Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 5, 2007
By: Paul Glastris

SONG OF HILLARY... I'm wondering what people think about Hillary Clinton's new web video. It's an American-Idol inspired update on the contest to pick her campaign theme song and it's getting pretty good traffic.

Personally, I found it funnier than her last video, and actually quite charming in the way she pokes fun at her own hopelessly-uncool-aging-baby-boomer-listens-to-Stevie-Nicks persona. I showed it to my wife Kukula and she had precisely the same reaction: "charming." But my guess is that we're not the intended audience for these kinds of videos. Younger people are. And since we happen to have two such people living in our house, I decided to use them as a little focus group.

First, I showed the video to my 10-year-old son Adam. He was eating cereal at the time in front of the computer, toggling between game highlights on mlb.com and Weird Al Yankovic videos on YouTube (yeah, I know, I know, but we let him watch this stuff anyway). So it's possible that his heart and mind were not one hundred percent focused on my experiment. In any event, his response to the video was: "That made no sense."

Next, I played it for my 17-year-old daughter Hope, who graduates from high school tomorrow, and who consequently stumbled out of bed this morning at 10:15.

Her one-word response was: "Cute."

"Just cute?" I asked.

"It wasn't, like, thrilling," she added, "but it was funny."

So, there you have it: the Glastris family's take on Hillary's new video. I'll be interested to see if commenters agree more with my wife and me or with the kids.

Paul Glastris 1:47 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (40)

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Comments

[start comment] cute [stop comment]

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on June 5, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Painful. She executes it as well as could be expected, but it's conceptually just leaden.

Posted by: Swift Loris on June 5, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Is anyone gonna ask HRC why Carville is out there sucking up to Scooter? Doesn't she care about national security(much less having a union buster on staff)?

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on June 5, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Uhhh...I have to go with the kids on this one...I'll give it a B for thinking of it and B- for execution. Cute, but nothing that stands out, like this.

Clinton still comes across as ungenuine, which isn't a word...Not fake, but more like she's leading Storytime.

Posted by: grape_crush on June 5, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Is there a difference between "cute", "charming", and "makes no sense"?

Like we've never hung out with people who are cute and charming but make no sense.

Posted by: serial catowner on June 5, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with your 10 year old. It makes no sense.
(And I'm close to 40)

Posted by: Troy on June 5, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with your daughter: cute but not brilliant.

Posted by: Keith on June 5, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Contrived.


'nuf said.


Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on June 5, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

I've met Paul Glastris. I like Paul Glastris. Paul Glastris is(n't actually) a friend of mine (but still). I'd be a million times more interested in the Glastris family's reaction to the new Hillary Clinton bios--and to the bogus reporting of the Carl Bernstein book that appeared on page one of the Post, written by Baker and Solomon. (I've now seen the Bernstein book. Their "reporting" of what it says was inexcusable.)

This has gone on for the past 15 years. What is the Monthly's reaction?

Posted by: bob somerby on June 5, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

You, sir, are no Paul Glastris!!

Posted by: mk on June 5, 2007 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Your wife's name is Kukula? Lol!

Posted by: egbert on June 5, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Actually this exposes Hillary's greatest weakness: She is stiff beyond belief, and cannot have a light momoent even when she is trying to.

The video doesn't work, and Hillary still has not found a way to present a convincing human face to the voters. (I personally don't mind always-serious candidates -- but I'm afraid they don't win elections these days).

Posted by: JS on June 5, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

egbert's reading comprehension: 0

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'm no fan of Hilary the candidate, but I thought this video was great. She did two things that I have never, ever seen her do: look silly on purpose and insult ordinary citizens. I'll actually be looking forward to the next one.

Posted by: Tom Veil on June 5, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

It's well-known that Hillary excels at manufacturing and selling personas to meet political demands. What's amazing is how many of her fans keep buying them.

Posted by: rnc on June 5, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

What kind of child abuse is it to impose political movies on them first thing in the morning?

o-o

Posted by: Crissa on June 5, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

what did Fran and Ollie think?

Posted by: sean on June 5, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm probably the target audience for this: early 30-something techie.

I think it reinforced my image of Clinton as the conventional candidate. She's clearly not a native speaker of the YouTube video. She's just taken a 30-second ad spot and lowered the register to "casual kidder."

It's clear she's not taking it seriously, and maybe that's her point. I dunno. I've had enough of "charming" in our current president. I'd rather have an ass who can lead the country.

Anyway, the whole idea of YouTube is that it ISN'T made up of famous people. Sure, remixed videos of famous people, but otherwise dorks and nerds with cameras. It would have been much better to get Clinton the heck away from the camera and instead use text titles or a third person to help move the narrative along.

Look, you're Hillary Clinton. The "charming" pick-my-song thing is a bit below you. I've had enough of that with the nick-name heavy president. If you are looking for participation, take your audience seriously and ask them to produce an issue ad. If it's good, you'll put it on and give the submitter credit.

So she shot for "charming" and got it. But is that what she wants?

Posted by: daniel on June 5, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

President Hillary Clinton.

So right!

Posted by: futurelook on June 5, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

What's with Weird Al's popularity with kids? My two boys (early teen) have been passing around Weird Al YouTube videos as well the past couple weeks. His Bob Dylan anagram video is great.

Posted by: Fred F. on June 5, 2007 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, I'm actually substantially older than your kids, but I get good marks from the younger people (in the supposed target audience for this video) for being a clueful oldster.

I agree with your 10-year-old. That made no goddamn sense at all. It was not cute. It was not charming. It was mind-boggling. I couldn't tell if she was trying to insult me or she just didn't care enough to know better.

