Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Chutzpah Factor

by Libby Hellmann

For me one of the joys of writing fiction is creating larger-than-life characters -- brash, colorful people whose personality and behavior jump off the page and stay with you long after the story ends. Think Emma Bovary, Willy Stark, Jay Gatsby. Some prevailed. Some didn’t. Some prevailed temporarily. But all of them had certain qualities in common. Boldness. Nerve. Chutzpah.

These days though, you don’t have to go into fiction to find characters with chutzpah. And while people in public life aren't known to be shy and retiring, the things some are doing and saying are so out there you can't even label them clich├ęs. I continue to be amazed and shocked– shocked -- at their antics. I suspect some of you do as well.

So, I thought a vote might be in order. Who do you think has the most chutzpah these days? And why? I’ll offer up a few candidates to start.

First he didn’t. Then he did. Maybe a little. Well, more than a little. A lot. But it was all legal. He has nothing to hide. You can believe him.

Suspected of killing wives #3 and #4, ex-cop Drew Peterson crowed to reporters last week about his 23-year old girlfriend moving back in: “Looks like the Devil won this round.”

Wore out his welcome in Illinois. Wearing out his welcome on National TV. Likely to be welcomed into a federal correctional institution with open arms.

He stole billions and didn’t buy a single stock with the cash. Then had his wife withdraw $15 million from the brokerage days before he was arrested. Pocket change.

GOP Congressmen:
The ones who gave thumbs down to the Stimulus package are now climbing all over it to make sure they get their share. Let’s throw Bobby Jindal in too, for refusing $90 million for Louisiana. Good way to build your 2012 platform, Bobby.

Mortgage lenders. Also the Big 3 Automaker CEOs who flew into DC the first time on corporate jets. Enough said.

Finally, it wasn’t enough that she spent $150,000 on clothes. Now she’s charging the state of Alaska a $60 for a phone call.

The polls are open. Vote early and often.

BTW, those of you who want to see Pay-to-Play/Chicago style might enjoy this. (Thanks for the heads-up, Sara)


Toni said...

Hey Libby: I'm thinking it's a three-way tie: Blago, Drew and Bernie.

L.J. Sellers said...

So hard to choose! But I have to go with GOP Congressmen. By voting no, they're betting that Obama will fail and voters will forget that Republicans refused to help right the ship. Ballsy! But should backfire. Blago, as a single entity, is really over the top though.

FizzWater said...

I vote for the dumbass who compared her characters to Bovary, Stark, and Gatsby, and did it while misspelling one of them names. Talk about chutzpah.

It's Willie, not WIlly. Have you even read the book?

I gots things to do, people. I can't keep coming round here correcting your dumbasses all the time.

Dana King said...

I vote for the Republicans who voted against the stimulus, but are lined up to take the money. Also for their neverending efforts to re-write the last eight years of history.

(Aside to FizzWater: Be careful of casting stones near your glass house. While "Dumbass" may be one word, "dumb asses" is definitely two.)

Maryann Mercer said...

I gotta go with Burris and Blago. Their tenure in public office makes their attempts at the honesty polka even more unbelievable. I'm just saying.

Libby Hellmann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Libby Hellmann said...

Hey, Toni and Maryann. Yeh, it's hard. Especially when you're from Illinois. Too many choices. LJ, I hear you. Dana, good call on the wholesale revision of history. FizzWater, what can I say? Nothing is probably best.

Picks By Pat said...

Definitely Drew Peterson. That S.O.B. is enjoying the limelight far too much.