Putting Fun Back In the White House

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John McCain's celebrity ad raised some hackles last week. Humorist Brian Unger says a celebrity president might not be such a bad idea.


Back now with Day to Day. Staff humorist Brian Unger sometimes offers advice to political candidates, which they ignore. Brian is not discouraged. Here's today's Unger Report.

BRIAN UNGER: The Unger Political Action Committee, UPAC, a nonpartisan group that is pretty much all talk, no action, hastily produced this ad to counter John McCain's charge that Barack Obama is not ready to lead. It asks this question: Since when has leadership mattered? Jim, um, can you roll the ad?

(Soundbite of crowd chanting)

Unidentified Woman #1: He's the biggest celebrity in the world. But is he ready to lead?

UNGER: Who cares?

(Soundbite of "Back in Black" by AC/DC)

UNGER: Barack Obama is a friggin' rock star, and John McCain agrees.

Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona): I'm John McCain, and I approved this message.

UNGER: A president as celebrified as Britney Spears, Paris Hilton? Are you kidding? That's my kind of president. A man who's ready to lead us, down a red carpet, up the Hollywood hills and into Prince's after-hours party. Barack Obama, he won't just occupy the White House, he'll trash it, like Keith Richards at a Holiday Inn. Sounds like something Jenna Bush would do, doesn't it? Now imagine your president, Barack Obama, a man who can actually get into a nightclub with Paris Hilton or Britney Spears. A man who can actually get Paris Hilton or Britney Spears on the phone! Heck, a man who can actually stay awake past 9.

(Soundbite of "Dilemma" by Nelly)

UNGER: For eight years, America has had a president who's been no fun. A man who chided celebrity, spurned Hollywood, whose idea of hip was listening to "My Sharona" on his iPod. But with Barack Obama...

Unidentified Woman #1: He's the biggest celebrity in the world.

UNGER: We'll have a president who moves between Entertainment Tonight and Larry King Tonight with an easy, breezy celebrity kids and the world can relate to. After all, the country's biggest export this year wasn't democracy, it was "The Dark Knight." Sure, politicians make change, but celebrities make bank. So ask yourself: Who would you rather have a beer with, plain John McCain or Paris, Britney and Barack? That's 9021-ow! A Democrat and a party, all in one.

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois): I'm Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

UNGER: Um, OK. Jim, will you overnight that to the Obama folks?

JIM: No.

UNGER: Um, OK. I'm Brian Unger, and that is today's Unger Report.

(Soundbite of song "Toxic")

Ms. BRITNEY SPEARS: (Singing) Baby can't you see, I'm callin', A guy like you, should wear a warning, it's dangerous...

CHADWICK: You can take the Unger Report with you. Humor from Brian available as an NPR podcast. Find out more at npr.org.

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