As capable a senator as Kristen Gillibrand has proven to be, her route to higher office was unlikely, to say the least. But not nearly as unlikely as the plot contrivances in two new flicks out this month, both of which coincidentally feature heroes running for Senate from New York.
In the The Adjustment Bureau, now in theaters, Matt Damon’s campaign is engineered by fedora-wearing angels, who make little tweaks in reality in order to propel his candidacy. And in Limitless, opening Friday, Bradley Cooper plays a failed writer who stumbles onto an experimental smart drug that unlocks the “other 80 percent” of his brain. Soon enough, he, too, is a senatorial shoe-in.
In the movies, of course, anything’s possible. “Remember Animal House?” asked longtime operative Roger Stone, noting that the comedy’s end credits portrayed John “Bluto” Blutarski as a future senator.
These days, even with supernatural assistance, defeating a New York incumbent would probably be an uphill climb, though Mr. Stone pointed out that “if divine intervention includes hundreds of millions of dollars, it could happen.”
Hollywood’s plot devices are probably easier for audiences to stomach than the brutal reality of politics in the state, noted veteran consultant Hank Sheinkopf. “A movie could never show the aggravation, the personal drain and the emotional upset of a real campaign,” he pointed out.
Randy Credico, who mounted an unsuccessful bid against Senator Charles Schumer in 2010, was still fuming about his primary loss when reached by The Observer. “Chuck’s got the real angels, which are the guys with $25 million!” Mr. Credico said. “Plus, he controls every federal judge.”
Mr. Credico was speaking from the airport, where he was awaiting a flight to Nicaragua. The purpose of the trip was “to take a look at an assembly that actually debates stuff,” he said, and to work on a book. “It’s a kiss-and-tell,” he added. “Schneiderman and Cuomo won’t be happy. I know where the skeletons are buried, and they’re all going to come out.” Mr. Credico claimed he already had a publisher and an editor lined up.
Next stop, Hollywood!