I first started using that phrase in Texas in the '80s. There's a needy quality that actors and politicians have, but there's also an element of caprice to any political career [just as there is for any struggling actor who beats the odds to become a star]. Both take a lot of talent and drive and discipline, but there's also the element of lightning striking.
--Clinton-Gore strategist Paul Begala, who may have coined the phrase "Washington is Hollywood for ugly people," on why the analogy is apt. HT: Justin Wolfers