February 29, 2008

Let's watch the YouTubed Hillary ad that the NYT has frontpaged right now.



A commenter at the NYT blog post (where a click on the front page picture takes you) compares this ad to the famous 1964 ad for LBJ:



The Clinton ad is much mellower, lacking the drama of the child's daisy petal counting becoming a nuclear countdown and explosion, but it makes the same connections between our love for children, our desire for security, and a purportedly reliable candidate. I thought Clinton's ad was quite effective, even though I knew I was watching a Clinton ad, and it's the kind of ad that is supposed to work by drawing you in and only at length revealing what is being promoted. I am entirely jaded and not susceptible to believing what the ad is trying to tell me, but I still experienced the emotional impact. When the candidate was shown in the end, looking earnest answering the phone at night, I cried a real sob, for a tiny fraction of a second (before laughing at myself).

ADDED: And score one point for feminism if you didn't have a sexist reaction in the end when you saw Hillary Clinton on the phone. In fact, I'm impressed that this image wasn't nixed on the ground that too many people will see a woman on the phone and think: Women! Always yakking on the phone!

AND: The Hillary campaign deserves credit for getting everyone talking about this. And from our own comments here, Palladian:
Amazing, the last image of Hillary on the phone produced in me a quick pang of positive feelings for her. A moment of love for her. Notice how the whole commercial up to that point is colored in blues, almost monochromatic. Then Hillary pops onto the screen, all warm tones, lit by a warm yellowish light. We connect with the only other warm tones in the commercial, those of the lights on the outside of the home that begin the commercial, the warm windows and porch lights of home. Hillary is a beacon in a shadowy world of blue, just like home.

And she's damn well put together at 3 o'clock in the morning, isn't she?!

AND: A lot of you are noting that she's wearing glasses, but this is a nice touch of realism. Hillary wears contact lenses, and at 3 AM, she'd probably have taken them out for sleeping and would quickly put on glasses. Now, that doesn't explain the perfect suit jacket, gold necklace, and neat coiffure, but wouldn't it be hilarious if they showed her wearing a granny nightgown and sitting on the edge of the bed to take that phone call?

83 comments:

former law student said...

Hillary's arguments convinced me -- I'm voting for McCain.

The military hated Bill's guts; I don't think Hill will get any more respect than he did.

AShiningCity said...

This would be great-- instead of having Clinton on the phone at the end of the ad have...Chuck Norris.

Palladian said...

Amazing, the last image of Hillary on the phone produced in me a quick pang of positive feelings for her. A moment of love for her. Notice how the whole commercial up to that point is colored in blues, almost monochromatic. Then Hillary pops onto the screen, all warm tones, lit by a warm yellowish light. We connect with the only other warm tones in the commercial, those of the lights on the outside of the home that begin the commercial, the warm windows and porch lights of home. Hillary is a beacon in a shadowy world of blue, just like home.

And she's damn well put together at 3 o'clock in the morning, isn't she?!

Original Mike said...

What FLS said. Great McCain ad.

Windbag said...

Hillary copied the blue tone thing from Althouse.

Anytime people are crying for us to do something "for the children" you should watch out for two things--your wallet and your freedom--because they're coming for them both.

Doyle said...

You found an ad that exploited fears of terrorism effective? I'm shocked.

"If you were scared (and uninformed) enough to vote for Bush in 2004, vote for Hillary!"

Middle Class Guy said...

I would want someone who had real, verifiable and documented experience to answer that phone. It would not be Mrs. Clinton.

Palladian said...

That LBJ ad is brilliant, by the way. The Clinton ad, at most, effective.

Doyle said...

I would want someone who had real, verifiable and documented experience to answer that phone.

...like a septuagenarian with a bad temper.

Mortimer Brezny said...

She is wearing glasses. Does she even wear glasses? They're a prop. She stole those glasses from Sarah Palin.

ballyfager said...

