Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Fey Effect

We are going to give name to the phenomenon whereas Tina Fey, the sexy, bright former headwriter of SNL, rounded up the troops -- aka college-educated women -- and gave Hillary Clinton's foundering campaign a second wind, ''The Fey Effect.'' At our day job at FishbowlNY we have marvelled at it; NBC's analyst -- and resident political genius -- Craig Crawford noticed it, but failed, unlike us, to nam eit. From Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson:

''Clinton really got the wind at her back when she stopped mocking Obama for making the celestial choirs sing and starting mocking herself for not being able to do so.

''Tina Fey, the comedian who hosted 'Saturday Night Live,' kicked it off two weeks ago. Fey conceded Clinton was a 'bitch,' but added, 'Bitches get things done... Deal with it.'

''Also helping Clinton was a skit that ridiculed the press for favoring the new kid over the candidate with tread marks on her back. On the next episode, Clinton herself appeared and killed. She stood there gamely as her amanuensis said she had 'a personality so unpleasant, that at the end of the day the special interests will have to go, 'Enough! We give up! Life is too short to deal with this awful woman!''' Hillary cackled.''

Fey, who is, in a way, the embodiment of the woman who has it all -- high-powered job, kid, comedic skills (sorry, Hitchens) -- and, thus we cannot really fault her for wanting that final glass ceiling broken. Post-gender and post-racial politics aside, a woman who has broken her own glass ceilings is going to have a strong affinity for another woman trying to break the ultimate glass ceiling, especially when that woman is brimming with massive policy knowledge.

If Obama is going to pull this thing out, he is going to have to deliver specific policy proposals with great zest. Right now, The Fey Effect is based on the sheer fact that Hillary represents the woman who is, policy wise, up to the task, but is getting -- perception wise -- shafted by a man who doesn't seem as qualified. This is the perception (not, The Corsair believes, the reality).

Obama should not follow David Axelrod's dark hints at going negative. Going negative is a Clintonian device. It will turn off the young, college-educated, idealistic people who love Obama and his crypto-internationalist philosophy.

Obama must start unrolling specific policy goals and be willing to push back at the filthy, negative Clintonian attacks. That is how he will win, this is how he will be able to keep his head held high in the general election and -- quite possibly -- this is how he will make the charming Tina Fey's of the world, who have dealt with a lot of testosteronal trash in this life, okay with his presidency, if and when it happens.

Incidentally, re: post-racialism, we cannot fail to note that this blogger was initially pro-Bill Richardson. Just so you know ...

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