Liz Smith: The Republican Candidate Show — Best Comedy on TV

And more from our Liz: British history and Pippa Middleton … how Elizabeth Taylor always got what she wanted!

“WHEN THE heroes go off the stage, the clowns come on,” said Heinrich Heine.

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I enjoyed the ABC Republican debates in Iowa; it was a diverting hour. But when Michele Bachmann praised the now-departed-from-the-race Herman Cain twice within one debate, I asked myself how Ms. Bachmann can face any woman in the world with that on her conscience. Would that she even had a conscience about Herman Cain!

I am told that one former adviser to Michelle Bachmann’s campaign was asked about his biggest problem in working for the GOP conservative candidate. He said simply, “It was in trying to get her husband not to dance!”

Although I am a devout Democratic liberal and will vote for Barack Obama, I am very interested in all these Republicans who are running. And the one who continuously impresses me is Ron Paul. He is obviously the most conscientious person in the race. He really believes all that anti-government stuff he hangs onto. He is totally sincere. I suppose he doesn’t have a ghost of a chance in getting the GOP nomination. But he is the most sincere and dedicated person in the whole race. Smart, too.

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I COULDN’T fit every anecdote into yesterday’s column on Elizabeth Taylor’s display/auction at Christie’s. Here’s one I love.

After I told Elizabeth’s great friend, press rep and AIDS ally Sally Morrison, about witnessing Elizabeth cajole a producer out of a $25,000 pin, Sally exclaimed: “Oh, that’s so her! And it didn’t have to be anything expensive, either. Back in 1989, when Elizabeth had a terrible bout of pneumonia — months in the hospital — I visited her. I was wearing an inexpensive tee-shirt I’d purchased in Fiji, when we were all there with Malcolm Forbes. Elizabeth bought some too.

“She said, ‘I love that shirt. I want that shirt!’ I said, ‘Elizabeth, you already have some. We all bought them in Fiji.’ She said, ‘But I don’t have any in blue. I like that.’ So I said, ‘Okay, I’ll have it laundered and send it over.’ Nevertheless, she says, ‘Honey, you don’t need to launder it. Just take it off, now.’ So, of course I did. Aside from anything else, she’d almost died and the doctors still weren’t sure she’d survive. I took off the shirt and pulled my jacket around me, because all I had on was a bra underneath.

“The next day I visited her. She’s wearing the blue shirt and before I leave she casually tossed a Chanel handbag at me. ‘I know you always liked this.”

So, it was difficult to be mad at her. She just had to have her way.”

P.S. The Christie’s online auction of Miss Taylor’s “extra” goodies runs for 33 pages. And don’t think these are mere incidentals. Some gorgeous “rings and things” are available. (That is how I once heard Elizabeth shop, in Paris — “I want to see some rings and things!”)

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DO YOU like English history all mixed up with things going on in the current day?

Then let me abbreviate a wonderful article by William Langley who has just written about Pippa Middleton, sister to the newly made Duchess of Cornwall. Writer Langley notes that Pippa is now going out with a Percy — one George, the 26-year-old heir to the Duchy of Northumberland. The couple went to university together and have resumed dating.

Langley says this is well and good, but the problem lies in the fact that “the Percys have a remarkable talent for choosing the wrong women.”

Then he begins with Henry, the 6th Earl, who fell for Anne Boleyn in the early 1520s. When Henry VIII claimed Anne for his own, the Earl made an unhappy marriage to Lady Mary Talbot and died an unhappy death at age 35.

Then there was the famed 7th Earl, Thomas, who was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. But he foolishly pledged himself to Mary, Queen of Scots, went all the way with her, and was sold to the English by the Scots who hated him. The English beheaded him.

(Henry was made a saint by the Pope three centuries too late to make up for it all.)

Several Percys have been lynched, one assassinated and several have been imprisoned, banished or drummed out of society.

Langley notes, “Still, nothing has held them back for long. By the 18th century, the Percys had been promoted to dukes.” They have always been rife at court and in Tory politics. They are worth over $500 million today, owning great swatches of North Country.

Langley: “Harry Hotspur, the son of the lst Earl, accurately depicted by Shakespeare as a hyper-energetic dimwit, led a rebellion against Henry IV, only to be defeated at the Battle of Shrewsbury. His body was chopped into pieces for distribution around the kingdom and his head displayed on a staff in York. Then there was the embarrassment of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605.” (Thomas Percy was one of the leading conspirators … the fallout came close to destroying the entire dynasty.)

Langley closes, saying: “Miss Middleton’s slinky lines have been rightly acclaimed. But they’ll never be able to match the twists and turns of her friend’s family history.”

11 comments so far.

