The new top bitch at AOL has much to offer America
I was reading a piece about US politics by Toby Harnden in the Telegraph yesterday, on the subject of Republican Presidential candidates for 2012. Mr Harnden was probably a post-World Cup Win baby, and is thus almost certainly unable to see how the idea of Chris Christie for the nomination is akin to a caucus for Sarah Palin’s shotgun.
The way (ever since Reagan somehow made it into the Oval Office) political ‘leaders’ have become successively more unlikely is a running subject for hilarity among Slog friends. But for those aged under 45, I’d imagine Berlusconi is a bit of lad, Bush was a little on the short side, and Sarkozy hides his profound intellect behind a penchant for vulgar remarks and leggy wannabe pop stars. To my generation, however, these pillocks will simply never pass muster.
But Harnden’s piece led me to thinking about better Prezz candidates, and the Cynical Slither of Slog fell upon Arianna Huffington.
Titter not. She may be rich the first time round via a good divorce lawyer, but this time around, Huffers is $315 million better off entirely through her instinctive online newspaper skills. The lady now finds herself running content for ailing old granny AOL – and she has done it via an editorial policy which (while not pure Democratic Party propaganda) is consistently liberal in an age that has not always been so.
The thing that makes her an interesting package for me is that the Huffpost line isn’t mine at all, but as a web-hack, on discovering it, I felt totally at home with her model of the internet. It is the antithesis of Murdoch paywalls, but equally it isn’t silly fluffy either. ($315million says not at all fluffy.)
I suspect this reflects her life: once a good GOP wife, she then had the independence of thought to change many of her views – but not all of them. And it occurs to me that this mix of central values and willingness to keep an open mind is precisely what any national leader needs. Above all, it’s what the US is going to need more than any other quality from now on.
There are other assets Ms Huffington obviously has. I can’t see her blinking in the face of Beijing, but equally I couldn’t imagine her testosteroning her way into a ill-judged conflict. And being a woman, she knows how to compromise without becoming compromised. Blokes don’t get this.
She’d be wasted -and wrong – for 2012: I doubt if any serious Democrat will challenge O’Drama (although somebody should) and anyway Arianna has, shall we say, other commitments like earn-outs and editing to think about.
But Huffington as Democrat/Third Party candidate in 2016 could very well be the right person at the right time.
You know, for once, I could see myself getting excited about an election with her as serious candidate.