It's clever, the way the video uses the jukebox business from the last "Sopranos" episode to remind us of Hillary's theme song contest. In case you care, I'll just tell you that the winner is "You and I," sung by Celine Dion, and if for some reason, you actually want to listen to that song, click here.
So what do we think of this video? The NYT political blogger Kate Phillips proclaims it "the best campaign spot we’ve seen this season." I don't think so. It was amusing seeing a cameo from Johnny Sack, but I've got some problems.
1. Not everyone gets HBO, so you've got a cultural reference that's a bit elitist. And some people wait for the DVDs, and they rankle at spoilers. But maybe everyone's supposed to have heard about the ending by now. Still, it might rub you the wrong way, to assume familiarity with "The Sopranos." And lots of Americans don't even approve of watching a show that is permeated with violence, obscene language, graphic sex, and the subjugation of women.
2. Do we really want to think of Bill and Hillary sitting in for Tony and Carmela? Tony is a monstrous criminal and Carmela willfully blinds herself to his horrible flaws so that she can keep living in a highly desirable house. Are these good associations for Hillary?
3. Bill is a much better actor than Hillary, and this heightens the sense that she's a pale substitute for the old President we can no longer have.
4. 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.
ADDED: 5. The scene, as derived from "The Sopranos," is designed to create anxiety that an assassination is about to take place. Having Johnny Sack walk by and glare at her preserves that feeling of threat. It's supposed to work because with "The Sopranos," we were waiting to find out how the series would end, but here we are waiting to learn the outcome of the song contest, but it's pushing the envelope for the campaign to suggest an act of violence toward the candidate.
UPDATE: This post has spawned a whole subgenre of anti-Althousiana. I discuss that here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: I have another post on the subject here. Excerpt:
A quirky post about a Clinton campaign video touched off a giant blog swarm and what I think was my highest traffic day ever. Based on an earlier blog swarm last September, I now know that what sets the left blogosphere into intense, concerted action is calling attention to Bill Clinton's old sexual problems. I wonder why....
I just want to emphasize that I stand by my original sexual interpretation. You've got a married couple talking about two foods, one of which is obviously a hole, and the other of which is so clearly phallic that this Google search gets over 70,000 hits.
The man wants the hole-shaped item, and the woman forbids it. She insists that he confine himself to the phallic item, which has been sliced down to puny, thin stick form. The man looks at it sadly, and the woman tells him it's for his own good. If you don't see sexual imagery there, you exist on a very narrow band of human imagination....
When Clinton sadly bites into the carrot stick of his own castration, it makes a crunch noise -- ouch! -- and it's that noise that causes the ominous looking man at the bar ("Johnny Sack") to turn and look at him. He then walks by and gives him a glare. What does that glare mean in the Clinton video? I think it means: "What kind of man are you?"