It's endsville for that bum Osama. Time to send him to the big
That Clyde can't hide. When that crumb is gone, ring-a-ding.
Forget about Clooney and Pitt mimicking vintage testosterone in the
new Rat Pack remake. We've got the real
deal right here. Septuagenarian testosterone. The suave swagger of Rummy and Cheney, enhanced by cluster
bombs and secure locations instead of martinis and broads.
Who needs the men of "Ocean's 11" when you've got the men of Sept. 11?
At the start of the 60's, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin's Rat Pack was
regarded as the epitome of black-tie
cool and male camaraderie and assertiveness. By the end of the decade, with the blue-jean social revolution,
they were seen as passé figures of misogynistic brio. This administration has reversed the arc.
President Bush's veterans from the Ford administration started out as
macho dinosaurs, threatening to spike the water
with arsenic, drill at will, bring back coal mines and revive Star Wars and the cold war with a cocky my-way-or-the-highway attitude toward the world. But after the terrorist attacks, the macho dinosaurs suddenly seemed like dependable protectors.
All that free-floating testosterone found a worthy cause and suited the nation's bellicose mood. After 9/11, America's
obsession with celebrities and gossip dimmed, even as real people doing tough jobs began to have star allure.
Once the Sinatra Rat Pack was regarded as the ultimate men's club, "the
innest in-group," as Playboy decreed.
Now the nation digs the Bush warriors, doing it Their Way. Back when Sinatra was the general running the clan's
Vegas summit meetings, they had their own buddy-boy lingo about chicks and Charleys, punks who were nowhere
and pallies who were sharp. The Bush Rat Pack has its own tough-guy argot: Drain the swamp they live in so you
can smoke the evil ones who are wanted dead or alive out of their caves as the noose tightens.
These guys are getting swooned over even more than Steven Soderbergh's repackaged Rat Pack.
CNN declared Donald Rumsfeld "the media star of America's new war,"
and quoted a woman calling him "the
newest sex symbol." Rummy's gruff charm and his cuffing of the press — shades of Sinatra, who labeled reporters
"finks" and "losers" — has turned him into an unlikely hipster. On Sunday on "Meet the Press," Tim Russert quizzed
the defense chief about how he used to do one-arm push-ups for money in college.
Barbara Walters, who often kills to get "gets" with movie stars, used
her fearsome powers of persuasion to snag
tonight's TV interview with the president and first lady, the first since Sept. 11. And Diane Sawyer, who once rolled
on the floor with Elián González and interviewed the Pets.com sock puppet, now uses her wiles to snare Dick Cheney,
whose aplomb and quiet assurance have made him the Dino of the Establishment.
Ms. Sawyer asked the underground vice president to describe his "cave,"
the undisclosed secure location where
he spends most of his time. "I know this sounds like — like, I don't know — Robin Leach or something, or one
of those magazines," she said, "but we're just trying to get a visual sense of what it's like when you're there. . . . I
mean, people are imagining you in some Quonset hut someplace." She also asked Mr. Cheney to divulge whether
his wife ever gives him advice, which he refused to reveal. That's amore!
The symbiotic relationship between Hollywood and Washington had favored
Hollywood in recent years, with
President Clinton playing First Groupie. But at the Kennedy Center Honors festivities here over the weekend,
the Hollywood luminaries once more orbited the Washington luminaries. Colin Powell was more sought after
than the king of cool, Jack Nicholson.
Julie Andrews gawked, hoping to meet Tom Daschle. And one big movie
star was star-struck by Condoleezza
Rice, a pianist herself, when she honored Van Cliburn. "She's in incredible shape," he marveled.
As in the original Rat Pack, there's only one woman in a choice role,
Condi as Angie. And some members are
less cool than others, trying too hard to belong. In the Bush Pack, it's Tom Ridge on the Peter Lawford sideline
and John Ashcroft with that wacky, too-on-the-edge quality of, yes, Shirley MacLaine.