Thursday, June 5, 2008

Free Falling

Way back at the beginning of the Presidential campaign (God, we were so innocent then)Hillary Clinton's biggest problem was what theme song to use. For a time, she was using Tom Petty's "American Girl", because people often don't really listen to lyrics. "American Girl" contains the wonderfully prophetic lyric, "God, it's so painful, Something that’s so close, And still so far out of reach.” At the time, Hillary's nomination was consideered inevitable. Now you can find myriad stories on "What went wrong?"
Was it this or this or this or this or this? People look at Obama without a flag lapel pin and decide that he is unpatriotic. Do people look at the fit of Hillary's pantsuits and decide that she must be smuggling illegal aliens strapped to her thighs (a practice which may or may not be un-American but is a crime of fashion, which is what women in public life are judged on)?
None of these is the reason she lost. She lost because she was considered inevitable. As soon as people got that message, Hillary Clinton became Bruce Willis in "The Sixth Sense". Some kid should have told her, "My secret is I see dead candidates." Barack Obama was the underdog. Americans love an underdog, right? Not exactly. The reason we root for the underdog is that we love to see the mighty fall. "The Tortoise and the Hare" is not a popular fable because tortoises are cute and cuddly (they are not); it is popular because we want to see the smug, self-assured hare take a fall. America loved Britney Spears until she became too successful, then we ate up the scandal rags who dragged her down. When Hillary became recognized as inevitable, she might as well have gotten drunk and driven around with Chelsea on her lap (a fantasy I've had ever since Chelsey matured).
Many years ago the Dallas Cowboys were dubbed "America's Team" and that's when America began to hate them. But the biggest sports evil is the New York Yankees, the "Damn Yankees" (they are so hated there is a play about the dream of their defeat.) The Yankees are hated because for so many years they have been the best team, the team to beat. We''ll root for any underdog to beat them. When Hillary Clinton began her long campaign for the Presidency, she moved to New York, became a Senator and adopted the Yankees are her favorite team. How could she miss the implications? Did it never occur to her to pick the Mets? And what state does Senator Obama represent? Illinois, home of the Cubs. Who wouldn't root for the Cubs to whip the Yankees? (Side note: the "inevitable" Republican nominee at the beginning was Rudy Giuliani, who is from what state?)
Toward the end, Hillary got it. Senator Obama became inevitable in some people's eyes. Hillary started comparing herself to Rocky going up against Apollo Creed. She switched Tom Petty songs and chose "Won't Back Down". It started to work, but it was too late. For a while she seemed to be "Runnin' Down a Dream", but she was actually just "Free Fallin'"

Underdog = grounded

Thanks to all who clicked over to Humor Blogs. This blog is moving up the favorites list. Click over there often to push it up to the top 30. I'm the underdog here!

3 comments:

susan said...

What I want to know is why clicking that link doesn't take me to a page all about Late For the Sky? Or say something like "thanks for coming to visit from Late For The Sky" I click over all the time but have no clue if it's doing anything. I need something to reinforce my behavior. Any good psychology major knows that. And it would be really cool if M&Ms popped out of the computer everytime I clicked Humor Blogs.

Bill Brohaugh said...

Specific to no one listening to the lyrics, two examples come quickly to mind: 1) Some car company (I forget which one and I'm too lazy to look it up) using David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" as background music. Sure, it communicates breaking free of the normal. It is, after all, a song about transvestitism. 2) Everybody and his/her/their brother using the Beatles' "Revolution" to achieve the same supposed effect as "Rebel Rebel," except when you listen to the lyrics, "Revolution" is the coolest paeon to being a status quo couch potato ever. And, oh yeah, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" as an ad theme. Subtitled: "Have a Lobotomy With a Vaguely Jamaican Beat."

Bill Brohaugh said...

And because you can't shut me up, when the voter asked Obama why he he wasn't wearing a flag pin, he should have replied either 1) "Why aren't you wearing one?" or 2) "You should see my Underoos."