Showbiz Commentary: Heidi Oringer

I've always loved the expression "Reach for the stars." It's so, I don't know ... uplifting! It says: "Don't let anything keep you from going for what you want. Venture beyond!" And it's good advice, whether your aspirations are lofty (you want to be a healer, a millionaire, a movie star) or not so lofty (dogcatcher, couch potato, tequila shot tester).

The thing is, there aren't a lot of people who do what it is they set out to do in life. Few people say, "I'm going to be president someday, I'm going to be the CEO of a billion-dollar company, I'm going to cure cancer" — then actually do it. It takes a rare breed to overcome life's many obstacles and do exactly what it is a person sets forth to do. But, it can be done. There are people who "make it."

The question is, "When is enough, enough?" If you've reached for the stars, touched them and were able to pocket a few, shouldn't that be the end of your stretching exercises? If you achieve your life's desire, is it fair for you to continue to glom stars? First you want to be the president of the United States, then you ARE the president of the United States, twice, and now you decide you want to be the next Oprah.

I refer, of course, to the esteemed Mr. William Jefferson Clinton.

Bill Doesn’t Have Dr. Phil

He didn't just say that he wanted to have a talk show ... do a little television maybe. He actually said he wants to be the next Oprah. At least that was the media's interpretation. (And we know the media ALWAYS interprets things dead on!)

If he did say it, it's a wonder the guy can find a pair of pants big enough to house his tremendous set of ... er, objectives.

Bill Clinton certainly had the educational background and practical experience as governor of Arkansas to be the leader of our nation. And he was obviously admired enough to hold that position for eight years. And while his fall from grace to disgrace was swift, and a slap in the face to many of his staunch supporters, he is still sought after for his opinions. He continues to find new ways to restore his reputation and reinvent himself. And he has made quite a lucrative career out of doing so.

He receives between $125,000 and $300,000 per speaking engagement. This is a natch (as in natural) because he's a former president and they all make big bucks for their speeches. But not many have taken home — as a matter of fact, no one else has — a whopping $12 million for his autobiography. It's the biggest payday ever for a book of this nature. (If Harry Potter were real, even HE couldn't even get that kind of dough for his bio!) And it's certainly not because people want to read about his policy ideals.

So now ... now Bill wants to be Oprah. Star stealer!

Admittedly, he could make quite the talk show host, as he is full of ... er, charisma. And even with his history of questionable statements, he still has more credibility than Geraldo. But folks, he's no Oprah.

Oprah has Dr. Phil. Bill will do well to get Dr. Ruth. She's got a book club (had). He'll have a cigar club. She has makeovers. He'll have layovers. She has the Angel Network. He'll have Charlie's Angels. She's in the kitchen with Rosie. He'll be in the hallway with her. She's "Making the Connection." He's ... er, "Making THE Connection."

You see what I'm saying here. There's no way he can be the next Oprah with people knowing about his proclivities. People at home during the day aren't going to watch Bill Clinton to be enriched with his political knowledge. They're going to want Former President Feisty Pants to be George Hamilton-esque, a Casanova legend with a Jerry Springer spin. Plus, he wants $50 million. They don't toss around that kind of cash in daytime television, and if they do ... well, they don't.

Word has been circulating that he was interested in taking over for Bryant Gumbel at CBS. This would make a lot of sense, but execs there say they've had no conversations with Clinton. He reportedly has had talks with NBC for an evening gig. There's no confirmation of this either. The truth is, he may have made a passing statement and it's made ... er, headlines. And that's what counts.

I'm sure Clinton's actually sitting in his Harlem office, feet up on the desk, stretched back in his leather executive chair, reading all these stories with a big grin on his face thinking, "Ladies and gentleman, Heeeeeeeere's Biiiiiiiillllllll!" This, as he quietly says to himself, "Reach for the stars!"

And on the subject of stars ...

Role Model Rules

It would be remiss of me not to mention the picture in the New York Post of Britney "Kool Filter King" Spears with a — gasp! — cigarette in her hand. This is the same Cosmo Fun Fearless Female that claimed, "But Rhett, I'd never smoke!" just two short years ago. OK, she didn't say that exactly, but she did say that she did not smoke, was not a smoker, etc.

And then, according to The Sun tabloid, ex-beau Justin Timberlake goes and blabs to a fellow airline passenger that Britney, despite her much-vaunted claims, isn't a virign after all.

Here's the deal:

If you fancy yourself a role model and you feel the need to tout your own virtues on not smoking and waiting until you're married to do the nasty, then it's simple — don't smoke where someone can take your picture, and don't have sex with someone who will tell people that you've had sex with them.

That's all.

I can't wait to hear what she has to say about the picture. Maybe she'll say she didn't inhale.

Funny — that's what Clinton once said.

Heidi Oringer is director of entertainment programming at ABCNEWS Radio.