Note To Hilary: Do SNL
Granted, we are chock full of advice to celebrities this week. First, we told Eddie Murphy to do SNL, then we advised the writers of "Grey's Anatomy" to write Isaiah Washington's character gay. Now, full of oats, we want Senator Clinton to do host SNL.
It is a natural fit. Seth Meyers as Head Writer has made the "lean and mean" SNL as culturally relevant as it was in the days Chevy Chase was tripping over himself (For further reference see the lovely Rachel Sklar's brilliant profile of the new SNL). Amy Poehler's devastating impression last week set us this week's volley of attacks on the Senator's -- how does one say it -- Calculatedness.
This may or may not work in her favor. Certainly, the main campaign theme of Clinton 2008 will be "Effectiveness," as opposed to McCain's "Character." This is, of course, a variation of the time honored battle between the Red-state's emphasis on Virtue (Religion, Righteousness, Manliness) as opposed to the Blue-states emphasis on Sophistication (Travel, Education, Taste). Hilary's "calculated" demeanor plays well onto the idea of her policy wonkiness in a Chaotic World Order, managed, incompetently, by the Previous -- Republican -- Administration. We commend Senator Clinton for leading her campaign on the contentious issue of Health Care, where she flamed out at the beginning of Clinton's First Administration (Next time bring Moynihan on board); we fault her -- slightly -- on making the announcement at the Hell's Kitchen "Chelsea-Clinton" Community health center, which is too claculating by a half.
Granted, these attacks on her calculated nature are coming from far-right precincts. But make no doubt about it, they will continue. Mercilessly. And the Primary Law of Politics is that a lie, uttered often enough, ultimately, in a Democracy, becomes Conventional Wisdom. Whether or not Hilary Clinton is "Calculated," by the end of her race for 2008 she will be perceived conventionally as Calculated.
That's why a zany SNL appearance -- a la Giuliani in drag at the 2000 Mayor's Inner Circle Roast -- will defang that charge. Especially if she gets on a viral SNL Digital short.
The image of Hilary as calculated is deadly against Barack Obama, who is the epitome of Charismatic. And SNL appearance in which the senator lets her hair down and riffs with Amy Poehler would go miles in softening her image. Miles more than wearing pink and baking cookies.