Down South, O’Reilly and Miller take an Up-Front Look at National Politics
By Laura Perry
American politics have become more and more intense, especially this year. Friday, September 7th, Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly and comedian Dennis Miller brought their Bolder & Fresher Tour to a sell-out crowd and enthusiastic mix of 25-70 year-olds in Atlanta.
The jobs report out that Friday set the tone for this Bolder & Fresher show. Job growth slowed harshly in August and while the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent, that was only because many unemployed just gave up on the job search, according to Reuters.
The Bolder & Fresher Tour’s opening act was Dennis Miller, the “Fresher part of the show” as O’Reilly later called him. Miller, 58, got his celebrity start as a Saturday Night Live cast member known for his “Weekend Update” segment that mocked National news stories. His Bolder & Fresher role wasn’t far from that. Miller told the audience he’s convinced that Nancy Pelosi is “bat-guano” crazy and sleeps upside down, hanging from the rafters. As a California resident, Miller is also focused on the affairs in his home state. California’s projected budget deficit has ballooned to $16 billion.
“The least shaky thing in California is the San Andreas Fault,” said Miller. “California is going to Hell in a hand basket and we didn’t even manufacture the basket!”
Miller asked about Georgia politics and wanted to know if it was conservative or liberal. When he got cheers for both, he said, “Well, what do you think of Obamacare?”
After a thundering “Booooo” and then a huge laugh, Miller told the crowd what he thought of the new health care law. “Yeah, I look at Obamacare like a big sweaty encyclopedia salesman that we accidentally let into the living room – it’s going to be tough to get him back on the porch.”
Miller said he wished he’d just seen one clever thing in Obamacare that he though was a good idea, but it’s all the same old, same old. The longer this has gone on, he said, the more his own Liberal friends have less to say about it.
“A lot of people are falling off that Obama bandwagon now. Most of my friends are liberal and they all voted for him, and you can hear it in their voice,” Miller told the crowd. “They talk about their vote for Obama in the same tone they use when they tell you they took an Ambien and woke up naked on the side of the road. I did what?”
Bill O’Reilly came out on his own after Miller’s opening and greeted the crowd with his own politically appropriate snide remarks and smart humor. He’d just come in from Charlotte, where he’d been covering the Democrat convention. He asked everybody to think back one year ago, when the Republican presidential primary was just beginning – the first debate with 9 sweaty men and one woman.
Michelle Bachman looked better than them and she was the instant front-runner. She was picking up steam after that, until she mistakenly thought that it was Elvis’s birthday on his death date. This is America, you can’t do that—you gotta know when the King toppled over, especially in the South, O’Reilly said. That was the end of Michelle Bachman.
The G.O.P.’s next rising star was Rick Perry. Bill O’Reilly recounted and mocked Perry’s denseness when he’d interviewed him. Rick Perry had been firm in knowing he needed to make cuts in government, but when he’d been pressed to give specifics, he couldn’t be really elaborate.
Herman Cain’s name was in the game after that. Mr. O’Reilly said Cain’s downfall was his lack of foreign policy knowledge. When he interviewed Candidate Cain in June 2011, O’Reilly said he asked Cain how he would deal with Iran and Pakistan and he couldn’t be specific. Cain also couldn’t give any details for a plan to handle our national debt. Mr. Cain told him he would cut taxes, but he couldn’t explain specifically where the money would come from to pay the national debt down. He had a plan that was his answer to everything – 9-9-9, but he couldn’t really break it down.
Then Newt Gingrich was the next flavor, but not for long. In January, his former wife did an interview with ABC’s “Nightline” saying that Newt wanted to have an open marriage. O’Reilly said he recalled watching it the next day with his producers.
“We’re all going, ‘THAT Newt Gingrich?,’” O’Reilly remembered with a laugh.
The next day, was the CNN Presidential debate in South Carolina, and their first question was to Mr. Gingrich about his ex-wife’s interview. This isn’t the way to hold a candidate debate, Mr. O’Reilly said.
“They had to ask about it because you can’t ignore it,” O’Reilly said. “But they should’ve said something like, ‘there is an allegation that CNN has been unable to confirm… would you like to address that?,’” O’Reilly said. “But not CNN and King. They didn’t even get the ‘Good evening’ out. They certainly shouldn’t have opened a debate with that.”
Newt’s “No, but I will” response was a winner, said O’Reilly, but the problem was that he was putting on 8 pounds a day. The Florida Primary was next.
“Romney came up with a very unique campaign strategy in the sunshine state,” said Mr. O’Reilly. “He bought it. 24/7 all you saw, were Romney adds and so he wins.”
Gingrich makes his exit strategy, and Ron Paul gets a little more spotlight, just by process of elimination, but O’Reilly said that he just could not get past Paul’s shirt collar.
“Ron Paul’s shirt collar is so big,” said O’Reilly, “that every time I have him on the ‘Factor,’ I think a Muppet is going to come out, and I can never get by it.”
O’Reilly said Paul’s foreign policy position was also very weak. He said that when he’d interviewed Mr. Paul and asked him how he was going to handle relations with Iran, he ‘d just simply said, “I’m going to be nice to them.”
Bill O’Reilly said he knew Santorum was next on the mainstream media’s hit list. He said he told Mr. Santorum he was the next target.
“If the New York Times asks you about Adam and Eve, you say ‘they didn’t have jobs and its Obama’s fault,” O’Reilly said he wanted to tell Santorum. “So then a reporter comes up to him and says, ‘what about contraception?”
“What Santorum should’ve said was ‘Hey, I have seven kids, I don’t know much about it.’ You’ve got an exit strategy right there.”
So, the last man standing is Mitt Romney.
“Mitt Romney’s done a great job running Massachusetts,” said O’Reilly. “They’re a crazy state. I went to Harvard – I know.”
Americans will get the best insight on the Obama/ Biden and Romney/ Ryan choice with the Presidential debates. The first Presidential Debate, held at the University of Denver in Colorado, is Wednesday, October 3rd and it will cover domestic policy. A week later, the Vice Presidential debate in Kentucky follows on October 11th with Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan. The final two debates include a town meeting format covering foreign and domestic policy on October 16th at Hofstra University in New York state and a foreign policy debate on October 22nd at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.
Whatever your political view in this election season, the winner of Bolder/Fresher was the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and the transition to civilian life. The Bolder/Fresher Tour donates their profits to Wounded Warrior – something we can all applaud.
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