The 'ultimate New Yorker' yearns to be president

The 61-year-old social commentator, who has been dubbed the “ultimate New Yorker,” might soon get her shot at delivering a similar speech — well, sort of.

Lebowitz and her friend, New York magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich, are teaming up for “A State of the Union Conversation” — a chat about the presidential race — on Oct. 19 at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Md.

The event might give Lebowitz, who calls herself “an old-fashioned liberal Democrat,” a chance to make her presidential pitch for her dream job.

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“Most problems confronting the president, I feel I could solve,” the late-night talk show regular and “Social Studies” scribe says. “I feel that the reason these problems seem insoluble is because presidents want to solve them and remain liked … I’m used to not being generally considered America’s sweetheart, so I wouldn’t have that problem.” 

Although she says she wouldn’t consider running for office because it would be “ludicrous,” she can count on at least one vote. Rich says with a laugh, “I wish she’d run for president. I wish she’d run my life!”

Rich, who serves as executive producer on HBO’s “Veep,” says the audience can expect “spirited opinions” and hopefully some laughs, courtesy of Lebowitz. The quick-witted longtime New York Times theater critic, a D.C.-area native, could have attendees cracking up too. 

When asked if the election was a Broadway musical, what it would be called, Rich replies without missing a beat, “I guess we can’t use ‘The Book of Mormon.’ ” After taking a few seconds to ponder, he quips, “ 'Les Miserables.’ Maybe that will work.”

Rich, 63, says as a veteran journalist who now writes monthly about politics and culture, he and Lebowitz follow the presidential race “from very different frameworks.”

Lebowitz, who says she “loves to talk” and was the focus of Martin Scorsese’s 2010 documentary “Public Speaking,” certainly isn’t shy about sharing her opinion on the two White House contenders.

The writer tells ITK, “I would like to say to Mitt Romney, you know what he proposes — the little that we can gather by reading tea leaves — is not a country, it’s a country club. I find him to be deeply offensive morally.”

Lebowitz adds, “What I hope with [President] Obama is that he doesn’t keep getting pushed to the right. To me, it’s hard to believe that Republicans really think that he’s this left wing, although it doesn’t seem that Republicans think that much.”

Photos: Wikimedia and FrankRich.com

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