The LBJ ad was NOT seen as brilliant at the time. It was seen as over thetop, which it was.

Roger said...

Would someone please tell me precisely what Mrs. Clinton's national security credentials are? She had one major task other than as ceremonial first lady functions which she failed miserably: health care reform. As far as 4 star generals endorsing either candidate, I am only aware of Tony McPeak (Obama) and Wes Clark (Clinton), and the latter's political fate depends on Ms. Clinton's success. And there are well over 100 active and retired 4 star officers. 2% isnt a very impressive number.

former law student said...

like a septuagenarian with a bad temper.

John's only got 11 years on Hillary. Cindy's much younger than HRC if it comes to that. Hillary's tantrums are fairly well documented, too -- a little googling will locate them.

Doyle said...

Roger -

Senate Armed Services Committee?

Doyle said...

Also, what were Ronald Reagan's nat'l security credentials?

rhhardin said...

I cried a real sob, for a tiny fraction of a second

Gender based interests are a terrible thing. They keep coming up on you.

Hillary on the phone doesnt' provoke a yakking reaction, but rather a domestic or medical crisis being handled reaction.

I think you're supposed to think of the medical emergency context.

Not in particular something nuclear. She's way out of her depth with that, and it wouldn't help to suggest that context to doubters.

Doyle said...

FLS -

Well I don't want HRC taking that call either.

Roger said...

Doyle: and that has trained her to do what in terms of responding to a crisis? Senators don't have to act nor is it their job to be commander in chief (Thank the Goddess for that!) Now, she did a pretty good job of insulting Dave Patraeus whose strategy and efforts appear to have worked; Oh yeah--and she did vote for the AUMF.

Middle Class Guy said...

Roger said...
Would someone please tell me precisely what Mrs. Clinton's national security credentials are?



Would somebody please tell me what credentials he has other than being an attorney and a ploitical wife? Her bio does not count.

Roger said...

Doyle: Reagan didnt run on his national security credentials. You are definitely NOT bringing your varsity game to this thread.

MadisonMan said...

I barely recognized her. I guess that's not an angle I'm used to seeing her from.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Hillary's pretty safe from the women-always-yakking reaction. I see Hillary on the phone, all I do is wonder whose head she just got done demanding.

Original Mike said...

In fact, I'm impressed that this image wasn't nixed on the ground that too many people will see a woman on the phone and think: Women! Always yakking on the phone!

What?

Some of the stuff you come up with, Ann.

Doyle said...

Reagan didnt run on his national security credentials.

LOL. Now that's varsity.

former law student said...

Pandagon commenters suggest a new line for Obama to plagiarize in response:

“Now one of Clinton’s laws of politics is this: If one candidate’s trying to scare you and the other one’s trying to get you to think, if one candidate’s appealing to your fears and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope.”

-Bill Clinton, 2004

Trooper York said...

Hillary Clinton: [phone rings]
[answers]
Hillary Clinton: Stop calling me you sick...
Officer Burroughs: Madame President, Madame President. We traced the call! It's coming from inside the house! The rapist is inside the White House. Do you hear me? It's coming from inside the house! You need to get out! Madame President?
[power goes out]
(When a Stranger Calls, 2008)

ricpic said...

...I cried a real sob, for a tiny fraction of a second (before laughing at myself).

Quintessentially female, or is it?

Maybe quintessentially human.

Please, please, go out and buy (or lend from your local library, as I did) I Hate My Neck by Nora Ephron. A book of essays by a woman of a certain age who is tough minded, warm and funny. The whole book relates to I cried a real sob...

Smilin' Jack said...

And she's damn well put together at 3 o'clock in the morning, isn't she?!

That's why it took her so long to get to the phone. McCain could start bombing Iran before Hillary even finished fixing her makeup.

Oops...did I just lose some feminism points?

Meade said...

Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...
Ring...

It's 3 AM in the White House. The phone is ringing but you have this thing about never picking up the phone until after the sixth ring because you want callers to never think you are overeager even though you're always up, coifed, and sitting at your desk.

