Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Yes, we're all having a good laugh at phony-centrist righty blogger Ann Althouse's absurd Freudian reading of the "onion rings" line in the new Sopranos-themed Hillary Clinton campaign video, but I have to say I think the video is kind of awful -- Hillary's not much of an actress, the pacing is awkward, and it all just reminds you that while life got scarier all over the world, an utterly absurd vote on her campaign song went on for days.

...and resulted in the selection of a Celine Dion song. The Boomer candidate doesn't get that it's not the '60s anymore: popular music no longer creates common ground -- in fact, it often does just the opposite. Dion sells out Vegas, but she's hated -- hated -- by a segment of the population that's probably as large as her fan base. A lot of men, in particular, hate Dion -- and Hillary's having trouble winning men over, no? Polarization along such lines is just in the nature of popular music today. Why pick a song if it might be a big turnoff to some voters?

In fact, why pick a song at all? We're electing a president in 2008, not an alderman in 1956. Play music at campaign stops if you want, but this just seems old-fashioned and small-time, while the world burns.


In general, I don't know why people on our side have done such awful work -- at least this year -- in the video medium. Beyond this, there are the jaw-dropping near-Warholian Mike Gravel ads -- and if you think "Rock" was preposterous, you haven't seen the endless "Fire" yet. For the video-challenged, here's a summary:

In one, Gravel simply stares at the camera for a full minute and 12 seconds, then turns and walks a few steps before picking up a rock and throwing it into a lake. He then just walks away. In the second, Gravel is briefly seen gathering sticks and branches in the woods. He carries them to a fire and then viewers get a full seven minutes of watching the campfire.


When the video work of people on our side isn't inept or bafflingly art-damaged, it's harmful to Democrats' chances in '08. Remember "proud Democrat" Phil de Vellis giving us GOP talking points in the "Vote Different" (aka "Hillary 1984") ad? And "I Got a Crush on Obama" -- made by people who say they "like him" and "think he's really attractive and honest" -- was essentially a three-minute version of the "bimbo" attack on Harold Ford.

Why are we shooting ourselves in the foot this way? Why need videos that are made with skill and are able to appeal to a wide range of voters and are good for Democrats and bad for Republicans. It that too much to ask?


Oh, by the way, this is from Lucianne Goldberg today:

Not exactly calling Hillary a Nazi, but damn close, wouldn't you say?

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