By Kris Kitto - 09/10/08 05:12 PM EDT
If you’re waffling between the McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden tickets, consider Kathy Griffin.
The red-headed comedian, famous for coveting a spot on Hollywood’s A-list as she hosts a show that brags of her D-list status, has a new destination in mind: The White House. But first she’ll test the waters later this month with three nights of live stand-up comedy in front of a savvy Washington audience at DAR Constitution Hall.
Why should you vote for her if she runs for president of the United States?
“I’d print money so there wouldn’t be an economic problem,” she says in a phone interview from Los Angeles. She’d also enlist the help of a money-savvy lesbian, she adds.
“I’d be more like a figurehead — I’d be the face of it — and I’d let Suze Orman run the country,” Griffin says while singing the praises of the CNBC personality.
The self-designated D-lister has fond memories of the nation’s capital. Griffin has performed here at least a dozen times, she estimates, including an appearance in the D.C. Improv’s basement space made unforgettable because of the “amount of [expletive] sweat I had in that room.” She likes Washington audiences for their intelligence but finds truth in the old saying that Washington is Hollywood for ugly people.
“That’s why I’m sold out,” she says. “I’m going to be with my peeps.”
Politics isn’t all jokes to Griffin. She visited wounded war veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center — an experience she said greatly moved her — and she fears some Americans hesitate to support the presidential candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), whom she backs, because of racism.
“I fear that people won’t vote for him because, quote, there’s just something about him,” says Griffin, recounting an experience she had recently while performing in “an undisclosed Midwestern city” when she overheard a group of people call Obama the anti-Christ but were unable to explain why they thought that.
Her serious moments don’t last long. On the topic of political scandals, she says Washington is “like ‘The Hills,’ ” the MTV reality series that follows the spats and trysts of a clique of beautiful Los Angeles 20-somethings.
Griffin says former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.), former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) and other disgraced politicians fall prey to the same vices that often trip up some of Hollywood’s big names.
“It’s just like Hollywood. It’s a false sense of power,” she says.
It’s kind of like this, Griffin explains: “Oprah thinks she owns the world. She almost does, but not the whole world. The same is true for politicians. They really think they run the country. We kind of let them think they do. But it’s the corporate giants — it’s those guys [who run the country].”
Griffin performs live at DAR Constitution Hall on Sept. 25, 26 and 28.
Excerpts from the Kathy Griffin interview:
How did you get interested in politics?
I don’t know. I’m just a Gloria Steinem child of the ’70s. Also, I work in such a man’s world that I’m always interested in women in politics. It’s been interesting to watch our country go backwards the last eight years.
How do you follow politics? Bill O’Reilly?
Sometimes I watch Fox and yell at the TV. To get the real news, you have to watch the BBC.
Which political party do you belong to?
I don’t have a party. I’m so far to the left that I’m a Sandinista. And you’ll be happy to know that one of the conservative bloggers said I’m a registered member of the Sandinista Party. The blogger might want to realize that you can’t register for a rebel group. [The parties] are all too conservative for me. I think abortion should be legal at a gay marriage ceremony while everyone is smoking pot.
Do you have any advice for Sarah Palin?
I have a lot of advice for [Bristol Palin’s fiancé] Levi. First of all, I invited him to be my date for the Emmys. I’d like for him to do his first red carpet with me, and I promise not to get pregnant.
My advice for Sarah Palin — I guess the old standby: Read a book … I feel bad for my great-great-grandfather, John McCain. I think he maybe thought she was a temp. [Palin is] not stupid, she’s just wrong. That should be her slogan: “I’m not stupid. I’m just wrong.” People would be like, “Yay, we love her honesty.” Oh, by the way, I want to clear this up. The difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is species. Not lipstick, like she keeps saying.
What do you think about Hillary Clinton?
I love her.
Should Obama have picked her for his VP?
Oh, absolutely. I think the whole world burst into applause even at the Republican convention when the idea was mentioned.
Would you ever date a politician?
Yes, I would. I’ve never dated a politician. But I’d like to go on a date with Sarah Palin. I’d like to be in a relationship with Sarah. It would be like Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson.