By Ray Dunaway

Remember the scene from the classic film, American Graffiti, where Curt Henderson, played by Richard Dreyfuss, revealed that his dream was to go to Washington and work for JFK?  Kennedy had inspired him to get involved in the process of advancing towards the “New Frontier”.  Perhaps he could have elected to Congress of course, as we learned in the epilogue, he eventually ended up a writer living in Canada.

But at least he thought about it in his senior year.

20 years later, Ronald Reagan inspired similar ideas.

At least that’s the opinion in a New York Times article written by Jason Horowitz, which appeared yesterday.  One would think that in 2008, Barack Obama would have motivated millions of young supporters to get in the game as well.  After all, the young manned phone banks, put up campaign posters, and canvassed door-to-door to get the vote out.  But according to Horowitz, that fever was short-lived.

Those who remain interested in politics are not even considering running for public office.  Nope- if they’re going to stay in politics, they’ll be consultants, or lobbyists.

That’s where the money and influence is.  And if you doubt that, we might want to check out a divorce that’s rocking the nation’s capital. Namely that of Tony and Heather Podesta. Long considered one of the city’s power couples, they have decided to split up, and there’s a lot of loot to divide: Residences in D.C., Venice, and for those “getaway weekends”, a grand estate in Virginia. A nd of course, millions of dollars in art work.

It started out like a fairytale in 2001, when, both on the rebound, they were introduced by mutual friends. In 2003, they were married. He was 59; she was 33 (can you say “trophy wife?” In attendance were a bouquet of democratic power players: Pelosi, Leahy, Former New Mexico Governor and first round draft choice of the KC Royals, Bill Richardson.

Heathers 40th birthday party was one for the ages, complete with red velvet cupcakes (so fashionable at the time), and an Elvis Impersonator (how passé!) and on the guest list?  Hometown boy John B. Larson.

After the 2008 election, and with Obama in office, their stock soared, and so did their lobbying firm’s revenues.  Sadly, their relationship began to crumble, until they filed for divorce.

And the timing just couldn’t be worse. After all, Tony’s brother, John, just got the job as a senior White House advisor, giving Tony a direct line to the President. Hope and Change?  You Bet!  Billings through the roof; What do you think?

Young folks aren’t chumps.  And as the article makes clear, if they’re going into politics, they’re disillusioned enough to know the change that matters can be found in their pocket.

Sad, really.


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