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Bubba Love and Charm-Free Al

by The Cranky Media Guy

Back in the 60's, the Monkees went on tour.  Jimi Hendrix was the opening act.  The Monkees had to cut him loose about halfway through the tour.  See, he was just too good; you can't have the opening act upstaging the headliners.  That's Show Biz Rule Number One.

Right about now, I figure, Al Gore is wishing he could can his opening act, Bill Clinton.  Trouble is, this convention's a one-stop tour and Bill's already left the stage.

In a lot of ways, Clinton has been a disappointment as  president, but he puts on a hell of a show.  I honestly believe the guy is a sociopath, but even I want to like him when he starts with that aw shucks delivery of his.  I know damn well the guy blew up a bunch of innocent people in Baghdad to distract the American public from his impeachment, but when he gets a talkin', I want to invite him to Wendy's for a Frosty.  My treat.

The movie industry presented Clinton with a fake Oscar the other night.  Then the Democrats threw themselves a party on the fake New York City street of one of the studios' back lot.  That is just so perfect.  Fake awards and fake streets for a party that's trying to be the Republican Party Lite (the Republicans, of course, are acting like the Democrats used to). 

Did you see how Clinton made his entrance?  They gave him the same shot The Rock from the WWF gets every week on Raw is War--camera down low, making Bill look ten feet tall, moving backwards as he walked toward it through the narrow hallways backstage.  Then he hit the stage and the place went nuts.  17 female delegates had orgasms and the American Samoa delegation spontaneously combusted as Clinton hit the podium.

Then he went into his act, a cross between Lonesome Rhoades and the Manchurian Candidate.   It was a great speech.  What did he say?  I have no idea and neither does anyone else.  Ask anyone who saw it what they thought of it and they'll tell you it was a great speech.  Ask them what Bill actually said, though, and you'll get a blank stare and hear the sound of crickets chirping emanating from inside their head.   That's the Brilliance of Bubba: he doesn't really say anything, but he does it so damn well that your head spins.

Now the spotlight falls on that black hole of charisma, Al Gore.  People who know him say that he's friendly and outgoing when he's in small groups, but put that mannequin in front of a crowd and it looks like someone threw his personality switch to the "off" position.  His speech will have plenty of focus group-tested catch phrases, I'm sure, but he'll still come off like an adenoidal teenager asking his shift manager at Burger King for permission to date his daughter.  The guy's the "before" picture for a charm school ad.

Imagine being Al Gore, having to follow Clinton's act.  Jimi just blew away the house with All Along the Watchtower and you're in the back, trying to learn the chords to Daydream Believer. 

God forbid he stumbles at any point.  It'll look like the scene in Jerry Lewis' original Nutty Professor where Buddy Love morphs back into the professor.  It's still not too late; maybe Al can "come down with something" at the last minute and send the real Buddy Love, Bill Clinton, out to do the speech in his place.  Charisma: either you got it or you ain't.




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