Inside the Beltway: Chelsea as her mother?

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Chelsea Clinton already has broadcast experience as an NBC News correspondent. But could she play her own mother, cast in the role of a young Hillary Rodham Clinton in the upcoming independent film “Rodham”? The prospect has been raised by nimble Paddy Power — Europe’s largest online betting house. It’s already offering odds on which Hollywood starlet would be cast in the film, which chronicles the life of a 20-something Mrs. Clinton decades before she became first lady, senator, presidential hopeful or secretary of state.

At 8-to-1, it’s Amanda Seyfried; Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon and Katherine Heigl are offered at 10-to-1. At the end of the rather lengthy list that also includes January Jones and Kate Hudson appears none other than daughter Chelsea, at 250-to-1.

Needless to say, Paddy Power is also offering bets on who would play Bill Clinton, with Jake Gyllenhaal offered at 9-to-1 odds, followed by Tobey Maguire at 10-to-1. The 27-man list of possibles also includes Josh Brolin, Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Ryan Gosling and Jon Hamm.

HILLARITY

Public interest remains intense about the aforementioned “Rodham,” despite the fact that news of the project went public six months ago with much ado. Why is that? Easy. There’s a titillating sequel to the story, which could explain continuing press interest.

At least two news organizations got hold of an advance copy of the script, revealing that the film could include, uh, suggestive scenes centered on Mrs. Clinton’s romantic liaisons with Bill Clinton, a law professor and long distance boyfriend at the time, rather than president and husband.

Screenplay writer Young Il Kim has already ramped down the notion. “I didn’t write ‘50 Shades of Rodham,’” he told The Daily Telegraph, declaring himself to be “a boring prude” and ultimately sidestepping the big question about sex scenes.

“It’s an evolving process, so I don’t know. She was an attractive 26-year-old with an amazing future. And that’s our thematic focus,” Mr. Kim said.

BIG, SCARY GOVERNMENT

The notion that the federal government is too big and too feisty appears to be entrenched in the public mindset. At the moment, 54 percent of Americans say the federal government today has too much power, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

And behold the partisan divide: 76 percent of Republicans but only 32 percent of Democrats agree that the government has too much power. There’s also growing uneasiness.

While tea partyers and other liberty-minded folk have been criticized in the recent past for fearing their rights could be imposed upon, the idea has taken hold of many Americans.

“Do you think the federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens?” the Gallup pollsters asked. Forty-six percent of the respondents said yes; 60 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats agreed with that.

The fear appears to be growing: Just 30 percent felt that way in 2004, and the numbers have lingered above 45 percent for four years

What most troubles the public? Gallup asked this question during an identical poll in 2010; respondents were uncomfortable with “the government’s having too many laws, being too involved in citizens’ lives, threatening freedom of speech, imposing health care laws, and being ‘socialist’ in general.”

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