White House

Sheen for America

What's next?In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Michael Moore called for the Democrats to choose their own Arnold in time for the 2008 election. In other words, we need a big name to lead our party in ways Harry Reid and Evan Bayh simply can't. So what's the short list of potential celebrity candidates?

Tom Hanks. To date, has he ever shown an interest in running for office? If he ran, he'd be easily elected, but it's unlikely he'd ever thrust his guarded private life into the spotlight. Plus, there's all that old footage from "Bosom Buddies" which Fox News would air around the clock -- even during stories completely unrelated to the race.

Paul Newman. Can you imagine the series of salad dressing analogies coming from the Republicans? "Is this the honey mustard Newman or the Bacon Ranch Newman?" or "Too much oil, not enough vinegar, Mr. Newman!" (Not sure what either actually mean, but leave it to brainiacs like Ann Coulter -- they'll say it anyway.)

Warren Beatty. Maybe. The movie "Bulworth" was a good template to imagine him in office, but the crazier scenes would be run in TV ads and most of the red states would think they're watching real-life footage of Beatty.

Now the best, most plausible possibility...

Who's the most beloved president of our era? President Bartlet himself: Martin Sheen. MORE...

Most of America could easily envision him as the president, and my guess is he'd be a lot like the character he plays on "The West Wing". He could even hire John Spencer to be his chief of staff and Aaron Sorkin as his speech writer and political advisor. He's played JFK, RFK, and an advisor to President Michael Douglas in "The American President".He's a self-proclaimed devout Catholic which could diffuse criticism of his 60 arrests on civil disobedience charges as well as his serious drug and alcohol problem before, through, and including the filming of "Apocalypse Now". But drug issues didn't hurt Arnold.Though he always denied political aspirations (he was asked to run with Nader in 1996), he's certainly been active in campaigns. Watch a speech he gave for Howard Dean here -- fast forward to about 13 minutes in. Note his ability to deliver a hell of a speech.There's the issue, however, of Sheen being "too liberal". So what. So is Arnold, depending on who you ask.And the clincher? According to Gallup, Martin Sheen's approval rating is 55% -- a full six points higher than our current actual president.President Martin Sheen in 2008. "Sheen for America!"Meanwhile, I'll make a bold prediction here. The Democratic nominee in 2008 will NOT be Hillary Clinton. The Republican nominee will NOT be Bill Frist. Prediction: the race will be John Kerry vs. Condi Rice. Unless Sheen runs.