In February, Bill Maher donated $1 million to a Super PAC for President Obama. Maher still hasn’t heard from Obama. But he’s cool with that.
"I never expected anything back, and that’s what I’ve gotten," Maher says. "And that’s what it should be. Otherwise, it’s a bribe, and we have enough open bribery in America."
Maher – who performs Saturday and Sunday at the Orleans Showroom – says it makes sense for Obama to "keep his distance from someone who is as out-there as me."
Maher also wasn’t promised anything before he donated, such as an Obama appearance on his HBO show, "Real Time," which just got green-lighted for two more seasons.
Maher’s friends tell him, "Bill, for that money, shouldn’t you sit next to him at the State dinner?’ "
But Maher doesn’t see it that way.
"I didn’t look at it as I was giving it to him. I looked at it as, we only get two choices in this country. I feel America would be better with him at the helm."
It’s not like Maher has Obama worship. On "Real Time" and in his stand-up, Maher speaks out against certain Obama policies and capitulations.
"He’s disappointed me in many ways. But again, when you only get two choices, you gotta pick the better one," he says.
Maher remains "very happy" with his decision every time he sees Mitt Romney talk about going back to Republican policies that "got us into this mess."
"How a Republican can run on the idea of ‘I’m gonna fix the economy – the economy we broke’ – is beyond me."
Maher has a sharp analogy to sum up the just-completed primary season:
"It’s like ‘American Idol.’ You know how they have that whole part of ‘American Idol’ where they have the crazy people, and the people who live in tents, and then they get to the real singers?
"I think that’s how America views the election."
So in "American Idol" fashion, the primary was all about "Herman Cain, (Donald) Trump, Michelle Bachman and all the people in the clown car saying their crazy things.
"But now we have a real election."
Maher expects voting between Obama and Romney to be "real close."
His wish for Obama?
"I hope he finds his inner badass ninja and dices this guy within an inch of his life" metaphorically speaking, of course.
"Here you have the all-time flip-flop artist ever – a shapeshifter," he says. "Mitt Romney is everything people don’t like about politics, an oily salesman who will say anything."
WHAT BILL MAHER EATS
By the way, many friends told me they wanted to know what Maher eats, because Maher often addresses how Americans overeat processed foods.
He says he fields this question all the time, actually.
"For me, it’s pretty basic," he says. "I try to stay out of the processed food aisles. I try to stay away from stuff that has that long paragraph of ingredients ending with six words I can’t pronounce."
So he eats organic.
"The word ‘organic’ is the one word that still has a legal meaning. They’re trying to chip away at it. But it still has a legal meaning.
"And it has to do with not putting in things, like pesticides, fertilizers that are bad for you, antibiotics, hormones – all the stuff they use to plump up foods."
He doesn’t argue on behalf of vegetarianism.
"I myself almost never eat red meat, but I don’t know. I think the jury’s out on that.
"But," he says, "I do know if you’re going to eat meat, you probably don’t want to eat the way it’s processed in America – not to mention it’s cruel to animals, factory farming.
"You know, animals that stand in their poop all day and are fed corn instead of grass, which is what they’re supposed to eat, and are given antibiotics in their food – that can’t be good for you.
"I used to have that line about: We feed cows too sick to stand to people too fat to walk. That can’t be the right way."
Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Email him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.