Friday, December 3, 2010

Will Rand Paul Make Baba Wawa's List?

ABC is promoting Barbara Walter's Most Fascinating People of 2010 incessantly. Every time I see a promo, I wonder who the mystery guest will be.

Here's the list so far:
  • Sandra Bullock
  • Princess bride Kate Middleton
  • Justin Bieber
  • Betty White
  • LeBron James
  • Sarah Palin (for a record third time)
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • cast of Jersey Shore
  • Oprah
Michelle Obama and Nancy Pelosi have made the list in recent years and therefore, I predict, will not be the 10th guest this year.

I'd submit that Rand Paul is the most fascinating person of 2010. He is the face of a movement that changed the composition of our government and probably the future of the Republican Party.

Realistically, Barbara Walters recognized that she needed to acknowledge the impact of the Tea Party in 2010 and chose to do so with Sarah Palin rather than Rand Paul. To be sure, Palin is more telegenic than Paul, and the list has a certain "beautiful people" quality to it.

Walters will presumably treat Palin like some sort of King maker. To some extent, she is. But I don't think she can take the credit for Rand Paul's election. He did that himself. His primary win was more fascinating than his general election victory, given that he had to slay the Republican Party establishment to win the primary.

In addition to actually having won an election this year (unlike Palin), Paul is more fascinating than Palin because of his colorful remarks. Who will ever forget Aqua Buddha? Yeah, he's just a Senator-elect from a small state, but Saturday Night Live missed some great material when it failed to pick up on Aqua Buddha. It's the sort of thing Sarah Palin might have said back before she became her own corporate brand. That polish might help her electoral chances in 2012, but it makes her a lot less fascinating.

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