Caitlin Rickard's column: Poehler-tics

As I’m progressing and settling into my new job here at The Democrat, I’ve found myself quickly submersed into all of the political goings-on of the area. Now, I was a journalism as well as a political science major, so you’d think I had already learned all there is to kn...
Jul 30, 2013

As I’m progressing and settling into my new job here at The Democrat, I’ve found myself quickly submersed into all of the political goings-on of the area.

Now, I was a journalism as well as a political science major, so you’d think I had already learned all there is to know about local government in college, right? (K)Nope.

It turns out Amy Poehler is my own personal governmental guru.

I guess now is just as good of a time as any to set the record straight – Leslie Knope has taught me most everything I need to know about local government.

For those of you who don’t appreciate quality television or comedy in general, Leslie Knope (played by Poehler) is the main character of the greatest and most underrated show on television, Parks and Recreation.

I don’t think I can even begin to accurately convey the comedic genius that is this show, so please, everyone join Netflix or tune in to NBC on Thursdays beginning Sept. 26 to see what I am talking about for yourself. And if you have ever watched Saturday Night Live, then you know the kind of wit and improvising that Poehler brings.

In a nutshell, Poehler plays the overzealous deputy director of the Parks and Recreation Department in Pawnee, Ind. She is paired with director of the Parks Department, Ron Swanson, who is the ultimate alpha-male and a government-hating Libertarian.

Add in a quirky nurse as Knope’s best friend, a helpless and overage wanna-be rockstar, an uninterested intern, and an annoying and underachieving assistant and you have the greatest ensemble cast imaginable played by other famed comedians such as Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones and Chris Pratt.

Throughout the previous five seasons, (spoiler alert) Knope has gone from an underappreciated staff member of the Parks Department to an influential city council member for Pawnee. The show is filmed like a documentary and uses it’s own special brand of sarcasm, self-deprecation and awkwardness to tell each episodes story. This show is like The Office…. if The Office were 10 times funnier.

Actual quote from Knope: “The bankrupt government of Pawnee has been shut down all summer so it’s been three months of no work, no meetings, no memos, no late nights, nothing. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

Over these past five years I’ve not only been entertained immensely as Knope has taken her crusades from small-town Pawnee to Washington, D.C., but I’ve also learned a thing or two about politics and the way local government is (loosely) run in the process.

So, how about Amy Poehler for president in 2016?

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