Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hillary Sopranos Spoof

Genius. Link.

Compare it with the earlier, also genius, spoof of the iconic Apple MacIntosh commercial.

Anything which softens Hillary's sharp edges is genius. Any process which gives Hillary a) a script and b) unlimited takes in which to look softer, is genius. Anything which hints at humor (a spoof) is genius. Hillary's people are genius.


  • Hillary and Bill can be legitimately compared to a crime family. This commercial spoofs that comparison, and blunts its eventual impact.
  • Hillary is just regular folks - just like you and me! Journey sings in background: "Just a smalltown girl" -Hillary looks up expectantly towards the love and light of her life: Bill. In the pause between Journey lyrics, camera cuts to Bill. In the instant before the next Journey lyrics begin: "Livin in a lonely world" -camera cuts back to Hill. She is smiling good naturedly. Thus, the message: Bill is the lovelight of her life; he hurt her; she understands and accepts the bumps in life with well-grounded, good-natured, good humor. This is a critical resonation. It is the Hillary campaign's answer to those who are offended that she remains married to Bill for reasons of her own ambition. Its not about ambition AT ALL, doncha see! The girl loves the boy! This commercial is so brilliant it takes my breath away.
  • Chelsea! Chelsea! Chelsea! Chelsea makes an unseen appearance(wordplay! heh). Hillary NEEDS to be seen as a Mom, instead of a cold, calculating beyatch.
  • The carrots!* Hillary says: "I'm watching out for you." This is a major theme of Hillary's campaign. Women, especially, want to feel government is watching out for them/taking care of them/protecting them. This is focus grouped. The carrots/watching out for you also symbolize health care - which is a huge issue for women voters. There's another message here: Government knows best. Hillary represents government. Hillary IS government. She knows best.
  • The songs in the jukebox are aimed at various demographics. Shania Twain: Rock the Country - check that demographic group off. The Temptations: Get Ready - Hillary is coming to right all wrongs. (You think this stuff is accidental?!) Smashmouth: I'm a Believer - young people respond to a motivating cause they can believe in - and thus, miraculously, get up from their video games and go vote. Every viewer looks into the jukebox, and sees what they want to see. Some will look right past Shania Twain, and then zero in on Smashmouth, for instance.
  • Hillary: "Well, like you always say, focus on the good times." For conservatives, thinking back on Bill's "End of History" unserious Presidency, that statement scares them to death. Yet, for potential Hillary voters, this is a message that she will carry on Bill's wonderful legacy. Note Bill's look of pride.
  • Hillary will be laser focused on women voters. She has a problem with older women voters. She has a problem with red state women voters. And she needs to drive young women voters to the polls. Note the middle-aged woman at the adjoining table. Hillary literally turns her head towards her. Hillary is literally, physically "watching out for her". This woman is unmarried. This woman is having lunch with her parents on a Saturday afternoon - this points to what a wonderful person she is. She is "watching out for" her parents. She needs someone in Washington who will "watch out for her". She needs to feel safe and nurtured and protected by someone other than her cat and her two dogs.
  • The table of children/cub scouts is aimed at both older women voters and red state women voters.
  • The sweetly presented young couple in the corner booth are aimed at young women voters. Hillary is especially focused on women voters in college and just out of college. Such young women usually do not bother to vote. If Hillary can drive this demographic to the polls, they could nudge her over the top. This demographic will heavily trend Democratic. Also, this likable young woman is plausibly of Latin heritage. Another demographic group checked-off. How I would hate to be a Dem candidate: my life, my policies, and my Sopranos spoof commercials would be about interest groups.
  • The bad/mean guy rudely staring at Hillary? He represents Republican extremist haters! Hillary and Bill squench faces at each other. Hillary and Bill are rational moderates. No rational moderate can understand Republican extremist haters (thus: there is no need to even CONSIDER their policy opinions - they are haters!). What is UP with those right-wing haters?! Hillary and Bill are just folks - they are not criminals - they are just like me and you. Those "vast right-wing conspiracy" people make me so mad. Those "men who are threatened by powerful women" make me so mad. Who can understand where their hatred comes from?! Ohhh, I just hate those people! Poor Hillary. She has to overcome so much. Notice how Hillary STANDS UP TO HIM via returning his stare. She is standing up for all of us against those haters! Hillary is so brave. I love her so much!

Final note: there was a booth of two token gay black men - probably cousins to the "Token" character on Southpark. For me, this echoes beyond a knowing nod at two interest groups. This booth of two middle class black men (in Chappaqua, NY? - well, they are gay men) is redolent of exactly how the Democratic Party has used and abused black people for several decades. Democratic Party policies have been a slow-motion nightmare for black people in America.


*Ann Althouse has tons of provocative, mostly unserious fun with a carrots-as-phallic-symbols observation. Carrots have ALWAYS been phallic symbols, doncha know? Look at how Hillary ordered carrot sticks! She is cutting Bill down to size! She is cutting those pompous men politicians down to size! Carrot sticks symbolize that Hillary rules over all penises! Carrot sticks mean Hillary rules Bill -or at least gives him some well-deserved, satisfying guff. Carrot sticks mean Hillary is striking a blow for every woman who has been wronged by a jerky man. Such woman can say: We are all Hillary now. Lets make it a slogan. Lets chant it. Althouse:

Maybe you just sit there pleasantly and think: Isn't it clever for Hillary to use the "Sopranos" scene as a device for informing us about her new campaign song and to include some cute business where she alludes to her concern about health care by having a nice bowl of carrots instead of the onion rings they had on "The Sopranos"? If so, aren't you the good little voter, accepting the message Senator Clinton hoped to insert in your receptacle of a brain? The famously controlled former First Lady is pleased there are people like you.Me, I'm not so obedient.

Even though I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and may very well vote for Hillary, I don't accept these things at face value. What's more I love a ripe opportunity for interpretation, including comic interpretation with sexual, Freudian content. What are you going to say: "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"? You simply cannot say that when Bill Clinton is in the picture. In the whole history of the world, if there is one person for whom a cigar was not just a cigar, it's Bill Clinton.

So here's the passage -- ooh, a passage! -- that got people so excited[in her previous post]:

Bill says "No onion rings?" and Hillary responds "I'm looking out for ya." Now, the script says onion rings, because that's what the Sopranos were eating in that final scene, but I doubt if any blogger will disagree with my assertion that, coming from Bill Clinton, the "O" of an onion ring is a vagina symbol. Hillary says no to that, driving the symbolism home.

She's "looking out" all right, vigilant over her husband, denying him the sustenance he craves. What does she have for him? Carrot sticks! The one closest to the camera has a rather disgusting greasy sheen to it. Here, Bill, in retaliation for all of your excessive "O" consumption, you may have a large bowl of phallic symbols! When we hear him say "No onion rings?," the camera is on her, and Bill is off-screen, but at the bottom of the screen we see the carrot/phallus he's holding toward her. Oh, yes, I know that Hillary supplying carrots is supposed to remind that Hillary will provide us with health care, that she's "looking out for" us, but come on, they're carrots! Everyone knows carrots are phallic symbols. But they're cut up into little carrot sticks, you say? Just listen to yourself! I'm not going to point out everything.

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