IT'S ALL been set aside now as some kind of "misunderstanding," but for a tiny moment there we thought we saw evidence of an historic reapproachment between two traditional antagonists: the Politician and the Media Heavyweight. Ever since Spiro T. (Ted) Agnew bitterly accused television's most important people of unauthorized and irresponsible use of their eyebrows, it has been just one dammed thing after another in the war of attrition that no one seems to know how to end. So the news that Independent candidate for president Rep. John Anderson was considering as his running mate none other than television's own giant enchilada, Walter Cronkite, looked to be the long awaited break. But Mr. Cronkite's hospitality to the invitation having now been pronounced a misunderstanding, the thing is over.
But should it be? Must it be? Why limit out tickets to professional politicians? Why not seek out running-mates from local and national television for our presidential candidates? The practice could heal a rift between these two great segments of our society. It could put charisma in the hands of candidates who know what it is and how to use it. It could make all the difference. Teddy and Willard -- we start there. Surely Senator Kennedy would be best served by the great weatherfigure of the Today Show who has never once in all his broadcasting years been accused of shouting, shrillness, stridency or wanting to impose wage and price controls.
Might not John Connally actually have stayed the course if only he'd had the wit to announce his intention of taking aboard J. R. Ewing of the "Dallas" series? Do you dispute it? Talk about continuity and consistency and leadership and projecting power . Talk about manhood and free enterprise and socking it to the Sony set.
J.B. and J.R." -- the dream ticket. Almost as good as Reagan and Radner or Ron and Gilda as we have come to think of the alternative. The resonant slogan writes itself: the business of America is show biz. Miss Radner, otherwise and most exquisitely known as the inexpressibly awful Roseanne Roseannadanna of Saturday Night Live, would be the perfect balance for the former governor of California. She picks up precisely that part of the late-night viewing electorate that is not only lamenting the temporary absence of old Reagan movies, but which actually tends to abominate Mr. Reagan. She would also be perfectly poised to take votes away from the menacing Barry Commononer-LaDonna Harris ticket, which boasts the only other person running for V.P.
We're not going to do it all for you. We'll just suggest a few further, obvious match-ups. George Bush needs Davey Marlin-Jones. Jimmy Carter needs the Maytag Repair Man. You take if from there.