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My new interest in politics

November 20, 2011
By KATHRYN SPIRA , The Leader Herald

I have talked to you guys before about how I have become more interested in Democrats running for office. But I find I am now strangely interested in even the Republican presidential debates and ongoing saga of those running for office.

I find it amusing in a derisive manner in the stance that candidates take for cutting spending, for instance, without ever being specific about what they would cut.

Back when I was pursuing my acting career, politics was the furthest thing from my mind. I not only didn't keep up with candidates and issues, I didn't even know who was running for office at times. There were times when I didn't even know who the frontrunners were on each ticket.

I say this now in hindsight, thinking back over the years and how much I've changed. Even the words I speak to describe political issues were foreign to me when I was all about "the business" of entertainment.

Now, much of the political scene has become entertainment.

Each day I get my daily dose of "Morning Joe" with the political analysis that goes with it by former Florida Republican congressman Joe Scarborough and Nika Brzezinski, the daughter of former United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who also is sometimes a guest on the show as commentator.

I also like other MSNBC commentators such as Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow, both of whom have their own hourlong shows on the cable channel.

I guess I follow in the footsteps of many actors who tend to have a liberal bias, but I like to hear the other side of the questions as well. Since Scarborough is Republican, it is interesting to hear his take on his own party, as well as the guest Michael Steele who often appears on the show and was the head of the Republican party.

I'm a big fan of Florida congresswoman and head of the Democratic party Debbie Wasserman Schultz and of course have been following the Gabby Gifford story closely which could easily be made into a TV movie all by itself.

The link between entertainers and politicians is obvious with former actor Ronald Reagan becoming president and Arnold Schwarzenegger as California governor among many other examples. One of my favorite entertainer/politicians is the comedian Al Franken. How can he resist making jokes about the Minnesota political scene as well as the national fiasco that has become of congress?

Maybe comedians and actors are naturals for the political scene which needs some levity to help us all get through the process. I know the news from Washington could certainly lighten up with the economy and wars in the Middle East on everyone's minds.

In case anyone wonders, I'm a die-hard Democrat who has some interest in the Republican Party, but no wish to join it. I realize on the local level here in upstate New York, most offices are held by Republicans. Herman's favorite credo is that he is a practical Democrat who registers Republican so he can vote in local primaries where most of the decisions are made.

But that is one step further than I am willing to go

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website at



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