Friday, May 13, 2022

TV Quote of the Day (‘Veep,’ As an Aide Unloads On Her Precedent-Setting Oval Office Boss)

“I have bitten my tongue so long, it looks like a dog's cushion. But no more! You have made it impossible to do this job. You have two settings, no decision and bad decision. I wouldn’t let you run a bath without having the Coast Guard and Fire Department standing by. But yet, here you are running America. You are the worst thing that has happened to this country since food in buckets and maybe slavery. I've had enough. I'm gone.”—Vice Presidential (and Presidential!) chief of staff Amy Brookheimer [played by Anna Chlumsky], to boss Selina Meyer, in Veep, Season 4, Episode 5, “Convention,” original air date May 10, 2015, teleplay by Sean Gray and David Quantick, directed by Stephanie Laing

Staff alumni of VPs and Presidents from both parties, I’m sure, watched Veep over the years with their fair share of chuckles over the futility and humiliations experienced by their former bosses—or, at times, the ridicule that those spin-obsessed bosses brought on themselves.

But I would have to think that aides of Kamala Harris identified even more strongly with what they saw on the cable comedy.

In a real-life case of life imitating art imitating life, Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, is taking a page out of frazzled and enraged Amy Brookheimer’s playbook by getting out while the going is good—though, perhaps, not with the heap of vituperation unleashed at Selina Meyer.

Ms. Harris undoubtedly feels aggrieved over the media’s rough treatment over all her aides heading for the exits. (Not a good look for her management skills, should she ever attain the top office.)

But she is lucky, in turn, to have a boss who’s not only been through some of what she’s experienced (not, of course, as a female veep), but—unlike others who’ve been in his place, like Richard Nixon—is uncommonly tolerant of mistakes. (Perhaps because he himself has made his fair share of them.)

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