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Cutting Arik down to size
[Daily Edition]
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: Ben-David, Calev
Date: Dec 22, 2000
Start Page: 16.B
Section: Arts
Abstract (Document Summary)

In today's media-genic age, appearance counts for an awful lot in politics. Remember the 1996 prime ministerial debate, when commentators noted how old and tired [Shimon Peres] looked next to a vigorous Bibi? Just imagine how [Ehud Barak]'s ace US-imported campaign advisor, James "the ragin' Cajun" Carville, is positively salivating at the prospect of carving up [Ariel Sharon]'s ample carcass into little pieces in the coming weeks.

The irony is that even without Bibi, the Likud boasts viable PM contenders that either boast real media star appeal (Meir Sheetrit, Limor Livnat), or at the very least could hold their own with Barak in front of the cameras (Silvan Shalom, Ehud Barak). As for Sharon, I can't imagine that anyone other than himself and Barak and his supporters are truly happy that he has displaced Bibi as the candidate of the Right - expert perhaps for master impressionist Tuvia Tsafir, who'll probably be being dining out non-stop for the next two months on his priceless impersonation of a twitchy, grimacing Sharon.

On Tuesday night, apparently rejuvenated by the news of Bibi's retirement from the field, a newly vigorous Barak appeared on both Politics and Ilana Dayan's Fact and delivered his most effective on- camera performance in months. Dayan and Politics host Dan Margalit made a point of noting that Sharon had also been invited to get equal time, but had declined - already the first misstep the Likud candidate has made in the electoral media war.

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