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What would a Warren Beatty White House be like?

EW Online checks his past films for clues

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Warren Beatty
Sidney Baldwin

When Warren Beatty told the New York Times that he might run for president, he was vague about his platform except to say he was a liberal democrat who would fight for campaign finance reform. Searching for clues to his other beliefs, many journalists cited his most political movie, ”Bulworth,” last year’s satire that tore into politicians who shape their policy according to the wishes of PACs, and which preached the importance of social programs. But EW Online, in a rare wonk-like investigation, has discovered that digging more deeply into Beatty’s filmography can reveal a much broader picture about what a Beatty White House would bring.

RETHINKING THE ARMS RACE President Beatty would depend on a trusted cabinet, because if there’s one lesson ”Bonnie and Clyde” teaches us, it’s that there’s nothing teamwork can’t accomplish. And if some of the ”team” should show up to, say, a U.S.-China summit with suspicious-looking violin cases, let’s just say the concessions might come a little bit faster.

BUDGET, SCHMUDGET If the infamously high-priced bomb ”Ishtar” was any indication, the deficit won’t be first on the list of Beatty’s priorities. Odds are, we’ll look back on President Reagan’s trillion-dollar-debt years as the ”frugal” era.

AN OPTIMISTIC NATION Do you think a vicious problem plaguing our nation is omnipresent pessimism? Well, Beatty would teach Americans to look on the bright side, judging by ”Love Affair,” in which he had himself and Annette Bening shot in gauzy soft-focus, eliminating all traces of wrinkles. And who wouldn’t want to live in a country where everyone felt 22 years old?

UNITING THE NATION AGAINST A COMMON ENEMY With ”Dick Tracy”’s dapper, trench-coated hero doing battle with such vulgar baddies as Flattop and Pruneface, it’s clear that Beatty is a man who believes in definite lines between good and evil. And uniting the country behind his righteous foreign policy will be a cinch once he gives our enemies colorful nicknames, like ”Slobberpuss” for Slobodan Milosevic and ”Scowly McNuclear” for Saddam Hussein.

NO SURPRISES ABOUT SEX America probably would have forgiven President Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky affair if he’d just been upfront about it. Well, everyone knows how Beatty’s relentless womanizing in ”Shampoo” closely resembled the actor’s own libidinous life. So if any other lady should order pizza in the Oval Office while Annette Bening is away, who’s gonna say it wasn’t inevitable? With another title, this could be Beatty’s ultimate campaign film: ”A Man From Grope.”