Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alec Baldwin Running for Office?

Does anyone remember Alec Baldwin? His acting career was overshadowed by his previous forays into politics. Although Baldwin has ruled out most of the Milky Way galaxy,he has not yet decided which office to run for, or even in which state to run. CNN reports as follows about Baldwin and his political ambitions.

"Emmy Award winner Alec Baldwin is eyeing a post-acting career that could take him off a Hollywood soundstage into the halls of Congress.

Baldwin, who currently stars in the NBC comedy "30 Rock," told Playboy magazine that he is seriously considering running for Congress. But he acknowledged his opponents would have plenty of fodder to use against him.

"I'll put it this way," he told the magazine. "The desire is there; that's one component. The other component is opportunity."

A native New Yorker, Baldwin said he has been approached by an unnamed Democratic law firm who wanted him to run for governor of Ohio, and he has also considered moving to New Jersey or Connecticut to run for office. "I'd love to run against Joe Lieberman."

Baldwin, who is an accomplished actor is also a PETA supporter and a stalwart supporter of liberal causes. He was once married to actress Kim Basinger, with whom he has a 14 year old daughter. He and Basinger have waged acrimonious battles over visitation and custody issues.

Baldwin's passionate support of animal rights and other causes has sometimes raised eyebrows, not only of the general public but of those in the mental health profession. Who can forget the drama of the Clinton impeachment hearings? I used to leave my paper on the subway rather than answer the questions my children might ask me about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The six o'clock news used to have parental advisories for explicit content.

His profanity laced phone message to his daughter in the middle of a heated custody battle is widely cited as an example of his mental instability. I would give him a pass on that. Custody battles can be pretty nasty. But when he went on the Conan O'Brien show, what he had to say about Senator Henry Hyde was truly bizarre. The audio is truly unsettling. It reads as follows.

"They voted on one article of impeachment already. And I come back from Africa to stained dresses and cigars and this and impeachment. I am thinking to myself, in other countries they are laughing at us 24 hours a day and I’m thinking to myself, if we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together, [starts to shout] all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! [crowd cheers] Wait! Shut up! Shut up! No shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families. [stands up, yelling] What is happening in this country? What is happening? UGHHH!"

What disturbs me most is not Baldwin's rant but his perception that it would receive a sympathetic audience. More than his phone tape, it gives me an insight into the private Alec Baldwin.

Will Alec Baldwin run for anything? He is ripe for satire. He would make an absurdly inviting target for ridicule. Perhaps Republicans might want to donate to his campaign. He is that bad. There are too many families in America that encompass and accommodate wide differences of opinion. As entertaining as a Senator Baldwin might be, I hope he does not gain traction in his quest for higher office. Alec Baldwin would do the nation a favour if he would remain in the scripted dramas of Hollywood and leave the unpredictable world of politics to a person of greater calm.

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