Back in November of last year, Donald Trump announced he would run for president again in 2024. This week, Nikki Haley told us what we already knew — that she would also run. Mike Pence is widely believed to be planning his own “look at me, I’m running” party, but that may be put on hold while he focuses on his run from a grand jury subpoena to testify in the Department of Justice investigation into the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
Ron DeSantis and several other high-profile Republicans are expected to launch their own runs, so I think it’s safe to say that the Republican party has got a pretty bad case of the runs.
Trump has so many things going on right now that it’s hard to keep it all straight. There are the criminal investigations in multiple jurisdictions, the rape defamation trial, and whatever else that’s out there. For Trump, it must feel like everything, everywhere, all at once, and not in the way that gets one nominated for Oscars.
While Nikki Haley has announced her run, another former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has opined that she is actually running for vice president. Well, that may be true, which begs the question “what of it?” That’s just politics, and Bolton no doubt knows that. He’s a high-profile Republican who seems to enjoy being asked if he’s going to run, but who will probably stay on the sidelines.
In all honesty, Haley talks a good game, effectively turning current issues for the country to the South Carolina solutions she points to during her tenure as governor. But the political context of her waffling on Trump over the years plus the perceived disloyalty of actually challenging him for the Republican nomination puts Haley on the hypocrisy scale right up there with Lindsey Graham. (Maybe there’s something in the water in South Carolina.) How can she appeal to either Trump supporters or his opponents? Oh, Nikki, you’re so blind. You’re so blind, you blow my mind.
Whether or not Pence will run against Trump remains to be seen. The media narrative supposes that Pence is dodging the subpoena for political purposes to enhance his shot for the presidency and not turn off Trump supporters. But didn’t some of these folks build a gallows with his name on it at the insurrection?
Pence explains himself by talking about establishing precedents, executive privilege, and separation of powers. It boils down to his “defending the prerogatives I had as president of the Senate.” That’s a strange thing to say when he previously affirmed that he had no power, or prerogative if you will, to do anything other than what he eventually did. When an elected politician starts throwing around all those “p” words, you can bet it’s 90% bull, and I ain’t buying.
In the moments leading up to the climax of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s rethinking of the days leading up to the Sharon Tate murders, one of the Manson family members says she left her knife in the car as they are walking up the driveway to the house. She is given the keys to the locked car, but instead of returning, she drives away. This character knew what was planned, went along with the plan, was believed by the others to be in support of the plan, and only bailed out at the last moment. She was a part of the conspiracy even if she didn’t participate in its execution, right? Just something to think about.
This week’s obituaries following the death of Raquel Welch do not give her due credit, reducing her to a sex goddess in a deerskin bikini who eventually became a businesswoman with a successful wig company. That’s just lazy.
Ms. Welch made risky decisions at the height of her film career. She starred with Jim Brown in 100 Rifles, in which they shared a steamy sex scene (for the time) made even more controversial by the fact that Mr. Brown is black. She then went on to star in Myra Breckinridge playing a transgender woman, another foreseeably controversial choice that could have destroyed her career. It didn’t.
But the best of Ms. Welch was shown when she was fired from the cast of Cannery Row and replaced by Debra Winger, who was 15 years younger. Ms. Welch sued and was accused by studio executives of bringing the case to trial because she was an actress over 40 who could generally not get work. When all the dust settled, Ms. Welch won the case for $10.8 million, including damages paid from the studio (MGM), the studio executive, and the film’s producer.
The film bombed, and Ms. Welch said, “I think my judgment amounted to more money than the movie actually grossed.” It did. It was a shot at ageism and sexism in Hollywood, and it totally hit the mark.
Now that was a good run, Raquel.