Lucy and Ricky.
Mary and Rhoda.
George and Weezy.
Laverne and Shirley.
Clinton and Dole?
All of the rumors about Bill Clinton getting a TV show are finally true.
Well, sort of.
And Bob Dole has put down the Viagra and dusted off his forensics notes.
The former president and former senator have joined together to do a series of
“point/counterpoint” style debates on the TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes.
I doubt Bob Dole and Bill Clinton ever thought that they would be linked in the media again after the 1996 election, but the pair are currently filming a series of 10 segments that began March 9.
Each will get approximately 45 seconds to present their opinion, and a 15-second rebuttal.
The segment, called “Clinton and Dole,” or “Dole and Clinton,” (depending on who picks the topic that week), was a ratings success for 60 Minutes, making it the highest rated show of the night, drawing 17 million viewers and taking it from 22nd to 5th place in the ratings.
That’s remarkable for a show at 7 p.m. on a Sunday night.
But, really, how could they lose when they were drawing an audience of both Republicans and Democrats?
With such a large investment made for only two minutes of the 42 minutes of material each night, CBS had to have known it would pay off.
Clinton and Dole are each getting $1 million for their little stint, which works out to be roughly $1,000 per word or $1,600 per second.
With endorsements and book deals, they obviously don’t need the money.
But since their wives are in Washington, perhaps they are getting jealous of no longer being the one in the public eye.
The first debate focused on whether giving a tax break with a looming war was a good idea.
The two stayed along party lines, with Clinton saying a tax break would only benefit people like him and Dole.
Dole then accused the Clinton administration of being responsible for the shape of the economy.
Critics, as well as Dole himself, found fault with the first debate, saying it was neither as personal, or as cutthroat as they would have liked.
I think they need to be cut a little slack.
This isn’t Survivor.
No one will be voted off, or even voted for, as a result of their statements.
The topic of debate number two will focus on whether or not the United Nations is still a necessary organization.
So far the debates have focused on current events, and although they’re only 60 seconds long, they give the viewers enough information to make their own educated opinions.
It’s a welcome change from the spoon-fed information the public has been receiving from the Bush administration.
Even though they disagree, what Clinton and Dole offer are much more attractive solutions than anything the current president has offered.
With so much conflict in current events, it’s nice to be reminded of the days when the economy wasn’t struggling, war wasn’t looming and Bob Dole was the least appealing choice for President.
For the most part, Clinton and Dole have been making the most of the small amount of time they’re offered.
Clinton is his usual well-spoken self, and Bob Dole is actually a pretty funny guy – who knew?
It’s nice to finally hear from some competent politicians in the media.
No stuttering, no mispronunciations, no made-up words and no false promises.
I hope Bush is taking notes.
Marea Kasten can be reached at email@example.com.