- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Jon Voight is a silver-screen conservative who considers the final speech of George Washington bedside reading. He is much moved by American mettle, military veterans, historical moments, Old Glory and youthful spirit.

And he’s fierce about the state of his country. Very fierce.

“Democracy is an extraordinary adventure. It’s difficult, full of daring and risk and danger. But it’s the greatest gift we have,” the Academy Award-winning actor said Tuesday during a visit to The Washington Times newsroom.

“The people who voted for President Obama are just beginning to wake up to exactly what they brought in. The ‘change’ they envisioned is not the ‘change’ they have gotten.” Mr. Voight said.

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He likens the Obama administration to a Hollywood script, rife with technique and craft, very compelling but not necessarily real.

“It is a very, very slick, relentless campaign to build Obama as the answer to all our needs. They know what people want and they give it in a package that can be read off a teleprompter. That’s not what our country is based upon,” Mr. Voight said.

He offered a terse review of the principal player.

“Obama is a very good actor. He knows how to play it. And he is very adept at creating this ‘Obama’ - this character who is there whenever the world needs something,” he said.

Mr. Voight knows about acting - he’s been a Hollywood icon for decades, first breaking through to audiences and grabbing an Oscar nomination for his role in 1969’s “Midnight Cowboy.”

He won the Academy Award as best actor for his role in the 1978 film “Coming Home” (ironically, liberal icon Jane Fonda won for best actress in the same film). His other famous 1970s roles include “Deliverance” and “The Champ.” More recently, his turns in “Runaway Train” and as broadcaster Howard Cosell in “Ali” brought him his third and fourth Oscar nominations.

But Mr. Voight is no curmudgeon railing against change and pining for the old days.

To current audiences, he may be best known as the father of Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie. But he has raised his profile, not just politically, with a major small-screen role as Jonas Hodges in the current season of Fox’s “24.”

And The Times interview was the second occasion in two days that the actor has gone after Mr. Obama. On Monday, he stood before the National Republican Congressional Committee and delivered a speech to rally the party: 2012 beckons.

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