Q:What do we do... she's not answering?

A: Call Zbigniew. He's up

George said...

Yes, as former law student immediately says...I, too, would have thought it was a McCain ad.

She looks like a corporate attorney taking notes on a client call. Or even his secretary. Nice glasses.

garage mahal said...

Damn this woman! She MUST be stopped before she runs another ad! This is WORSE than the Holocaust! Whaaaaaa!!!!

Original Mike said...

Oops...did I just lose some feminism points?

Some? I think you lost them all, Jack.

Roger said...

I gotta give the Obama campaign a lot of credit--they knocked this high hanging curve ball out of the park by portraying her AUMF vote as her red phone moment. Barely before the ink was dry on the Clinton press release. And the reaction to this ad on the NYT blog is vitrolic anti-Clinton.

(Of course I can see Bill answering the phone and doing the Gen Buck Turgidson thing in Dr. Strangelove: "Monica--I told you NEVER to call me at home.")

Middle Class Guy said...

What was that she said about ideas you can Xerox? She wins the Hypocrite of the Year Award.

This Woman is shameless, unethical, and amoral. She sneeringly accuses her opponent of using the words and ideas of others. She does the same thing and we are supposed to accept it.

Meade said...

emotional garage mahal

Roger said...

Doyle: you were probably a bit young for the 1980 election, but Reagan ran against a sitting president, and Ronaldus Maximus' main campaign themes were domestically oriented: smaller government, supply side economics, and opposition to communism. You can be forgiven your youthful oversight in 1980. ;)

ricpic said...

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

garage mahal said...

Meade
I was in Daily Kos/TPM mode, if you were wondering. I thought it was a good ad. I didn't see terrorists, nor was I "scared".

ZPS said...

Wouldn't the call go to voicemail after 4 rings?

Roger said...

Garage: While I don't put too much stock in the "fear" thing and think it a slur on the thinking ability of the majority of Americans, you might want to check the NYT blog comments--Hillary is being accused of being Karl Rove in drag (ewwww--thats a nasty thought).

rightwingprof said...

I agree with Jim Geraghty. It's a great ad for McCain -- not unlike Obama's last ad. If they keep this up, McCain won't have to produce any ads, he can just let the Democrats do it for him.

the-exterminator said...

Hillary did an excellent job making her case over Obama, but she let it get away too. The commercial made McCain an even more obvious choice.

I admire LBJ's ad as one of the most controversial and effective ads ever made. Hilldog could've done a lot to make the ad even more effective through more graphic imagery. Hilldog could make this ad into an entire series of ads that could scare voters into voting for her over Obama. Fear could be the greatest motivator for voters to choose her over Obama, we can't hope our way out of a terrorist attack.

Original Mike said...

And the reaction to this ad on the NYT blog is vitrolic anti-Clinton.

What did Hillary expect? Her argument is a good one, but it ain't gonna fly with Democrats.

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
froggyprager said...

When I saw this I can't help but thinking about how Hillary acted when Bill got calls like this at 3:00 am. I have this sitcom imagine in my head of Mike and Carol Brady in bed and the phone rings. This whole thing would make a good SNL skit.

Mortimer Brezny said...

A lot of you are noting that she's wearing glasses, but this is a nice touch of realism.

Nope. Just an attempt to make her look trustworthy and in charge.

Skipper50 said...

Hey, hey, LBJ! (Is he running?)

Middle Class Guy said...

It’s 3 AM.

Do you know where Bill Clinton is?

RJ said...

You know, every time I see a Clinton or Obama ad like this one, or hear them argue in a debate over who is more committed to taking over healthcare and destroying free trade, I like McCain more and more. I think a lot of conservatives who were hoping for somebody else are going to feel the same way come November.

garage mahal said...

