Monday 20 November 2017

US Diary: Hillary's career? It's not over till it's Oval

Hillary's career? It's not over till it's Oval

HIllary Clinton
HIllary Clinton

Orla Healy

Hillary Clinton may have dodged the shoe hurled in her direction during a speech in Las Vegas on Thursday night, but she wasn't nearly as nimble negotiating a simple question from a six-year-old child that left her stumped during an event in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday.

"In 2016, would you prefer to be called Madam President or Mrs President?" the elementary schooler asked the former First Lady through a moderator. Hillary smiled as applause and laughter broke out but never answered the question. Instead, after remarking that it was a really good question, the presumptive 2016 Democratic candidate rose from her seat and walked off stage pausing to eyeball the kid before delivering a comic, exaggerated shrug.

Clinton, who later Tuesday acknowledged that she is officially "thinking" about running for the Oval Office, is also maintaining a healthy sense of humour about her upcoming memoir (a "compelling and personal narrative" of her tenure as America's top diplomat), which will hit bookstores on June 10. According to the book's freshly launched website, Hillary will share "candid reflections about key moments during her time as Secretary of State as well as her thoughts about how to navigate the challenges of the 21st Century". The author herself, however, is trying to downplay the wonky nature of her work, describing it as "a light summer read", she says she wrote longhand, on paper "in my little old Chappaqua farmhouse, in the attic where I hang out".

While the title of the book is being described as "a work-in-progress" by publishers Simon & Schuster, Hillary admits she hasn't ruled out the winning suggestion from a Washington Post reader contest: The Scrunchie Chronicles. The well-travelled politician, though, says she has her own firm ideas about the subtitle: "One Hundred Twelve Countries ...and It's Still All About My Hair." Enough said.

More mayhem for Jacko kids

Michael Jackson's kids are about to have their lives turned upside down yet again. Debbie Rowe, the mother of Prince, 17, and Paris, 16, announced Thursday that she is engaged to marry the King of Pop's long-time friend and one-time producer Marc Schaffel – a milestone she reportedly wants to celebrate by going up against the Jackson family for full-time guardianship of the two teens.

Rowe, 55, a nurse who was married to Michael Jackson for just three years, relinquished custody of the children to her ex during their 1999 divorce. Following Jackson's death in 2009, she appeared to support his mother Katherine in her attempt to give the kids a more mainstream upbringing outside the bubble-like atmosphere of their father's Neverland Ranch. But last summer, following Paris's suicide attempt Rowe became more deeply involved with the children and has apparently now reached the conclusion that they will be best served living full-time at her remote Palmdale California horse ranch.

According to reports published on Friday, Rowe is gearing up to file a lawsuit arguing that her children's relationship with their current guardians, 83-year-old Katherine and Jackson's nephew TJ, is not effective. Sources privy to her strategy who talked to TMZ said Rowe plans to argue that the environment at the Jackson family's Calabasas compound is not conducive to their needs. Prince, sources say, has become increasingly difficult to control while Rowe believes Paris's recovery from her suicide attempt has been stunted and poorly monitored. In an effort to get out ahead of the inevitable accusations that she is looking for guardianship to get her hands on what remains of Michael Jackson's estate, Rowe is adamant that she is not looking for any monetary remuneration should she receive custody of the kids. Katherine and the three children currently receive $86,000 from the singer's estate every month.

Heigl's career on the Duane

Actress Katherine Heigl may have just landed the role of a lifetime – as the poster girl for celebrities anxious to establish legal boundaries on the sprawling reach of social media. On Wednesday, the former Grey's Anatomy sweetheart filed suit against New York drugstore chain Duane Reade over a tweet she claims misappropriated her image for commercial purposes. The 27 Dresses and Knocked Up star wants an eye-popping $6m in damages after the company tweeted a link to a story with a paparazzi photo of the 35-year-old actress carrying two bags branded with its logo, captioned: "Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even @KatieHeigl can't resist shopping #NYC's favourite drugstore." According to Heigl's 15-page complaint the image, which was also posted to Duane Reade's Facebook page, was used to "imply falsely that Plaintiff endorses Defendant" who "is highly selective and well compensated" when she chooses to endorse a product or service.

Cynics, who point out that Heigl is in the throes of yet another attempt at a career comeback, are suggesting the suit is nothing more than a slick publicity stunt. If so, the actress, who has in past the endorsed products including Vick's ZzzQuil medication and an electronic cigarette might be on to something. While she is taking a ribbing for over-inflating her celebrity currency by bragging about the number of people who follow her on Twitter (754,000) and the number of hits that result from googling "Katherine Heigl," (3.2 million results) news of her lawsuit gave her Google search count a generous bounce to 4.29 million. Overnight.

Neither music nor comedy

Woody Allen no longer has to worry that the bad press about his personal life might harm ticket sales for the Broadway adaptation of is 1994 movie Bullets over Broadway. Reviews for the show, which opened Thursday night, will take all the blame. "Everyone hoped Bullets Over Broadway would be the show to get those flickering Broadway lights blazing again," Variety magazine began. "Surprisingly, though, the book is feeble on laughs, and certain key performers don't seem comfortable navigating the earthy comic idiom of burlesque. So, let's call it close – but no cigar."

The Hollywood Reporter wasn't as kind, dubbing the production "a watered-down champagne cocktail that too seldom gets beyond its recycled jokes and second-hand characterisations to assert an exciting new identity", while Ben Brantley of the New York Times went straight for the jugular describing the new musical as "occasionally funny but mostly just loud", adding that "while the movie was a helium-light charmer, this all-talking, all-singing, all-dancing reincarnation is also all but charm-free". New York magazine went with a simple, but succinct, reaction: "Unfortunately, as musical comedy goes, it's neither." Somewhere out there Mia Farrow is furiously trying not to be caught gloating.

Sunday Independent

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