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Dennis Miller Is Just Right for Bush Campaign

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

After hosting an HBO comedy show, bantering on "Monday Night Football" and commentating for Fox News, Dennis Miller has slowly journeyed to the conservative side of the political spectrum.

Now he has also become an important celebrity feature of the George W. Bush re-election effort.

In California, a state where in the 2000 presidential election he trailed Al Gore by 12 percentage points, Bush can use all the celebrity help he can get. As it turns out, he got something else from the Golden State that every candidate wants ­ a cool $5.1 million in campaign funds.

Bush apparently knows how to treat the famous who are on his side. Miller not only got to ride in the president's limousine, he also was a guest on Air Force One.

The president's first stop on the California campaign trail was the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Burlingame. Then he moved on to a dinner at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, where singer Johnny Mathis and actor Kelsey Grammer also appeared.

In both locales, Bush supporters heard some choice words from Miller.

He referred to himself as "a Rat Pack of one for the president in Hollywood."

He gave some fuel to the recall Gray Davis forces when he observed that California is "now buying energy at mini-bar prices."

He teased earthquake-prone California by explaining that the state no longer has a San Andreas Fault. "It's Gray Davis' fault," chimed the comedian.

Applying some of his patented political humor to an appraisal of the Democrat slate of presidential wannabes, Miller said, "I haven't seen a starting nine like that since the '62 Mets."

His comment about West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd drew a few moans. "I think he must be burning the cross at both ends," Miller wisecracked.

Proving the growing prominence of Howard Dean, Miller took a shot at the former Vermont governor. "He can roll up his sleeves all he wants at public events, but as long as we see that heart tattoo with Neville Chamberlain's name on his right forearm, he's never going anywhere," Miller quipped.

In what amounted to a marathon 10-hour day, President George W. Bush spent eight of the hours in the air and had to deal with some Left Coast protesters. But getting help from a gifted comedian and bringing in about $500,000 an hour is enough to put a smile on any politician's face.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2003
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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