Roger
Let 'em yap. In case you haven't noticed, they've infested even the far most reaches of the internet. They just hysterical that Hillary and her supporters don't roll over and submit. Though Obama's call for unity and bi-partisanship may include everyone, they don't include her.

DADvocate said...

I think the phone should have been red.

Redstate has already altered the ad to run for McCain.

Original Mike said...

MCG said: It’s 3 AM. Do you know where Bill Clinton is?

Ya know, Hillary may have taken more middle of the night security phone calls then we'd care to know about.

Middle Class Guy said...

George said...
She looks like a corporate attorney taking notes on a client call. Or even his secretary. Nice glasses.


Now there is an idea. A way to unite the Democratic party and make everyone happy. When Barack Obama gets the nomination, he can offer Hillary an olive branch. He can offer her the job of his secretary.

Dave said...

Reagan had the good fortune to run against perhaps the worst foreign policy president in history. All he had to do was to say, "Whatever Jimmy Carter is for, I'm against."

I mean, ideology aside, the American public obviously rejected Carter's vision.

Dave said...

Reagan had the good fortune to run against perhaps the worst foreign policy president in history. All he had to do was to say, "Whatever Jimmy Carter is for, I'm against."

I mean, ideology aside, the American public obviously rejected Carter's vision.

Doyle said...

I wasn't disputing that Reagan didn't run on his national security credentials. I was laughing at how bad an argument that was if you're going to demand that people tell you "precisely what her national security credentials are."

She's not running on an overtly militaristic campaign like McCain (nice logo, sir!). She's running on HEALTH CARE and the ECONOMY. The problem she faces is that the only way to counter the damage her Iraq vote did to her is to play the role of liberal hawk. Unafraid to drop bombs, etc. etc.

That's why she'd be so dangerous as a president. She'd feel overwhelming pressure to nuke Country X before Bill Kristol could even write a column urging her to do so.

But there are people like Ann who think that kind of alarmism is just what we need. After all, Iraq has been such a boon...

Herve said...

I guess that warm yellowish light means the Clintons haven't gotten rid of the old incandescent bulb on the nightstand yet.

Rob said...

It's a pretty good commercial, though probably for McCain more than Hillary ... in fact, when McCain goes up against Obama in the general election, he should probably use a variant of it, and, if asked, give Hillary credit for it!

ricpic said...

That's why she'd be so dangerous as president. She'd feel overwhelming pressure to nuke country X...

Actually, whether Hillary or Barak is our next president, it would make a great deal of sense for either one to act a little crazy in his/her first 100 days. Whether it would be sinking part of the Iranian navy or ordering the Marines to make a quick strike into Osama country in Pakistan, the message to Russia/China/N. Korea would be: this president is hair trigger crazy, we better go easy. But, of course, HillBama is too stupid to do any such thing. No, it'll just be appeasement 24/7 for four years.

Original Mike said...

ricpic: Obama has already threatened to attack Pakistan.

Blake said...

Can't we all just get along?

Why don't we start the commercial with Barack, Hilary and John in bed?

Then we can cut to someone more reassuring answering the phone.

Yippee kay yay.

Eric said...

I read the comments sections on lots of blogs. This is one of the most interesting I have yet seen. There is a bit of hammering on each other, but nowhere near the level of vitriol found on most.

Pogo said...

Obama's response to the 3 a.m. call will be to launch 51 intercontinental ballistic lawyers at Iran for an Emergency Summit to determine the Degree to Which the US Shall Bow and Scrape.

Original Mike said...

That was funny, Blake!

Country Squire said...

You have got to be joking!!! This commercial is beyond rich.

Who do I want answering the phone in the White House at 3:00 A.M.? It sure isn't Clinton or Obama.

Talk about an area where John McCain is vastly superior to any Democrat. I kept waiting for for him to poke his head in at the end of the ad like Porky Pig and say "Ah jus, ah jus, ah just kidding folks! I'm John McCain and I'm gonna answer that phone!

Anthony said...

