March 29, 2008

Obama says the primary season is like "a good movie that lasted about a half an hour too long."

Is politics all about entertaining us and managing our moods and attention span? Does Obama more than Hillary Clinton think that it is? Or is he giving us something like the Janet Leigh perspective on "Psycho"? It was really great when I was doing so well, but then...

(I know there must be a more apt movie analogy. Can you think of something where an actor has a great role or plays the role very well, but is overshadowed or not up to the part in the last half hour?)

ADDED: You know if this campaign were a movie, Hillary would have to win... or at least "go the distance." She would be the central character, because the story is most interesting from her point of view. She's got a fabulous backstory, which includes suffering, but she starts out on top and full of hubris. Along come the one man who can block her path to fulfillment. She's torn down and laid low, humiliated once again. But she needs to learn to fight, and she's not going to give in. Come on, I'm getting chills just sketching it out. If the movie was about Obama, sure, it should have ended on Super Tuesday, with just an epilogue showing him in the White House. But if he's not the central character, we're still building toward the most thrilling climactic scenes.

54 comments:

Eric said...

Having just watched "No Country For Old Men," I'm going to say Josh Brolin in "No Country For Old Men."

Hazy Dave said...

I was thinking about Grizzly Man this morning for some reason, so I'm seeing parallels between the election season and a movie that starts out sort of interesting, if disturbing, becomes rather distasteful as hubris and egotism blossom, and loses my interest before the inevitable anticlimactic trainwreck at the end. That's Entertainment.

AllenS said...

Since we have three candidates at the present time, may I offer: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Ann Althouse said...

Hazy Dave! Long time no see!

But I love "Grizzly Man," the movie, but for the man, Timothy Treadwell, it would have been much better if he'd quit the movie he was making before that final part.

TMink said...

I bet the Senator from IL wants Senator Clinton to drop out. Pretty soon his negatives will be as bad as hers!

Trey

Meade said...

"No Country For Old Monsters"

Trooper York said...
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Middle Class Guy said...

This is like the song that never ends. It is entertaining though.

Fen said...

Obama says the primary season is like "a good movie that lasted about a half an hour too long."

Or "a good Sunday sermon that went off the rails with racism towards whites and Jews"

rhhardin said...

Song (YouTube) that never ends, from Tibet. The thing is pleasant enough.

rhhardin said...

con't

Though the music sounds Chinese, with the erhu and koto, unless they're also Tibetan.

Doyle said...

When he "was" doing so well?

Ann, it's all over. What are you talking about?

Palladian said...

I love seeing you fall on your face, again and again, Doyle. And as one who strews his own banana peels about, it's never a long wait.

Ann Althouse said...

You know, if this was a movie, Hillary would have to win in the end. Or at least "go the distance."

Ricardo said...

"Or at least 'go the distance.'"

Winning is relative. And when one door closes, another door usually opens. There's still the VP door.

There are a lot of movies about how people didn't get what they wanted, but actually ended up with something better.

Ann Althouse said...

So Ricardo, in your screenplay, the arrogant woman learns that what she really wants is to go home and grow old with her cuddly old scamp of a husband who really always loved her most of all. In the last scene, we see them snuggling in bed, watching tv in their pajamas, and on the tv is Barack Obama trying to use some contorted eloquence to get through a sticky press conference about some terrible scandal. They laugh and laugh. Fade to black. (No pun intended.)

George said...

Here's the dope on Hillary's church...written by a leader of a dissident Methodist faction.

Probably pretty typical, and Methodist radicalism is one of the reasons the denomination is shrinking.

Ricardo said...

Close. What I really see is a smart woman in some "undisclosed location" running the world, while a good-looking guy is giving noble speeches and suffering the barbs and wounds of arrows. Oh, maybe that movie has already been done. Or at least it's about to be done, by Oliver Stone.

Trooper York said...

My version would have her lose and go home and get tired of hanging around with the puffy philanderer so she drowns him in her bathtub and lives happily ever after with her lesbian plumber Gina Gershon.

Zach said...

The Usual Suspects comes to mind. Right after Obama secures the nomination, we get a call from Rev. Wright. As Obama ascends the podium, he slowly straightens and loses the limp...

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Bob Roberts, maybe?

(The mention of the end-scene made me think of it.)

Zeb Quinn said...

There are a lot of movies about how people didn't get what they wanted, but actually ended up with something better.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that more movies have that theme or sub-theme contained in them than any other single thing. But Hillary had her heart set on the presidency, and seemingly had it securely in her grasp, at least one point. Being VP is not better. I'm betting nothing is better to her. She'll be inconsolable, and she knows it, which is one thing that keeps her running.

Mortimer Brezny said...

But if he's not the central character, we're still building toward the most thrilling climactic scenes.

The thrilling climatic scene is when she regains sanity and grace and gives her concession speech.

reader_iam said...

Obama says the primary season is like "a good movie that lasted about a half an hour too long."

