Pundit Watch: Amy Holmes

Amy Holmes holds the pundit trifecta ticket: she’s black, she’s pretty, and she’s a Republican.

Or so she’s espousing these days. She’s gone on record in the past to say that she’s registered as an Independent, and that she privately harbors some fairly liberal views, including being strongly pro-choice.

Does being pro-choice prevent someone from being a conservative? Maybe, at least in the pure sense, since choice is traditionally a liberal position. But you’d think that holding such a position would definitely prevent someone from being a speechwriter for former Senate leader Bill Frist, which she was for three years.

The question for Amy Holmes is really this: are the things she says on CNN, FOX, and Real Time with Bill Maher really her opinion, or is she just spotlight-seeking? After all, this is the woman who in 2000 admitted to The Daily Princetonian that “I love photo shoots. I understand now why celebrities get addicted.”

Holmes, at this point, tends to run the Republican political gameplan. This is why she’s a guest on cable nets. She hits the most current conservative talking points, smiles pretty, and makes claims that are easy to disassemble with complex and prepared explanation, but are tough to refute effectively in the ten-second response time that Wolf Blitzer offers. But how much of her performance is an act, designed to win her the spotlight? How much of her political acumen has been perverted to garner her another shot at People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful list? How much of her punditry (whatever the hell that word means, really) isn’t so much based in sincere political discussion as much as it is based on what will get her more of those photo shoots she admits to cherishing?

Only Amy Holmes knows what lies in the heart of Amy Holmes, of course. And one would honestly hope that she is politically complex, holding both conservative and liberal ideas simultaneously. Most people are a mix of the two in some way—or at least its most interesting to hear those people, hear what they think. But Holmes doesn’t come across that way—at least not anymore, now that the spotlight is on her, and she’s discovered just how delightfully warm and bright it is, and how perfectly it makes her smile gleam. -- Teague Bohlen

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