Five Best Tuesday Columns

Fay Schopen on her forever-crushed George Clooney fantasy, Frank Bruni on Donald Sterling buying his way to the top, Dana Milbank on immigration activists turning against Obama, Esther Breger has some advice for John Oliver's new show, Albert R. Hunt on Hillary Clinton's 2016 challengers. 

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Fay Schopen at the Guardian on her forever-crushed George Clooney fantasy. “Yes, women – and men – across the world, despair: Hollywood actor Clooney is engaged to British human rights lawyer (huh) Amal Alamuddin. Yesterday, the Guardian's Ryan Gilbey took the sanguine view that this news was ‘unlikely’ to have any impact on the dreams and fantasies of Clooney's audience who after all, he suggests, are ‘older’ and have ‘enough experiences’ to cope with the idea that glorious George is in fact taken,” Schopen writes. “But the wonderful thing about Clooney is that for an A-lister he seems strangely accessible. I, along with legions of others I am sure, have never been able to shake the idea that if Clooney and I happened to meet each other I'd be in with a chance. Well played, Amal, well played.”

Frank Bruni at The New York Times on Donald Sterling buying his way to the top. “The answer’s no mystery: money, which most certainly buys you love, in the form of encomiums, endorsements, acclaim. Just as you can purchase an ambassadorship, you can purchase an image of altruism, and if you want inoculation from, or forgiveness for, the bad you’ve done or may yet do, there are few strategies wiser than taking out your checkbook," Bruni writes. "Sterling surely appreciated this. He placed newspaper ads celebrating Black History Month. He gave minority children free seats at Clippers games. He devoted his time — and money — to public service announcements for Glaad. No, these honorees are pathways to whole networks of potential donors. So they’re given seals of approval. They bathe in applause. It’s a strange kind of love. And it’s definitely for sale.”

Dana Milbank at The Washington Post on immigration activists turning against Obama. “It’s a shame President Obama was in the Philippines on Monday, because the former Chicago community organizer missed the chance to see his White House being picketed — by a Chicago-based group of community organizers. Obama met with immigration activists last month, urging them not to protest his record level of deportations but to focus instead on House Republicans, who are blocking immigration reform. On Monday, activists let him know what they thought of that advice,” Milbank writes. “You can’t blame immigration activists for their frustration. But the pressure from his liberal base puts Obama in a tough spot. In the meantime, Obama will just have to endure the growing anger of some of the very people who sent him to the White House.”

Esther Breger at the New Republic has some advice for John Oliver’s new show. “Sunday night’s premiere of ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ gave little indication that this was the show’s first episode. For anyone who had seen Oliver’s incredibly successful stint as guest host on ‘The Daily Show’ last summer, the new HBO series was astonishingly familiar: ‘The Daily Show: Sunday Night Edition,’” Breger writes. “That’s not exactly a bad thing. Oliver got the job because he is both very, very funny, and a natural at the fake-news format that Jon Stewart perfected over at Comedy Central. Oliver doesn’t need to re-invent the fake-news genre, but he could offer the newsmagazine version. He’s more famous, in America at least, for his work on ‘The Daily Show,’ but if he wants ‘Last Week Tonight’ to feel less imitative and more essential, he may want to look more to his other old show for cues.”

Albert R. Hunt at Bloomberg View on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 challengers.“Hillary Clinton will face a challenger for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination, if she runs, for a simple reason: everyone always has. Several people close to the former Secretary of State place the odds of her running at 80 percent or greater; she would be the strongest non-incumbent front-runner in modern American politics. She may well be unbeatable for the nomination but someone will try,” Hunt writes. “Of course, Vice President Joe Biden insists he's keeping his options open, and privately sounds like he's running. One Democrat who has flirted with the idea is Martin O'Malley. The 51-year-old Maryland Governor, whose term expires this year, might see an opportunity to set a predicate for a future run. The favorite of the left would be Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. There may be free lunches in politics, not free rides.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.