Please wake me up in mid-November 2008. I'm planning to spend the next several months in an induced coma to avoid risk of brain hemorrhage caused by prolongued exposure to this kind of inanity.

Posted by: s9 on June 5, 2007 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

ah, egbert:

your reading comprehension is apparently as weak as your spelling and logical thinking. kevin didn't write this post, and his wife's name is not kukula.

what kind of ass pokes fun at relatives of people he disagrees with, for things they have no control over? (chelsea clinton is ugly! paul glastris's wife has a goofy name!!)

you're both a coward and a fool.

BTW, i didn't really care for the video, but i suspect that hillary clinton is going to succeed at lowering her negative approval numbers. a point here, and a point there, a snappy comeback to wolf blitzer here, and a "cute" youtube video there, and the next thing you know, her negatives drop down to some normal level.

Posted by: keith on June 5, 2007 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

So let's change the thread. What song should she choose. My vote: Stuck in the Middle with You.

Posted by: Henry on June 5, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'll go with cute and moderately funny, but not exciting. But that is about as good as I want a president to be at that sort of thing.

Shocking - she adjusts her persona to meet the demands of the situation!!!! Maybe it is because I am probably older than most posters - I'm 49 - but I find that pretty normal.

Posted by: Dawn on June 5, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

What song should she choose? 'Wedding Bell Blues' of course. Look it up kids.

Posted by: Dawn on June 5, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

My favorite video in relation to Hillary is one that is in e-mail circulation at the moment. The title of the video is 'Oxyclinton' and is a spin-off of a Viagra commercial. Really pretty funny. For those of you who need help with Hillary, take a look:

Oxyclinton

Posted by: nepeta on June 5, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Since she's the living symbol of the soccer/security moms and authoritarian nanny statism, with her smug little "Democrats Care" permasmile, I suggest "Momma Don't Allow."

Posted by: Kevin Carson on June 6, 2007 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

Before saying whether or not you liked this video, answer this: Do you read BoingBoing.net, or Metafilter or Fark or whatever? If you do, this ad is targeted at you, and it is awesome. It's self-deprecating, viral, it makes the user community the focus, and it's funny.

I'm not saying I'm naive enough to start liking Hillary just because of this ad. But when I saw it, I went to my family's discussion board and posted, "OMG. Hillary Clinton's campaign staff totally understands the Internet demographic." It's like she made a campaign commercial just for people like me.

Posted by: Noumenon on June 6, 2007 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

What song should she choose? 'Wedding Bell Blues' of course. Look it up kids.

Posted by: Dawn on June 6, 2007 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

Her YouTube appeal for a themsong won't change my personal decision on whether I'd vote for her, but she comes off much better in that format than she does in many others.

Suggestion for her theme song?

Sure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-2JDeA1T8I

The Oxyclinton clip is incredibly lame, btw. The canned laugh track is pathetic.

js

Posted by: js on June 6, 2007 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

I had a mild epileptic fit, and I don't even have epilepsy. My right side seized up and I fell over an endtable. I landed on my elbow and I think I severely injured myself. The fish in my new fishtank died, either from the sound of Hillary's voice or the evil vibrations that her clip generated through the expensive speakers that I have attacked to the PC. I found myself coming to around 4 AM, and my eyes felt like someone had glued them shut with non-toxic glue. I was sweaty and my hair was plastered to the side of my face. I had a metallic, desperate taste in my mouth and drinking water made me retch.

In short, I don't really care for the clip.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I'd agree with the daughter. It's cute, but just barely. Somehow, there's a self-satisfied quality to it that turns me off. And the script is too predictable. But it's better to have light-hearted ads -- I credit Bill Richardson for starting that -- than to have all the Democrats attacking each other.

Posted by: peter A on June 6, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

I thought they were pretty good. Hillary generally is not very likeable, but I thought these were good for her and really better than most politician who try to act funny.

Kukula?

Posted by: brian on June 6, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you dare send me another Hillary anything-- if this country votes her President ---Heaven help us --- She is Jezebel of the 21st century--Evil---"Devil in a Blue Dress" would be appropriate-- like the one Monica wore or "She's just a Devil Woman" and Evil is her middle name.
Or title it Nappy-Headed Ho---She loves those filthy -mouthed "rapheads"

Posted by: bmanix on June 7, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you dare send me another Hillary anything-- She is Jezebel of the 21st century-"Devil in a Blue Dress" would be appropriate- Monica's or "She's just a Devil Woman"
Or title it Nappy-Headed Ho---She loves those filthy -mouthed "rapheads"-she's sucking up!

Posted by: bmanix on June 7, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you dare send me another Hillary anything-- She is Jezebel of the 21st century-"Devil in a Blue Dress" would be appropriate- Monica's or "She's just a Devil Woman"
Or title it Nappy-Headed Ho---She loves those filthy -mouthed "rapheads"-she's sucking up!

Posted by: bmanix on June 7, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you dare send me another Hillary anything-- She is Jezebel of the 21st century-"Devil in a Blue Dress" would be appropriate- Monica's or "She's just a Devil Woman"
Or title it Nappy-Headed Ho---She loves those filthy -mouthed "rapheads"-she's sucking up!

Posted by: bmanix on June 7, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you dare send me another Hillary anything-- She is Jezebel of the 21st century-"Devil in a Blue Dress" would be appropriate- Monica's or "She's just a Devil Woman"
Or title it Nappy-Headed Ho---She loves those filthy -mouthed "rapheads"-she's sucking up!

Posted by: barbara manix on June 8, 2007 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

I'm going to support Obama! Just posted a brick in his support at www.obamawall.com ...

He is just more "fresh" than ol' Hillary!!

Posted by: ObamaFan on June 13, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

That was a waste of time.

Posted by: Dave on June 14, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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