Lockhart Steele has posted some inside info on the casting procedures for "American Candidate," the Showtime series in which (in the words of the producers) the "viewing public will select a People's Candidate who will then have the chance to run for president of the United States." It's a wacky idea, and you can understand why some pundits have expressed concern: The public? Select a candidate? Why switch methods now -- has the Trilateral Commission done that bad a job?
The show's PR makes it sound like this method will be more "open" or "populist" or something -- as if having a wide range of Ivy League graduates and millionaires wasn't a diverse enough slate. But take a look at the eligibility requirements: They're actually more stringent than what we expect of "real" candidates. Not only do you have to qualify under the guidelines of the U.S. Constitution (citizen, over 35, etc.), you can't have been employed in the past two years by "Showtime Networks Inc., or its parent (Viacom Inc.) or any affiliated, related or subsidiary companies" -- that rules out every single VeeJay! (How can something be democratic if Carson Daly isn't involved?) And get this: "you must be willing to undergo physical and psychological examinations and testing." They don't explicitly rule out nutcases, but are you telling me any process that keeps Lyndon LaRouche from occupying the White House is a fair process? (Is the idea that fluoridated water is a Communist plot any crazier than those "WMDs" W. prattles on about?)
And you know what's missing from the requirements? "Must be hot." If you're going to elect a candidate based on a TV show, goddamnit, shouldn't he/she be fuckable?
There is someone, however, who meets these lofty standards. Someone we can all get behind. Ladies and gentleman: Jennifer Aniston turned 35 today. Can we get a petition started?
Casting the American Candidate [LockhartSteele]
U.S. Constitution, Article II [Legal Information Institute]