Good lord, Hillary’s announcement video is appallingly banal. As someone said on my Facebook page, it’s like an old United Colors of Benetton ad. For perspective, here’s Carl Bernstein’s description of Bill’s first inauguration:
Every opportunity was exploited to contrast the egalitarian values and youth of the Clintons with the privileged era of Reagan and Bush, a plutocratic epoch that Hillary, more than Bill, believed was now in final retreat; and to proclaim a transparency in government that would extinguish all vestiges of Nixonian secrecy and paranoia in the White House. The tab for the week of celebration was fit for a pasha, running to more than $25 million, a record unsurpassed until George W. Bush’s $40 million extravaganza in 2000. Most of it was financed by the same kind of special interest and corporate back-scratching that had long paid the bills for Republican presidential campaigns and inaugurations. The new Democratic president seemed to justify it because of the “new direction” of his leadership. The explanation, with its attendant sense of entitlement, sounded positively Hillaryesque. Hillary thought the price in dollars was justified by the all-embracing message of every theme tent on the Mall, including Native American heritage, gay rights, country music, clog dancers, wood choppers, and unionized stevedores.
There was a marching band whose members were all physically disabled; there were 120 men and women carrying an oversized section of the AIDS memorial quilt; there was a float celebrating American family life that included a lesbian couple and two gay men; another featured an Elvis impersonator (and members of the King’s original band). As the twenty-two-unit Lesbian and Gay Bands of America passed the reviewing stand, the new president and vice president each held up three fingers — a sign-language salute to the marchers meaning “I love you.”
Clinton’s advertisement reminded me of Obama’s 2008 campaign, which won an advertising award– “change you can believe in”. It recapitulated the same themes and was all hype and no substance. Will the voters buy it this time? I am skeptical.