SAN FRANCISCO — (AP) There’s something brewing on director Francis Ford Coppola’s Northern California vintery/chateau/filmmaking hideaway, and it’s more than the wine. This afternoon, the acclaimed director, perhaps known best for The Godfather films and the Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now, and head of American Zoetrope (the indie before indies were chic), announced he’s throwing his mogul hat into what could be his biggest independent production ever — the race for President of the United States of America.
A gathering of Hollywood beat reporters from all walks of media collectively dropped their jaws at what industry insiders are calling the biggest shakeup of the American political scene since Jesse “The Body” Ventura won the Minnesota Governor’s chair. “I revolutionized Hollywood, but I did it from the inside-out,” said Coppola.
“If Washington is going to change, then for the good of the country, the world… I’ve got to do the same thing.”
Coppola’s strategy appears to be keeping in step with the Bushes, Forbeses, Gores, and the handful of other Presidential hopefuls who have announced their candidacies, all of whom have headed out early on the campaign trail with the theme of maximum exposure/minimal hardlining.
He seemed to shy away from taking any sort of definitive stance on any major issues, such as abortion and Medicare, but offered reporters what Coppola referred to more than twice as his ‘The Theme.’
“The Theme is simple. I want to pick up Congress, pick up the Presidency, pick up the other branch, and give them all a good shaking. Like a Shake-N-Bake chicken. If the bag breaks, the bag breaks. We’ll buy another one. But if it tastes good, we’ll eat it. Simple.”
Candidate Coppola on health care: “Right now, the health care system is like a Thanksgiving turkey, but only a few of the people around the table get to take a bite out of its succulent white meat. … The rest are forced to dark meat, or eat corn, potatoes, cranberry sauce… And while those are delicious and tasty in their own right, they’re not exactly the basted brown, home-style portion of the turkey which the others are eating. … And that’s unhealthy.”
On tax reform: “Our tax system is in a state of complete imbalance. Let’s say you have three juicy steaks. It doesn’t matter what kind of steaks, but let’s just for argument’s sake say they’re t-bone steaks. Texas Longhorn. Barbequed to perfection, oozing with their own juices. Why should someone who has worked very hard to obtain those steaks have to give 1.5 of those steaks to the government? Whereas if someone who can only afford hamburgers, earns three hamburgers and has to give up 10 to 15% of one of those hamburgers? Let’s get real here, folks.” Supposing Coppola receives enough votes to have his name on the ballot.
What party will he side with? “Political parties are like tv-dinners. They try to put voters and issues into these neat little compartments, when the truth of the matter is that those voters and issues always overlap, like mashed potatoes spilling over into the salisbury steak, or the green beans into the brownie,” shouted Coppola to the zealous crowd, whose applause shook the rafters when Coppola raised his fist. “And brownies aren’t meant to be ruined. They’re meant to be enjoyed!”
Yet after the hype and hoopla faded from the press-conference-turned-production-number, the question which lingered in the air was:
Does this Detroit-born cinema genius stand a chance at the highest office on the planet without party affiliation?
“No,” says Richard Feglio, retired Senior Political Analyst for National Candidate magazine “He’s got a lot of powerful friends, but unfortunately almost all of them have seen Godfather III.”