While Democrats “are going to hell in a handbasket,” according to
standup comedian Dennis Miller, the Republican Party may turn to Miller –
not for comic relief, but to revamp California politics.
The Los Angeles Times reports Republican operatives are
considering drafting Miller. One prominent strategist and Schwarzenegger
aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, even indicated he plans to
recruit the registered Republican to challenge Barbara Boxer for her U.S.
Senate seat next year.
“There’s a lot of us who’d like to see him campaign,” Rob Stutzman, a
Republican consultant and Schwarzenegger spokesman, told the Times
this week. “Dennis Miller is at the cutting edge of biting political
“Naturally, we would welcome him or anybody else into the race,” Roy Behr, a spokesman for Boxer, told the Times.
Coincidentally or not, Miller gave the Schwarzenegger campaign a
boost last week, providing its official post-debate spin in Sacramento
followed by an appearance at a Schwarzenegger rally.
“It’s no longer the San Andreas fault; it’s Gray Davis’ fault,” Miller told
reported that earlier this month, Miller unleashed a torrent of political
humor aimed at Democrats and Davis during an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
“Good guy, just a bad governor,” Miller said. “The only thing I have
against Gray Davis is, you know, let’s face facts. California is circling the
crapper at the speed of light. The deficit doesn’t even bother me that
much. … They talk about us owing like $400 billion or something. I always
think, ‘Do we actually owe somebody that?’ And if we do, you know, don’t
pay ‘em. Nobody pays us! There ya go, I just solved the deficit.”
On Leno’s program, Miller announced he’d be voting for
Schwarzenegger in the California recall election. He says
Schwarzenegger’s resume is filled with success, reaching the zenith in
his bodybuilding and acting careers, even though he pronounces the state
of “California” as if it were an alien planet in “Star Wars” movies.
The flippant comedian became famous for his rants and rapier wit on “Saturday Night Live” and in his HBO show, “Dennis Miller Live” for which he won an Emmy Award. Miller also did a short stint as a football announcer on ABC’s “Monday Night Football.” In addition, he has appeared in several movies and has published four books.
During the war in Iraq, Miller’s anti-U.N. diatribes starkly contrasted with the crowd of Hollywood celebrities highly critical of President Bush and U.S. foreign policy.
“I think as a nation periodically, you have to put your foot down and just let people know there’s a line you don’t go beyond,” Miller said during an April appearance on NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” “Now who are we going to bank on? The United Nations? For God sakes, you only have to watch one session of the General Assembly [and] you want to prescribe Ritalin to a glacier, they’re so ineffective.”
While Republicans tout Miller’s name recognition and funding ability as benefits of celebrity candidates, Democrats and other political experts suggest the party’s consideration of Miller reflects desperation.
No Republican currently holds statewide office.
“The Republican party has gone through a desperate search to find someone who is remotely credible; they’ve looked at everybody and everything and they couldn’t find anybody, so they’re looking at bringing in the circus,” the Times quotes Behr as saying. “I think the public has always registered how they feel about Dennis Miller, and that’s why he got booted off ‘Monday Night Football.’”
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