warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Sex In The Houses Of Power

Sameer Suri |
May 21, 2013 | 5:05 p.m. PDT


In the interest of honesty, I have to precede any disquisition on sex with a disclaimer. Like so many people who pontificate in internet forums, I have absolutely no experience to back up any of my claims.

The political world finally got sexy again. (tonynetone, Creative Commons)
The political world finally got sexy again. (tonynetone, Creative Commons)

I get no sex. Do you know the heartbreak of stuffing tinfoil into your socks when you go to the airport so that you can fail the metal detector test and get a pat down? Or the horror of having a professor promise you that if you sleep with him, he'll fail you? Frankly, I’ve given up. My sex playlist has one song: “The Sound of Silence.”

All of this has culminated in a staggering level of ignorance. A friend of mine once lent me her vibrator to practice oral sex; I used it to whisk eggs for an omelet.

With that admission out of the way, though, I do have to note that there's something even my naive little mind has picked up on: the political world just got sexy again. Think about it. We had about forty years when everyone in politics was hideous, but look at this new group. The sexuality is starting to seep back in. Case in point: Michelle Obama. There's a woman who’s smart, charismatic and who knows how to use her sex appeal.

She’s also the first attractive First Lady we've had since Jacqueline Kennedy. Oh, don’t look at me like that. You know I'm right. And for those of you who don't, let's review her predecessors:

Lady Bird Johnson and Patricia Nixon were about as attractive as their husbands.

Then poor old Betty Ford trundled into the White House. The terror to see that reflection in the mirror every day—I'd be an alcoholic too.

Roz Carter was no stunner. Meanwhile, Nancy Reagan was against the gays and, judging by the way they did her hair, the gays were against her.

And need I even describe Babs Bush? Michael Moore in drag.

Then, along came Hillary. Don't get me wrong, I love Hillary. If she makes a presidential bid in 2016, that's the horse I'm backing—but let's not forget that we are, in fact, discussing a horse.

And Laura. Sweet Lauralah. Not terrible looking, but if you marry a man that distinguished and your children look like that... all I’m saying is that genes don't come from nowhere. Though admittedly, that could've been Babs.

But the unattractive streak is finally over. Michelle looks fabulous, and she’s not the only one. Make no mistake, my little chickadees, this is an international phenomenon. The United Kingdom’s David Cameron may be no great shakes, but Blair and Brown make him look like Jeremy Renner. (Every night I cry myself to sleep at the fact that Jeremy Renner’s straight, and also over how short he is—not that height matters, I’d spend the whole relationship on my knees.) Carla Bruni, First Lady of France until last year, was a sex symbol in a music industry that includes Beyoncé (although it also includes Susan Boyle). Even the Assads look terrific. Say what you want about Bashar’s habit of slaughtering his own people en masse, but I’d let him launch his missile into my destitute village.

Evidently, there’s no correlation between attractiveness and goodness—not in politics. I mean, look at Gandhi. All right, I know, yes, everyone loves Gandhi, everyone has always loved Gandhi—well, except for that one guy—but tell the truth, was that Gollum in brownface? A friend of mine said to me, “Wasn’t he the guy with the great abs?”

Those were his ribs.

In fact, when it comes to politics, cuteness and morality have basically an inverse relationship. We need to give more of the bad people in political history the credit they deserve. A lot of them have been absolutely gorgeous. I mean, John Wilkes Booth? Come on. Dashing, well groomed, an actor—I’d like him to sneak up on me from behind.

That’s a relatively old example, which does bring up the counterargument that that this isn’t exactly unprecedented: good-looking people have been involved in government forever.

My point is, this is a Renaissance—that little diatribe on the First Ladies earlier should serve as proof that we’ve been deprived of that historical political sex appeal for several decades. Now, though, the fact that the magnificently rich and the ultra-powerful are getting sexy again comes as fantastic news to those of us looking to become these peoples’ fourth trophy spouses once they attain fame.

Oh, absolutely. The first thing I look for in a man is life support. I always say right off, on the first date, “I’m not going to touch it unless I have to get past a diaper and a catheter to get it."

Oh, don’t look at me like that. You know I’m right.


Reach Contributor Sameer Suri here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.