmann.
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WHEN LAST we saw “Game of Thrones,” the dragons had been hatched and were as cute as could be. (One assumes as they grow up they’ll be less cuddly.) “Thrones” ended its first-season reign on HBO last Sunday. It won’t be back until spring of next year. I believe filming on season 2 begins next month. It will be an even more expensive endeavor, now that the fantasy aspects of the series are developing. Lots of CGI.
HBO has stuck faithfully to the George R.R. Martin novels. So much so, that fans of the series who have not read the books are still in shock over the death of Sean Bean (Lord Stark) which happened in the next-to-last episode. Some people were so upset they vowed never to watch “Game of Thrones” again. Please. Everybody’s hooked. The show pulls in an average of eight million viewers per episode. HBO is full of confidence that — just as with “The Sopranos”— fans will wait patiently for the next season, and accept all manner of twists and turns. (Remember Adriana’s horrible death in “The Sopranos?)
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I WAS surprised to read the list of the latest batch of celebs to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. No, no –not that I objected in any way to Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Mariska Hargitay, Valerie Bertinelli, Vin Diesel, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet, Boyz II Men, or David Foster. But it was stunning to me that Richard Burton, the great actor, was finally receiving his star —more than 20 years after his death.
I wonder if they managed to place him anywhere near Elizabeth Taylor?
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RECENTLY, Turner Classic Movies did one of its day-long tributes to a grand star of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The star that day (Star of the Month, actually) was swimming-queen Esther Williams. As TCM’s Robert Osborne pointed out, no other professional athlete who went into movies, achieved success on a scale with Esther — not even Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller. She really was MGM’s golden goose. Or its glamorous floatation device.
And it seems that Esther’s superb talent — synchronized swimming — is making a comeback as the latest fitness trend. Now there are swim clubs across the country, and celebrities such as Kate Moss have taken it up — Miss Moss insists she has never been in better shape.
So don’t giggle anymore when you come across one of Esther’s old Technicolor extravaganzas as she rises from a pool, glistening wet, every hair in place. Just look at that body, and realize how she got it: swimming in sync.