As of late, there's been a lot of Democratic snickering over the idea of actor Gary Sinise emerging as the savior of the Republican Party in 2012. It's really not that crazy of an idea. Sinise is an outstanding communicator, hasn't been scared to be open about his politics, and, at the very least, a President Sinise might give a cabinet post to John Malkovich.
This Democratic expression of disdain for Mr. Sinise as a political leader usually leads to another round or two of petty Reagan bashing (i.e., Reagan was a B-actor, Bedtime For Bonzo, and all the rest). One has to wonder how President Obama feels about this since he spent so much of 2008 assuring America that Ronald Reagan was his personal messiah.
As I read the various Democratic responses to Sinise's potential future in politics, I have to wonder about how they feel about Val Kilmer? After all, according to Lloyd Grove, Kilmer is on the verge of jumping into politics himself by running for governor of New Mexico.
Grove doesn't clarify just which party Kilmer would represent as a candidate. Back in the early '90s, perhaps as a result of his role in Top Gun and his well-publicized reservations about playing Jim Morrison in The Doors, it was often assumed that Kilmer was some sort of closet Republican. However, Grove does mention that Kilmer campaigned for Obama in 2008. My own instincts are that Kilmer would probably run as an Independent.
It's probably because I've always found him to be as annoying as an actor as I previously found Ross Perot and Ralph Nader to be as presidential candidates.
(Though, in all fairness to Mr. Kilmer, he deserved an Oscar nomination for The Doors and probably one for Heat as well...)
Many people would say that this is a natural result of Obama's election. After all, Obama's entire campaign was based on the power of his celebrity as opposed to any actual qualifications for office. As a result, we are now seeing quite a few celebrities openly talking about running for office. For instance, Ben Affleck has talked about running for governor of Virginia and Joe Piscopo is mentioned as a candidate for office in New Jersey. And, of course, if Obama is the one who made it acceptable for a celebrity to be the nation's leader, he was simply building on the foundation that was laid down by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.
The problem with this theory, of course, is that it assumes that Val Kilmer is a celebrity. Seriously, can you name Val Kilmer's last movie without looking it up on Wikipedia? Apparently, it was something called The Chaos Experiment.
Val Kilmer's one of those strange cases where an actor becomes known as a star despite not really having any fans. Indeed, despite being a talented actor, his screen presence seems to have the effect of generating a strong feeling of nausea in audiences.
Remember him in the Saint? That was the movie that would have us believe that Kilmer was a master of disguise and that Elisabeth Shue even knew how to spell "cold fusion" let alone create it.
Or how about his sweaty, mumbling turn as John Holmes in Wonderland, a film that literally had absolutely no good reason for existing?
Or what about The Island of Dr. Moreau? It's been 13 years since that movie came out and his presence in that film is still not within the realms of human comprehension.
Still, the idea of Val Kilmer as governor of New Mexico is an intriguing one. After all, this is the same guy who has continually been labeled either "crazy" or "insane" by a steady stream of disgruntled directors and co-stars. This is the same actor who allegedly stubbed out a little cigarette on Moreau director Richard Stanley's face. Whether that story is true or not is not important. What's important is that it is so easy to believe.
Perhaps if Val Kilmer can actually win an election, other actors will be even more inspired to take the plunge. After all, if you're a politically outspoken thespian like Alec Baldwin, wouldn't you be a bit annoyed to discover that Val Kilmer has a state of his very own and you don't?
Perhaps in the future, actors will no longer compete for bigger roles but for bigger states. No longer will they steal scenes, instead they'll embezzle tax funds.
Hopefully, Texas will elect Powers Boothe.