The (Just Like Harry) Truman Show


It’s the central conundrum of running for your nation’s highest office. You’re wealthy and the people funding your campaign are far wealthier. But this presents a problem. You need to connect with voters of normal means and be able to say “At heart I’m really like you. Yes, I get my money from rich guys, but deep down I care about your concerns.” You probably don’t, but you need to look like you do.

So you need a strategy. If you grew up in an orphanage you’re golden because you can wear the hardship label without lying. Unfortunately, most candidates still had their parents at birth.

In the past you could just carry a shotgun while photographers snapped pictures of you “hunting.” But John Kerry ruined that ploy forever back in 2004:


Alternatively, you can talk about a childhood sweeping floors in your Dad’s hardware store to show your humble origins. But that narrative falls flat when voters realize that you continued on to Harvard ($60,000 per year) while they’re currently selling plasma to cover their child’s state school tuition.

That’s the one upside to surging income inequality. The I’m Just Like You Dance gets harder to pull off every year. At this point it’s a professional-level performance that only the hardest training people can pull off. You could call it the Money Riverdance:

Scott Walker performing the Money Riverdance
Scott Walker performing the Money Riverdance

No one knows what we’ll see next, but Benjamin Netanyahu just demonstrated what we won’t see in 2016:


According to the Daily Mail, a celebrity home designer recently shot a video where Mr Netanyahu’s wife guided viewers around the couple’s home. The place looked dreary, with bare walls, creaking doors, frayed carpets, and peeling paint. Yes, it appeared that the Netanyahus live just like any ordinary yahoo (“That flat-screen hanging from the ceiling? It’s for watching Championship Wrestling”). But then someone did some digging. And it turns out they were filming in the servants’ quarters.

Oops. Netanyahu has forever ruined the World Leader Needs A Kitchen Makeover ploy.


Here’s my hope: politicians will get so incredibly tired of faking it that they’ll actually start dealing with things like income inequality. But until that day arrives, it’ll keep getting funnier every year. So enjoy the show.

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