February 13, 2011
Clarice's Pieces: Arianna for PresidentBy Clarice Feldman
I see that Donald Trump (with how many wives and bankruptcies in his past?) appeared at the CPAC conference, hinting that he might run for President on the Republican ticket. With all due regard, I suggest he's the wrong person: We need Arianna Huffington, a woman whose fiscal wizardry and drive we will need after the almost-hero of Altgeld Gardens is voted out of office.
I know, I know, many of you are saying that this is a crazy idea, that there are so many better possibilities but hear me out.
This week the President's signal achievement, ObamaCare, took more hits, and the U.S. economy, with him at the helm, kept heading for the iceberg field while Arianna, already riding high on millions of cash, once again spun dross into gold, increasing her own portfolio by millions. Here's the scorecard:
*The IMF just proposed that the US dollar no longer be the world's reserve currency;
* It now appears that Obamacare will raise taxes by more than $500 billion
* Not only will it raise taxes but also it will exacerbate the already challenging unemployment situation:
* "The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal government will run a record $1.5 trillion deficit in 2011 and that the national debt will double over the next decade. Higher government spending-not lower taxes-is driving these historic deficits. Interest payments on the national debt will increasingly crowd out the private investment necessary for the economy to grow." (Heritage Foundation)
On the other hand, Arianna goes from riches to more riches exploiting the left and right with a certain bipartisan je ne sais quoi
* The first big wad of assets she collected by marrying and then divorcing an Republican oil heir who it turns out was gay. The second time she got countless leftist writers to work for her for nothing and leftist readers to log onto that bilge, a process which so impressed the faltering AOL that the biggies there paid $315 million for Huffington Post and put her in charge of their "citizen journalism" venture along with other portions of their by now rather thin content portfolio, a move which caused stockholders to devalue AOL stock by the same amount as AOL paid Arianna. AOL might have dusted off "synergy," the word that in the Dot Com frenzy was used to describe why myhotchilipeppers.com or justdogsocks.net was worth paying millions of dollars to acquire. But perhaps mindful that we have not all suffered from amnesia, instead they came up with "a merger of visions" which obviously means so much more.
Arianna's portion of the take was estimated at $18 million, outdoing I think even Obama's royalty take off Ayer's labors. At least one of her writers called it "sweatshop profiteering" and those of her readers who commented about the sale were none too happy. That means the market; the content producers and the readers turned thumbs down on the deal.
There were raised eyebrows on both sides of the blog aisle. I especially liked what Legal Insurrection's Bill Jacobson said:
Reason quotes Scott Rosenberg who sees the deal as I do, a shrewd business move at the expense of AOL stockholders:
I can hardly wait to see how this one turns out. Roger Simon proffered his take that Arianna read the tea leaves, is an opportunist and knows that "progressivism is over."
I met her some years ago at a Salon launch party in D.C. when she was still a conservative, saying what she said when her then-husband ran for the Senate -- that she believed in smaller government and a reduction in welfare. But her political beliefs are obviously secondary to her sense of good business. As Roger Simon correctly analyzed her:
Exactly. I'm not saying Obama isn't just as driven by self-interest but he lacks her business acumen and her sense of timing. If we insist on having egotistical self-aggrandizers for president, at least let's have one who understands how to read a balance sheet and make national revenues grow.
I realize my proposal will take some getting used to. I can just hear the objections. In the first place, some of you will say, she was born in Athens to Greek parents and is ineligible to run for President. Please, birthers, let's not go there. We have in our hands a microfiche of her paid birth announcement in the now defunct Kalamazoo Khronicle and if that doesn't persuade you, I insist it's as sexist to demand more proof as it is racist to demand more proof from Obama. After all women and minorities born anywhere on earth must under the rules of political correctness be deemed without more to be native-born Americans. If you want to take that further and demand proof, except for Arizona with its new law, you'll find you have no standing to challenge that anywhere.
Some of you also argue that her thick accent, undiminished by having lived in English speaking countries since she was 16 and debated as an Oxford student, will hamper her. Puhlease folks. We'll just get her a voice coach and reprogram the Teleprompters -- they can transliterate everything into Standard English where she can read it off with as much of an American accent as, say., Hillary reading poetry in a Black church.
Finally some of you are concerned that she's so utterly hypocritical. You say she makes a big deal out of the fact that she drives a hybrid and campaigns against SUV's while flying about in private jets or that, as Don Surber observes, she rails against big earners who avoid taxes while avoiding as many taxes as she can. But if you want a straightforward provably American born candidate who understands economics and plays fair you'll have to back someone like Herman Cain or Sarah Palin or Paul Ryan -- you know the kind of people who aren't on Andrea Mitchell's approved list and therefore are per se unelectable.
So there it is, Arianna for President. Take her or leave her.