Uh-uh. It's more like a program which had a couple of good episodes back in season one, but then inexplicably stays on the air for years despite having gone to hell in a handbasket before the first repeats could air.

Palladian said...

"The thrilling climatic scene is when she regains sanity and grace and gives her concession speech."

Oh so if she gives up, she'll be in a state of Grace, for sacrificing her campaign for the sake of the Saviour, the Messiah, the Alpha and Obama? How uplifting! If only everyone would just accept the inevitable coming Kingdom, we could all live in that state of Grace.

O foolish men! Submit to the will of the Ascended one and enter the Promised Land!

reader_iam said...

The other thing that springs to mind is something that Jean Kerr, wife of theatre critic Walter Kerr, wrote decades ago, I think maybe in one of her pieces included in "Penny Candy." Anyway, in writing about how professional critic and innocent bystanders experience theatre, especially bad theatre, differently, Jean Kerr said something along the lines of:

The critic thinks, "My God, this is a bad play. Why is it such a bad play?"

Whereas the bystander thinks, "My God, this is a bad play. Why was I born?"

reader_iam said...

Why do I remember the obscure things that I do?

No clue.

AllenS said...

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Clinton

Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel, played by Bill Clinton, a flying squirrel, and his wife Bullwinkle J. Moose, played by Hillary Clinton, a dim-witted but good-natured moose. Both characters lived in the fictional town of Frostyounuts, Wisconsin, which was based on the real life city of Chapaqua, NY. The scheming villains in most episodes were the fiendish, but inept, agents of the fictitious nation of Rightwingville: Boris Badenov, played by Rush Limbaugh, and Natasha Fatale, played by Ann Coulter. Boris and Natasha were commanded by the sinister Mr. Big and Fearless Leader, played by Dick Cheney, who was always in character when cast in this kind of roll.

It's too early to tell if any of them lived happily ever after.

Daryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daryl said...

You all missed the REAL story. Here's what Sen. Obama also said:

I think giving whoever the nominee is two or three months to pivot into the general election would be extremely helpful, instead of having this drag up to the convention.

In other words, he wished he didn't have to keep saying all this stupid left-wing stuff just to dupe the base into thinking he was their man.

He would rather move to the center, and try to dupe moderates into thinking he was their man.

He promised to transcend politics, but he can't even transcend irony and hypocrisy.

It's time for his supporters to admit that they've been duped by a charismatic political cult leader.

Soon it will be time to break out the kool-aid.

Middle Class Guy said...

AA said…
In the last scene, we see them snuggling in bed, watching tv in their pajamas,…

I was thinking more on the lines of settin in their rockin chairs, on their front porch, in their coveralls, smokin corn cob pipes, with an old nasty dog at their feet. They would be complainin how that good ole Black boy dun them wrong. Ma and Pa Clinton!

Fen said...

What I really see is a smart woman in some "undisclosed location" running the world, while a good-looking guy is giving noble speeches and suffering the barbs and wounds of arrows.

That might actually work.

Unity ticket: Obama wins nom, he and McCain tour the country together by train, with a civil & honest debate at each stop. They agree to run an Obama/McCain ticket. Pres Obama handles the domestic side, VP McCain handles foreign policy, war on terror [including Iraq].

I'm willing to allow Obama whatever goofiness he wants as POTUS, so long as McCain is the one defending western civ from jihad.

Fen said...

/ya I know, but don't wake me up just yet

john said...

Middle Class Guy said...
AA said…
In the last scene, we see them snuggling in bed, watching tv in their pajamas,…

Well I was thinkin' that in the last scene they are sitting in a booth in their favorite restaraunt,
she pleasantly chiding the old scamp on his ordering onion rings,

he kidding her about that carrot,

no, wait ..

Fen said...

...and if Clinton wins the nom, McCain offers the VP slot to Obama. If Micheal Steele can mentor him on race relations.

Fen said...

Final scene of Unity Ticket:

McCain holds the stake steady; Obama hammers it into the Clinton-monster, dusting her.

The village rejoices. Rev Wright embraces a white man. And everyone salts Clinton's political grave, just to be sure.

blake said...

reader_iam is on to something.

It's "Valerie", only Valerie Harper's already been fired, and we're going along with Sandy Duncan and the supporting cast.

I don't know who exactly is "Valerie" in this scenario, unless it's the ghost of genuine leadership.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Obama says the primary season is like "a good movie that lasted about a half an hour too long."

Wow! So is that the intro to his concession speech?

Somehow I think not.

Doyle said...

Daryl -

That's a good catch, but I don't think the word "pivot" necessarily refers to a meaningful change in his policy positions. He will pivot to face John McCain, as opposed to Hillary Clinton. He'll officially have only one opponent, and will not have to argue that his health plan is universal enough, that he is sufficiently concerned about middle class job loss, etc.

Instead, he will begin making the argument against Republican policies, which I think will actually make him sound more liberal than he has up to this point.

