Electoral Dysfunction

November 2nd, 2012

I’ve spent the last few years working in politics and as a commentator on television.  While I love doing those things, I’m ready to branch out.

Who could have guessed my first new venture would be appearing in a movie?  No, I’m not the next Meryl Streep (but I think I would be a good devil to wear Prada).  Instead, I’m appearing in a documentary called Electoral Dysfunction which stars satirist Mo Rocca as he attempts to unravel the mysteries of the Electoral College.

It was really fun being part of this movie.

Here’s how it happened.

In 2008, the film’s producers and director (Leslie D. Farrell, Bennett Singer, and David Deschamps) came to the GOP Convention looking for a Republican who they could follow as that person worked to get out the vote in the election.  The producers keyed in on three states including Indiana (although as it turns out Indiana was last on their original short list).

I was thrilled to be interviewed, and I could sense from their initial reaction that they liked me, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up at that point.

As they gauged my level of interest, they asked me if I’d ever met an interesting guy named Mike Marshall who was a Democrat activist in the state.  I told them I didn’t know him personally, but I knew of his role in Democrat politics.  I also mentioned that he lived 30 minutes away from me in Southern Indiana.

Within an hour, I received a call telling me that they wanted to go with me.  I was thrilled but also a bit wary because you never know with these sorts of things how you might be portrayed. I’m pleased to report they honored their word and didn’t make me look like an idiot (which was my only specific “demand” when I agreed to appear in the film).

In doing the movie, I got a glimpse of what it must be like to be on reality TV.  Wearing a microphone nonstop while at the same time trying to walk around and do things like you’d normally do definitely takes a little getting used to.  Now that I’ve done it, though, I feel comfortable doing almost anything in the media.

Working with Mo Rocca was an incredible experience.  He is truly a brilliant talent and a very nice person.  I especially appreciate that he took great care to make certain that both sides were fairly represented, since we oftentimes presume that won’t be the case (and sadly too often that’s true).

Reviews for the film have been terrific.  I’m personally pleased that Variety called me “cheery” and the LA Times thought I was “engaging.”

I really like the way the film presents all the issues surrounding the Electoral College which is truly an American anomaly.  Even though I don’t agree with everything in the film, I think it’s very well done and thought provoking.  I’ll share my thoughts on the Electoral College and voting issues in a future post.

I am so grateful the producers and director chose me to be part of something that will last forever and hopefully will make people more enthusiastic about voting and our election system.

I’d encourage you to see the film on your local PBS station or in a theater.

I hope to be on the big screen again—it was surreal and lots of fun!