The 2012 presidential race has torn Americans apart like they were yelling at each other from different couches on a Real Housewives reunion special. From the bickering between Mitt Romney and his primary rivals to Romney's bitter fighting with President Obama, it's like our political system is full of high school mean girls who think nothing of hair-pulling and flipping tables (you know I love you girls!).
As someone who's just started her second season with Bravo's franchise, I think I know catty behavior when I see it and this is all looking more and more like the ACTUAL "Real Housewives."
First off, there's a dynamic cast of characters who, like the Housewives, come to the fight with more credentials than their haters would acknowledge. Of course, that starts with the former Massachusetts governor who left a very successful business career to be the first Mormon president and the Ivy League star who shunned a potentially multi-million dollar law career to work in Chicago's inner-city and government.
Their supporters are just as flashy. In fact, let's play a game of "Campaign Supporter or Real Housewife?"
1) An outspoken Georgia Peach with a history of infidelity and an outstanding bill at Tiffany's that's longer than a convention speech.
2) An acid-tongued power player from a group of rival siblings that will cut down their enemies (or even those on their side) if they step out of line.
3) A sharp-tongued Floridian with a taste for the good life who isn't afraid to mix it up and has a life full of controversy.
Now that I've described Newt Gingrich, Rahm Emmanuel and Rush Limbaugh, are you ready for me to discuss Real Housewives? (By the way, fun drinking game for the debates... Every time you hear "JOBS," take a drink!)
See, just like our casts, these characters are hyper-competitive and more than willing to have it out in front of a worldwide audience. It's like, "Who cares what they're saying about us -- as long as they're talking about us! Consequences, be damned!" I mean, have you SEEN Romney's secret video where he badmouths 47 percent of Americans? With those loose lips, it's no wonder his ship is sinking!
Each has questioned the other's credentials (along with jokes and jabs of birtherism and felony tax fraud) so often, that if you take out Wolf Blitzer and a debate stage and insert Andy Cohen and a "Watch What Happens Live" set, the drama is not as different, as you'd think. By the way, Andy, I can't wait for the post-election reunion special. The ratings will be HUGE!
The race even has incredibly powerful women that are loved by their fans and feared by their opponents: Ann Romney and Michelle Obama. Each was cheered for having one of the best speeches at her convention. Each possesses a wardrobe many would love to call their own. And each can win over swing voters who may think that the Housewife's husband is more "Desperate" than "Real."
And this brings us to the Republican National Convention train-wreck TV that is Clint Eastwood. Sure, his wife has a reality show, but this man should use his convention speech as a pilot for his own series. He embodies the connection between Campaign 2012 and the Real Housewives. We've heard for a month how he embarrassed conservatives and stole the headliner's thunder. Eastwood was just like a Real Housewife! Everything's unscripted, more than a little wacky and full of drama! Plus, it got everyone talking. Even Saturday Night Live gave him his own skit this past week!
He needs to follow it up with a second episode. Except this time, he should replace the empty chair... with an empty suit. He could ask, "Mitt, where are you hiding those tax returns? I'm planning to visit the Cayman Islands next month. Can you ask your money that's been living there, what I should pack? I've always loved Switzerland. How often do you get to visit your accounts in Zurich?"
It will take more than an awkward few minutes on the political stage to kill Eastwood's reputation. He got laughs within the hall and the coverage gave him a few extra mentions for his new movie. And can you imagine what the drama was like backstage?
It would be must-see TV. We'd tune in each week to see what Mitt's new position would be on, um, anything and how Clint's world-weary demeanor would clash with Mitt's above-it-all awkwardness. "Look Mitt, I know what you're thinking. Did I take six positions on this issue or only five? Now to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in this whole campaign. But being this is a 24/7 news cycle in the most powerful media environment in the world that can blow your campaign clear off course, you've gotta ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, Mitt?"
So, now that it's clear that our election HAS become a Real Housewives slugfest, will America be man enough to admit it?
"The Real Housewives of Miami" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
Follow Lea Black on Twitter: www.twitter.com/leablackmiami