  1. avatar rick gould says:

    This from Christie’s Facebook Wall:
    Elizabeth Taylor’s Collection of Legendary Jewelry set a WORLD RECORD FOR THE MOST VALUABLE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF JEWELS SOLD AT AUCTION with $115,932,000, shattering the previous 1987 record, set by the Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor, which totalled $50,281,887.

    Well, well…so much for the naysayers nitpicking her collection and her legacy ; )

    • avatar Andy Budgell says:

      Isn’t it just incredible, Rick? And there are still many more lots of jewelry going under the hammer this morning and this afternoon! I was streaming the sale live last night and was in total disbelief. I knew the “Elizabeth Effect” would be big, but I didn’t know it would be that big!! :)

  2. avatar Roxanna Chapman says:

    “BEST COMEDY ON TV” indeed!  I have been watching many of these debates for the entertainment factpr and now wonder how the Republicans can endorse one of their own.  I agree that Ron Paul has a lot to say and can keep his story straight when under pressure.  I notice they don’t talk about family values as often with the philaderers amongst them.  The hypocrisy amazes me…

  3. avatar af-tx says:

    I am a Democrat but I work for a very conservative firm.  In the beginning of the Republican campaign, they were raising an enormous amount of money for the candidates and speaking about it boldly.  I hardly hear a peep out of them today. 

  4. avatar Count Snarkula says:

    If you turn towards the south, and listen very closely, you can hear a cackle in the wind.  That is Earth Mother, La Liz, enjoying the hell out of the results of last night.

  5. avatar Bonnie O says:

    The 2012 Presidential election will probably be and certainly should be determined by a vote of confidence in President Obama.  I recall when many Democrats were snickering at then Governor Ronald Reagan in comparison to President Jimmy Carter even though Carter’s presidential record was dismal.  The GOP has an excellent chance of gaining the presidency in 2012.

    • avatar Count Snarkula says:

      Interesting theory Bonnie O.  But who in the world of the potential nominees do you see as electable to the presidency?  This is not snark (for once), I truly want to hear your thoughts.

      • avatar JCF4612 says:

        So you say the GOP has an excellent chance of regaining the presidency in 2012? Yes, Bonnie O, that’s a possibility given the idiots in this country who fail to see how W and Cheney led us into fiscal, moral ruin. There’s Newt, the serial spousal cheater, now hooked up with old helmet-head. And there’s Mitt, who thinks a $10,000 bet is chump change to snicker over. Plus Rick Perry, who fails to see how N-word camps are objectionable, and Michelle Bachman who wanted to celebrate August as the birth month of Elvis when that’s when he died. We won’t even get into Herman. 

        So, yes, Bonnie O, unless a lot of us registered Republicans go into the booths to reaffirm Obama as the common sense choice among all these fools, you may well be right.   

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        If former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is able to win the nomination, then he will probably be the next President.  If former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich wins the nomination, then all the rank and file Conservatives will have to work very hard to persuade the Independent Voter to vote for him.  I do not know if Newt’s nomination will energize the Democratic base in opposition;  I think only Obama can do that but, unfortunately, many Dems are saddened by Obama’s lack of leadership and his inability and desire to bring “change” to the Capitol as he so often promised in 2008.  Could Newt win a general election?  I honestly do not have an inkling of whether he could or not; probably 50/50;  though many “insiders” think he could not win.  He is pretty good in a debate format …. that might be the telling difference.

        Romney has to lighten up as Ron Paul suggests.  Congressman Paul is a dynamo and when he speaks about bringing all American GIs home, his rhetoric strikes a welcoming note to many in the GOP and to the Independents.  He is electable?  I sincerely doubt it.

        Former Ambassador Huntsman would be a terrific President … but he, sadly, is not eloquent at a teleprompter or in a debate …. both talents are now almost necessary to win a Presidential election.

        Texas Governor Perry is an interesting candidate.  A little too rough around the edges for a national stage but I can see why he is so popular in Texas.  I have friends there who thought if he entered the race, he would be a shoo-in.   Did not happen.  However, he might be the next Vice President.

        Representative Michelle Bachmann is a fringe candidate and has a loyal following but not a Presidential following.    However, she should not be ignored by any frontrunner;  her loyal following is very sensitive as to how she is treated.

        Donald Trump is a no-show and a non-starter…. thank goodness.

  6. avatar Rho says:

    I am a registered democrat, but I vote the way I want.  I don’t like discussing politics.

  7. avatar Aline says:

    Rick Perry interesting?!? I heard Dick Morris say today on a radio interview that Perry is dumb. I had to laugh out loud. Perry comes across as a backwoods hick; he needs to stay in Texas and chew tobacco.