Ten Moments When We Knew Seinfeld's Elaine Benes Would Be President Someday
Charting a path from the Upper West Side to the West Wing.
Election season encourages a look back at the times that shaped the candidates. And it was Must See TV that showed us that a former J. Peterman copywriter had what it took to one day become the leader of the free world. Here's how Elaine Benes of Seinfeld blazed the trail for Selina Meyer of Veep!
Practically A Kennedy
She was THIS CLOSE to becoming "Elaine Benes Kennedy Jr." after charming John-John in aerobics class. Maybe she reminded him of his mother. After all, Elaine's resemblance to Jackie O is what initially caught the eye of Mr. Pitt. He hired on the spot even though she didn't have grace, didn't want grace, and didn't even say grace.
Champion Of Women's Rights
Elaine's stance on a woman's right to choose not only cost her a potential boyfriend (who knew that hunky couch-moving guy would go on to become...JAG?!), but had her butting heads with Poppie, the Italian restaurant owner who was no fan of post-bathroom hand-washing. Stressing over their argument sends Poppie to the hospital, but that's what happens when you're on the wrong side of history.
Outspoken Healthcare Advocate
Don't bring your nasty cigarettes around here! Mets' star Keith Hernandez's cancer sticks cost him a shot with Elaine. ("You're like going out with C. Everett Koop!" - Jerry.) She also shames a pregnant psychic for smoking, a move that cuts the session short and leaves George in the dark about his future. Sorry fellas, but when you stick to your principles, sometimes there are casualties.
Friend To All Faiths, But A Pawn of None
Her "Shiksa-appeal" caused both Mr. Lippman and his son to renounce Judaism and had "every able-bodied Israelite in the county driving pretty strong to the hoop." Rabbi Glickman from her building provided a sympathetic ear, but he's a little loose with the state secrets. She's no tool of the conservatives, either: changing the radio presets in Puddy's car away from Christian rock and stealing his Jesus fish.
Proponent For A Post-Racial Society
Elaine proudly walked the streets of New York as part of an interracial couple. Well, sort of. She thought he was black (the hair, moved here from Africa) and he thought she was Hispanic (again with the hair, her name's Benes). Going on dates to Mexican restaurants made them both feel comfortable, until they discovered they were both white, and then they went to the Gap.
Unbound By Traditional Gender Roles
She more than holds her own among her male friends and colleagues and doesn't change her personality to fit what's expected. She's friends with former lovers, deftly manages friend-crushes, and still keeps her edge. If it's enough to keep George a little scared of her, she should have no problem standing up to Putin.
Ambitious And Entrepreneurial Spirit
She worked her way up from entry-level writer for the J. Peterman catalog to a stint running the company while the founder was out of the country on an opium bender. Along the way, she created the Himalayan Walking Shoe and the Urban Sombrero.
(Hi, Pharrell!) Those are the kind of out-of-the-box ideas that can revive a sagging economy.
Elaine talked a stranger out of a set of rare eyeglass frames from Malaysia just to spite that awful Jake Jarmel, and she nearly put the kibosh on the Morgan Springs-Poland Creek water merger ("Moland?"). Those instincts will come in handy when it's time to negotiate a new trade deal with China. Maybe fictional boyfriend and importer/exporter Art Vandelay should have listened more closely.
A Towering Intellect...Mostly
The problems of a nation require a leader with smarts and good judgment. And sure, there was one that IQ test where she scored 85, but she bounced back with a 151 on the retest. She needs to get some lovin' on the regular, though, or she turns into one of those people who stare at the spinning tire display outside of the auto shop.
No Dancing At The Inaugural Ball, Please
Everyone's got a weakness, I suppose.
Elaine's "full-body dry heave set to music" style will never fly with visiting dignitaries.