I too thought this was a McCain ad until the end. Granted, I am a McCain supporter (and have been since the campaign began), so maybe I am projecting.

The Ghost said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony said...

As for the LBJ ad -- my parents (Goldwater voters) used to tell a bitter joke, popular in the late 1960s I understand, that went something like this:

"I was told if I voted for Goldwater, we would be at war in 18months. I voted for Goldwater and we went to war"

In hindsight, sort of like me telling Democratic friends in 2000 that a vote for Gore was a vote for an activist, interventionist foreign policy.

The Ghost said...

"Amazing, the last image of Hillary on the phone produced in me a quick pang of positive feelings for her."

I have to agree. Of the 3 candidates remaining for the Presidency, I put Hillary as 3rd on my list. But the glasses-and-paperwork shot visibly reminded me of the fact that, although I'd hate her governance, I'd much rather have her as President in a major-league crisis than Barack Obama.

Of course, there have only been two major-league crises of that caliber in the last 100 years.

titusarabesque said...

I think the ad woud of been better if she would of been on the phone wearing some dominatrix outfit with Bill in the back porking some tramp.

Balfegor said...

The problem she faces is that the only way to counter the damage her Iraq vote did to her is to play the role of liberal hawk. Unafraid to drop bombs, etc. etc.

That's why she'd be so dangerous as a president. She'd feel overwhelming pressure to nuke Country X before Bill Kristol could even write a column urging her to do so.


Doesn't this really apply with a lot more force to Obama? People are kind of used to the thought of Hillary Clinton as a realist and a hawk. Obama, on the other hand, felt the need to close some of the macho deficit by boasting about how he would invade Pakistan if the Pakistanis didn't do our bidding. You think he's suddenly going to grow up when he gets the Presidency?

MadisonMan said...

When did front page become a verb? Did I misplace a memo?

Blake said...

You must have missed when they front paged that.

mark said...

Myself, I'd prefer a White House communications office to take the call at 3am. And it should take a whole lot more people up and working on an issue before they knock and wakeup the President at 3am.

On a more serious note, hasn't this sort of thing not worked for Clinton in these primaries? It's been pretty obvious that nobody but her most ardent supporters are buying into the "35 years of experience" message. She's a lawyer and a recent Senator. So's Obama. Not a lot of difference between them when it comes to experience. And if we bring her First Lady years into this, she couldn't even put a stop to bimbo eruptions or Monica. Neither of them should be within a CEP radius of any White House phone.

Balfegor said...

Not a lot of difference between them when it comes to experience.

Hey, she's been a Senator more than twice as long as he has! Admittedly, we're dealing with pretty small numbers here, but that's not a trivial difference.

Tom said...

Why are the letters "NIG" on the child's pajamas?

PatCA said...

The last scene misses. "If you elect me, I will sleep in my pantsuit and pearls just in case that telephone rings."

It's sort of confused, like her campaign. I'm sorry she has never told us what she really cares about, besides her ambition.

Fen said...

garage mahal: I didn't see terrorists, nor was I "scared".

If you did see terrorists, would you puff up with false bravado and then promptly go Ostrich? Or would you take responsible and measured action to defeat them? In short, would you behave like a child or an adult?

Because the way the Left talks about it, I wonder if they truly understand the meaning of courage.

And they confuse "fear" with recognizing the threat and taking appropriate action to counter it.

Ann Althouse said...

Tom, you are right. I'm going to do a separate post about it. I'm sure the pajamas say "good night" as a pattern.

Edward Cropper said...

What candidate has any experience dealing with a nuke attack at 3 in the morning?
They all are so full of themselves it is enough to make you GAG.

former law student said...

When did front page become a verb? Did I misplace a memo?

They back doored "to front page" though some thought they should have back burnered it.

Jim said...

No President would ever answer the phone at 3:00 a.m. Presidents have people to do that for them! The Clinton campaign ad is powerful and moving but still a baloney-laden campaign ad.