July 8th, 2009
05:58 PM ET

Politics a good second career for actors and comedians?


Left to Right: Alec Baldwin, Al Franken, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fred Thompson. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The actor Alec Baldwin is reportedly eyeing a run for Congress just as former comedian Al Franken becomes the newest show biz type to join lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Baldwin vowed to leave the country if George Bush was elected, but he's still here and now reportedly wants to become part of the Washington establishment.

We've gotten used to celebrities on Capitol Hill drawing attention to this cause or that cause from time to time. But it's also nothing new for these celebrities to step into the role of lawmaker.

Former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura became Governor of Minnesota in 1998. He declined to run for a second term.

Actor Fred Thompson, notably of Law & Order fame, served as a Senator from Tennessee before mounting a failed bid for the White House.

And speaking of Presidents, Ronald Reagan, of course, was an actor before jumping to politics, as was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. And we can't forget singer and actor Sonny Bono.

The list goes on including stars from shows like the Love Boat, and the Dukes of Hazard who all have spent time in Washington on behalf of constituents who elected them to office.

Baldwin's credentials are questionable… but Al Franken is no slouch. He's Harvard educated and one of his first duties will be as a committee member for the confirmation hearing of Sonia Sotomayor next week.

Why it occurs to actors who spend their time pretending to be someone else that they are the answer to our nation's problems is a mystery. On second thought, how much worse can they be than the ones that are groomed for life inside the Beltway?

Here’s my question to you: Is politics a good second career choice for actors and comedians?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Al Franken • Congress • Government • Minnesota
July 8th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Have your views of Palin changed since she announced quitting as Governor?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As quickly as Sarah Palin announced she was quitting her job as Governor of Alaska in the middle of her term, the airwaves were filled with pundits eager to pronounce her political career dead in the water. Even Rush Limbaugh was stumped. Which doesn't happen often.

Yesterday on this show Democratic strategist Paul Begala said: "Her defenders will say, she's crazy like a fox. I think they're half right. The notion that she would look [CNN's] Drew [Griffin] in the eye and say, I'm not a quitter as she's quitting. She is either delusional or disingenuous."

But a look at some new poll numbers suggests it might be a bit early to plan Palin's memorial service. A new Gallup poll found 43-percent of Americans say they are very likely or somewhat likely to vote for her for President. In fact, 70-percent of those surveyed said Palin's decision to resign had no effect on their opinion of her at all. Go figure.

The poll also found 53-percent think the media coverage of Palin's decision to quit her job as governor in the middle of her first term has been unfairly negative.

Sarah Palin may in fact have more options than her detractors give her credit for. That same poll shows 70-percent of Republicans said they would vote for Palin for president. If that seems a little lopsided it's probably because most of the rest of the front runners in the Republican Party have misstepped so much that she and Mitt Romney are about all that's left.

Here’s my question to you: Have your views of Sarah Palin changed since she announced she’s quitting her job as Governor?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Sarah Palin
July 8th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should gov't consider second stimulus package?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

An outside adviser to President Obama says the U.S. should consider a second stimulus package because the $787 billion package approved in February was "a bit too small." Others have criticized the plan for not distributing the money fast enough to create the jobs necessary to halt the downward spiral we seem to be in.

Job seekers wait in line to speak with prospective employers at a job fair .The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits is at a 26-year high.

On Capitol Hill, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he'd consider a second stimulus but emphasized that it's too soon to say the first stimulus package has failed.

A look at a few facts would suggest it has been less than a screaming success. The economy is still struggling, mired in recession that shows few signs of abating. Last week's jobs report found unemployment is still climbing and experts expect it will surpass 10-percent this year, even though the stimulus bill was supposed to hold it below eight percent.

Yesterday the stock market hit a 10-week low, so confidence is clearly still lacking among investors. And all that optimism over perceived "green shoots" of recovery that were touted just a few weeks ago has all but disappeared along with a lot of the "shoots."

Advisers in and out of Washington agree on one thing: the stimulus bill was based in an economy that was not as bad the one we're in now.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government consider a second stimulus package?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government • Stimulus Plan