Prominent Names Vie to Win 'Candidate'; Showtime Reveals 10 Finalists for Its Election-Inspired Reality Show
Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Even with poufy coifs and he-man handshakes, the Kerry/Edwards ticket simply pales in comparison.
Just in time to get a little oomph from Democratic convention buzz, Showtime revealed yesterday the 10 finalists for "The Candidate," a reality show based on the premise that just about everybody wants to grow up to become president.
The finalists include Chrissy Gephardt, spokeswoman for the homosexual advocacy group National Stonewall Democrats and daughter of Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, Missouri Democrat; Bruce Friedrich, director of People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals; and Keith Boykin, who describes himself as "once the highest-ranking openly gay person in the Clinton White House."
Mr. Boykin is president of the New York-based National Black Justice Coalition, another homosexual interest group.
The cable network's series also will showcase political advisers during the mock campaign: former Howard Dean campaign director Joe Trippi, former Al Gore campaign adviser Carter Eskew, former Republican National Committee officer Richard Bond, one-time Bob Dole adviser Tony Fabrizio, Republican point man Ed Rollins, pollster Frank Luntz and talk-radio host Bay Buchanan.
The "unscripted and unprecedented" show aspires to illuminate grass-roots politics and the " 'wholesale' aspects of campaigning, including political advertising, media management, coalition building and large-scale debates," Showtime noted.
There are some pronounced political underpinnings. Producer R.J. Cutler initially made a name for himself with "The War Room," a documentary about Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign.
For two years, Mr. Cutler advertised for "People's Candidates" - amateur White House hopefuls willing to wander the campaign trail as video cameras document every handshake and gaffe. …