Sorry, Senator Cruz, but the cast of your all-time favorite movie is reuniting to host a fundraiser for Wisconsin Democrats. If you’ve followed Senator Cruz for very long, you’ve probably heard him mention that The Princess Bride is his favorite movie. He can recite dialogue from the movie, and act out scenes. He’s been known to use a line or two from the movie to zing an opponent on social media.
Now, however, the Democrat Party of Wisconsin has co-opted the cast of the movie for political fundraising purposes. Wisconsin, as you know, is a hotly contested swing state in the November presidential election. Hillary Clinton and her incompetent campaign staff took the state for granted in 2016. Trump ended up winning the state by a narrow margin of 0.77%. He received 47.22% of the total votes over the 46.45% of Hillary Clinton. That amounts to a 22,748 vote difference. This election cycle, the Democrats are trying to not make the same mistake. It’s a bit difficult for them, though, given that Joe Biden doesn’t get out of his house very often. The strategy so far has been to keep him doing random interviews from his basement studio and away from any tough questioning or exposure on the campaign trail. The coronavirus pandemic has made drastic changes to typical campaigning and up until recently, Joe’s been hiding.
The Kenosha BLM protests and rioting gave Joe Biden an excuse to get out and show his wokeness with the movement. He had to go, though, because President Trump went there and didn’t meet with Jacob Blake’s family but did go and show his support for the people of Kenosha and the law enforcement dealing with law and order on the ground there. Biden’s visit was straight political opportunism of which he was forced into taking advantage. I think even the Democrats realize Biden isn’t going to get a lot of goodwill points from his visit, though, as he was a follower, not a leader, in his concern for Kenosha. The people in Wisconsin aren’t stupid. You’ll note that the carefully orchestrated attack on President Trump by The Atlantic and Biden campaign just so happened to land the day after Biden’s trip to Wisconsin. There are no coincidences in politics. The Biden campaign was successful, unfortunately, and the hit piece is all the 24/7 cable news stations are talking about – not the great economic report from last week, or the historic agreement reached between Serbia and Kosovo, brokered by the Trump administration. Nope. Crickets on all that.
I literally cannot find a single US news outlet that has reported on the content of the historic Serbia-Kosovo deal.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 5, 2020
The Democrat Party in Wisconsin was inspired by the story of The West Wing’s cast reunion and support of the Black Lives Matter movement which is a Hollywood-style fundraiser for Democrats, specifically Joe Biden’s campaign. They are working in conjunction with Michelle Obama’s get out the vote initiative. As it turns out, Ben Wikler, chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, is a big fan of The Princess Bride. He sounds as though he is in Cruz territory with his fondness of the movie. Wikler used a quote from the movie in a toast at his sister’s wedding.
Wisconsin State Journal reports that Cary Elwes, who played Westley in the film, is a childhood friend of a staffer of the Wisconsin Democratic Party.
The idea came to event organizers with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin after the success of a livestreamed reunion of “West Wing” cast members, led by Madisonian Bradley Whitford — who played fictional White House deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman on the show — for a taping of “West Wing Weekly,” a show-specific podcast, during the online DNC in August.
The livestreamed podcast taping brought four of the show’s cast members together and acted as a fundraiser to support the Democratic Party.
The event’s success got the gears moving in the minds of organizers as they searched for similar ways to virtually engage both politically savvy donors as well as those who might not be as tuned in to politics.
The Princess Bride‘s cast will do a live-streamed reading from the film. Other than Elwes, cast members Robin Wright (Princess Buttercup), Chris Sarandon (Prince Humperdink), Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya), Wallace Shawn (Vizzini), Billy Crystal (Miracle Max) and Carol Kane (Valerie) will participate. The movie’s director, Rob Reiner, will also make an appearance as well as other special guests and comedian Patton Oswalt. It’s a liberal’s dream of a cast, right? I am happy to see that Fred Savage isn’t included in the list of names. As far as I know, he isn’t a political activist.
Elwes and Reiner are “very concerned about another four years of Donald Trump and they know Wisconsin is the key to the election,” Wikler said. He said the Biden-Harris campaign is working “hand-in-six-fingered-glove” together, which I assume is a reference to something in the movie. I confess I have never seen the movie. I must have been doing something else in 1987.
It’s a fundraiser, you know, so the live stream isn’t free. Donors are asked to cough up at least a dollar. Wikler says since Friday’s announcement, the party has seen “a staggering amount of interest and thousands of donations” though he isn’t providing any numbers. C’mon, man. Of course, he’s not. It’s all smoke and mirrors in Hollywood.
Wisconsin Democrats are asking for donations in any amount above $1 in exchange for access to the exclusive live stream. Funds raised will go toward Wisconsin Democratic Party infrastructure, including continued hires throughout the election season, digital ad buys and other means to support the party through the November election.
Ted Cruz has criticized the actors for politicizing the cult classic. Elwes, who just last year advised again politicizing the movie, now tells Cruz to “leave the fire swamp.”
There’s a shortage of perfect movies in this world. It would be a pity to damage this one. https://t.co/5N8Q3P2e5G
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) September 18, 2019
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) September 5, 2020
I’m thinking Cruz will have more to tweet as the event is live-streamed.