And I know conservatives will never agree to this but I think all the available evidence suggests that Obama's policy positions are actually quite "centrist." The median voter wants US troops out of Iraq, wants government health plans to extend beyond Medicare/Medicaid, wants the Bush tax cuts repealed, and on and on.

Between that and the charisma, I think he's going to run the table on McCain.

knoxwhirled said...

It seems like most movies are way too long nowadays. Hardly find one under 2 hrs.

As far as the primaries I would agree with Obama, except this was only a "good movie" for about a couple weeks. Now it's just tedious.

knoxwhirled said...

Why do I remember the obscure things that I do?

but those are the best things to remember!

Chip Ahoy said...

Saying the primary season is like good movie that lasted about a half an hour too long shows a mastery of understatement.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Oh so if she gives up, she'll be in a state of Grace, for sacrificing her campaign for the sake of the Saviour,

She's already lost. There's nothing to sacrifice. It isn't giving up: she's not holding on to anything. But she could end on a high note and retain her dignity.

Middle Class Guy said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
She's already lost.

I don't know about that. Uncle Festus is out giving speeches and he looks like the cat that swallowed the canary. There may be a surprise in the works. There are still plenty of powerful misguided souls who rever Uncle Festus. They have deep pockets. Some have already written to Pelosi. Who knows how many more millionaires and billionaires are in Uncle Festus pocket.

I never under estimate dishonest, disingenuous, and corrupt people. They seem to have more than nine lives.

former law student said...

You know, if this was a movie, Hillary would have to win in the end. Or at least "go the distance."

Run Hillary Run! Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get. Stupid is as stupid does.

Middle Class Guy said...

FLS,

She even has her own Bubba. They can start the Bubba-Hump Frump company.

Paddy O. said...

I can't help think we're not at the beginning of the movie, but halfway through it. When this campaign started Hillary was above and beyond the establishment candidate. It was her race to lose.

She's not the hero, I think, unless we see the campaign only as beginning recently. She was certainly not the underdog going into this year.

I think of Hillary and I can't help think of her as being this race's Ivan Drago, from Rocky IV. She has the machine, the high tech equipment, the whole establishment on her side.

AllenS said...

MCG is correct, there are too many things that could go wrong for Obama. He could keel over from a heart attack. Debris could fall from outer space and conk him on the head. Hillary might be running with scizzors down a hallway, accidently trip and run Obama through.

Revenant said...

She's already lost. There's nothing to sacrifice.

Obama doesn't have enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination and doesn't appear likely to get them. Therefore, the nomination will go to whomever convinces enough of the superdelegates -- who are under no obligation to vote for the "leader" -- to vote for him or her.

Fen said...

And I know conservatives will never agree to this but I think all the available evidence suggests that Obama's policy positions are actually quite "centrist."

Abandoning Israel to the wolves is hardly "centrist".

The median voter wants US troops out of Iraq, victorious, with a presence in the region for another 100 years, according to BOTH McCain and Obama's military advisor.

Middle Class Guy said...

Fen said...
Abandoning Israel to the wolves is hardly "centrist".

Fen, you have to understand one thing. It is what has caused so much failure on our part in a peace accord for more years than I can remember. The State Department and the CIA are entrenched with "Arabists". Academics who have lost their objectivity and keep pushing the Palestinian and or Arab agenda. It has plagued every president since the creation of Israel- Democrat and Republican alike.

These are the high level, career civil service bureaucrats who cannot be fired. They are embedded in the system and have more power than the appointees. It is the reason that even thirty years ago, when we were warned of the terrorist threats against us no real action was taken.

I rememeber years ago a General in the Army- an intel specialist- telling me that one day we would be sorry because of those "over educated idiots" at State and the CIA.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Obama doesn't have enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination and doesn't appear likely to get them. Therefore, the nomination will go to whomever convinces enough of the superdelegates -- who are under no obligation to vote for the "leader" -- to vote for him or her.

If it were that simple, you'd be right. But Obama has the most states, the popular vote, more pledged delegates, has brought in more new voters, and raised more money. He's winning delegates 53%-47%. To win the superdelegates, he needs 32% of those now uncommitted. She needs 72% of those now uncommitted, and she has no argument for them to support her. What she'd need to do is, say, win decisively in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and North Carolina. That looks unlikely.

So to say it's all up in the air is disingenous. It is virtually impossible for her to win, rather easy for Obama to win, and everyone knows it. She's already lost, we're just watching the clock until the end of regulation.

Fen said...

So Mort, if Obama is trailing McCain by "x" percent in the general election, you'd advise him to withdraw?

Mortimer Brezny said...

So Mort, if Obama is trailing McCain by "x" percent in the general election, you'd advise him to withdraw?

The difference is that Clinton and Obama are competing for the nomination of the same party, and that party is very different and stands for different things than the other party, and the winner of that competition goes on to fight against the other party. If there were a world election after the general election, perhaps your hypothetical would have some relevance.