creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Froma Harrop
Froma Harrop
18 Dec 2014
Pottersville Goes Online

What is it that makes the holiday movie classic "It's a Wonderful Life" feel so ancient? It's the relationships,… Read More.

16 Dec 2014
Charity Versus Panhandling

I'm paying up at this discount store, and the nice woman at the cash register asks me something like, "Do you … Read More.

11 Dec 2014
Do You Vote What You Drink?

Did you know that Democrats drink more than Republicans? Or that they are likelier to choose clear liquors, … Read More.

At the House of Kennedy, Arnold Shrugs

Comment

Leslie Stahl's face evinces shock as Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about cheating on his wife, Maria Kennedy Shriver, on a CBS "60 Minutes" interview. The former bodybuilder and California governor was sorry that "I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria" — but obviously not very. There was no show of like or dislike for the wife, but the most infuriating response of all — indifference.

Maria knew Arnold was fooling around when they were still "dating." His marital infidelities, including the tryst with the cleaning woman, are Hollywood commonplaces. And so why would sophisticated people make such a big deal out of Arnold's doing what his outsized persona was wired to do, which is ... whatever he wanted?

The reason is that Maria Shriver is a Kennedy princess. She was not one of those starlet nobodies who claimed during his campaign for governor that Arnold had groped them. Indeed, Maria indignantly attacked their credibility.

"She vouched for your character," Stahl said, voice rising. "She gave up her television career for you. I mean, wow!" ... and so on.

The real story was that Arnold Schwarzenegger had accomplished something unique. He had put a chink in the Kennedy narcissistic armor.

Here was a poor Austrian immigrant, a self-made, maniacally hardworking planner of his destiny, feeling no way inferior in the House of Kennedy. That he was also a darn good progressive governor suggests that the Kennedy connection and name was only a temporary help. (How ironic that his current film is called "The Expendables 2.") Arnold now has his own name on an academic center, the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy at the University of Southern California,

Schwarzenegger knew exactly what personal dish to deliver "60 Minutes." He has a book to sell.

Meanwhile, "60 Minutes" advanced the undemocratic storyline that one doesn't treat a Kennedy princess like any other dame. Kennedys aren't like everyone else. That, too, sells.

Next day, the NBC "Today" show handed a hunk of national airtime to a young Kennedy male running for the House from Massachusetts. "Could Another Kennedy Be Headed to Congress?" the headline panted.

If Joe Kennedy III looks familiar, it's because he's been styled to resemble the others. I won't bore you on who his uncles or father was. Age 32, his achievements are modest, but he's got the teeth and the hair, $2.5 million in his campaign chest and grandmother Ethel by his side.

The "Today" segment does give his Republican rival a brief mention. (Its website misspells his name.) Sean Bielat is a Marine who, like Kennedy, has a degree from Harvard.

"I don't think (in) any other district in the country people would consider you qualified for this office," Bielat said in an earlier debate.

(Hard for Bielat, most any Democrat enjoys an advantage in Barney Frank's congressional district. His or her name doesn't have to be Kennedy.)

Anyhow, the NBC camera follows young Joe to a house in a Boston suburb. The woman at the door exclaims: "Oh, my God! It's Joe Kennedy on my front doorstep! Hi!"

Too bad a celebrity-sloshed culture infects our politics — and this comes from one generally in tune with the Kennedy stances on issues. It's just that churning myths of "royal political families" is not healthy for a democracy.

Perhaps only an outsized Hollywood ego like Schwarzenegger's could take from the myth rather than enhance it. That he didn't fire the housemaid who bore him a child is admirable. And the same goes for his response to those implying that one can't treat a Kennedy princess like other females: a shrug.

To find out more about Froma Harrop, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL CO.?

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Froma Harrop
Dec. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 22 Dec 2014
Deb Saunders
Debra J. SaundersUpdated 21 Dec 2014
Steve Chapman
Steve ChapmanUpdated 21 Dec 2014

4 Aug 2011 Detroit Loves Good Mileage At Last

16 Dec 2014 Charity Versus Panhandling

15 Nov 2011 The Angst in Giving Thanks