Normally I don't like to talk about politics, especially when anyone can hear me. But politics is now hard to avoid, as the 2008 presidential campaign has been in full swing for at least the past six months, despite the fact that it is only summer 2007. I fear that, given the ever-accelerating political schedule, the 2012 campaign will start in mid-October of this year.
Some might question if we even need the 2008 election. The succession of presidents for this era of American history would seem to be well established. First we had George H. W. Bush, then Bill Clinton, and then George W. Bush. Next up will be Hillary Clinton, followed by Jeb Bush, followed by Chelsea Clinton, followed by Billy Bush (from Access Hollywood). In order to maintain the pattern, it may be necessary at some point to enlist presidents who are, strictly speaking, not part of the Bush or Clinton political dynasties, including actress Sophia Bush, musicians George Clinton and Kate Bush, and the entire town of Clinton, New York.
But now the big news stirring up the presidential race is the possible entry of lawyer, politician, and actor Fred Thompson, who for several years has played District Attorney Arthur Branch on the original version of Law & Order. A Fred Thompson candidacy stands to alter the dynamics of not only our political landscape, but also of our television landscape. Federal law mandates that television networks must give equal airtime to each presidential candidate. Should Thompson make his run official, repeat episodes of Law & Order featuring him presumably could not be aired.
A better solution would be not to embargo Law & Order reruns, but rather to give every one of the candidates a speaking part on the show. John McCain would play a tough-talking homicide detective. John Edwards would play a bleeding-heart defense attorney. Hillary Clinton would play a woman suspected of murdering her philandering husband.
And Rudy Guliani would play the mayor of New York City. Devoted Law & Order fans will notice that he's already done that.