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Clinton's Sopranos Redux

The Clinton campaign has just released the results of its Campaign Song Contest. But it's the companion video people will be talking about.

The winning song: "You And I" by Celine Dion.

As we've reported before, the Clinton campaign's YouTube strategy took off with this song contest. She's been praised for her candor throughout this contest, allowing supporters to pick from a list of songs, by artists like The Temptations, Shania Twain, and KT Tunstall. (One supporter even recommended she rewrite the lyrics to the theme from "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.")

As part of the big announcement, the Clinton campaign released a video starring Mrs. -- and Mr. -- Clinton. It starts with the senator walking into the Mt. Kisco Coach Diner (in Westchester County, N.Y.), taking a seat, and ordering a bowl of carrots. Bill then walks into the diner, dressed in a short-sleeved casual shirt. He sits down, complains about the carrots, and then eats them, relunctantly, while the senator puruses the diner's jukebox options.

Bill then asks Hillary, "Does anything look good?" while she checks out the jukebox tunes, and the camera pans over to songs titles considered by campaign supporters: "Are You Gonna Go My Way," by Lenny Kravitz, "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," by McFadden & Whitehead, "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic," by The Police, and "The Best," by Tina Turner, among others. Bill says he thinks Smashmouth will win. Hillary replies, "We'll see," before the video cuts to black.

Does this diner premise with the pre-ordered appetizer sound familar? It should. It's almost exactly like the last scene of the "Sopranos" finale, complete with "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey playing in the background, daughter Chelsea struggling to parallel park right outside, and a cameo by Vince Curatola, who played "Johnny Sack" on the HBO show. He came in to shoot the video, made by media consultant Mandy Grunwald, campaign officials said.

You can watch the video on Clinton's campaign Web site.

What do you think? Did she pick the right song? And what about the video? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

-- Ed O'Keefe and Anne Kornblut

By Ed O'Keefe |  June 19, 2007; 1:06 PM ET Hillary Rodham Clinton
Previous: CNN/YouTube Debate: The Best of The Questions So Far | Next: Fred Thompson Calls On London

Comments

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Celine Dion?

CELINE DION?!

Posted by: Jason | June 19, 2007 1:23 PM

This is front page news ?

Posted by: chris in richmond | June 19, 2007 1:27 PM

Dang Canadians must have voted......

Posted by: Michelle | June 19, 2007 1:33 PM

Given the presumed dark resolution of that final "Sopranos" scene (Tony about to be mowed down, en famille, or surviving only to be sent to prison), this seems a spectacularly bad metaphor for the campaign. What strategic communications dolt came up with this stuff?

Posted by: Schelling Out in ATL | June 19, 2007 1:35 PM

UGH on Celine Dion...nothing upbeat about any of her songs.

Posted by: nick | June 19, 2007 1:35 PM

A website's front page isn't like a newspaper's front page. A website's front page contains EVERYTHING - comics, horoscope, BIG BAD HEADLINES - everything. So chill.

Posted by: Gonzo, MD | June 19, 2007 1:37 PM

The video is hilarious. Hillary always looks good with the self-deprecating humor, and the Bill/Hillary as Tony/Carmella spoof is yet another example of the campaign's successful strategy of humanizing Hillary.

Posted by: SC | June 19, 2007 1:41 PM

I think it's great! Very fresh. I'm so tired of the stale political crap we get soooo much of. The video really makes it seem like in spite of the horrible mess our country is in, we can all enjoy life.

Posted by: Esteban | June 19, 2007 1:47 PM

Brilliant creative take. Terrible metaphor...Watch for what you wish...

Posted by: cmorris | June 19, 2007 1:48 PM

Since I never watched the Sopranos I did not get the video. It looked a bit strange if you don't make the connection. Of course I am probably the only one who has never watched the Sopranos. I just don't care for any Mafia movie/show. I always wonder why people are so fascinated by it. So this video and even the song did not zing me.

Posted by: LYnn | June 19, 2007 1:51 PM

A weak song... from a Canadian. Wrong on so many levels.

Posted by: TFM | June 19, 2007 2:01 PM

Uhhh...Hillary trying to engage the younger generation...ouch. WOW. OUCH. Celine Dion?

CELINE DION?

Posted by: LarryZ | June 19, 2007 2:06 PM

Um, I don't get it. We have real issure to talk about here people not some silly campaign song!

Posted by: annoyed | June 19, 2007 2:07 PM

Hmmm. What is the profile of the "Celine Dion" voter? I wouldn't be surprised if this pick is decidedly on-target for the next election. It also represents a nice smattering of conflicting issues - Dion could I suppose be considered an immigrant or the choice considered an example of outsourcing to another country, globalism, love of the French (Canadian) culture, the growing popularity of ball gowns due to Dancing with the Stars, the growth of banality....

Posted by: J Ake | June 19, 2007 2:13 PM

That song seems to have real commercial appeal. It was also used in Air Canada commercials up here.

Posted by: Hugues | June 19, 2007 2:22 PM

Nice diner.

Posted by: O. Blo | June 19, 2007 2:22 PM

The video is awesome and will get tons of press! The song...sub-par.

Posted by: Brad | June 19, 2007 2:25 PM

Love the homage video, hate the song.

I mean, I don't want to sound too parochial here, but shouldn't someone at Hillary HQ have put the kibosh on a song performed by a French-Canadian artist that was originally written for (and ultimately used in) a series of commercials for Air Canada? Is this really the sort of association the campaign was striving for?

Posted by: The Maven | June 19, 2007 2:27 PM

I have never seen the Sopranos so I didnt get the link, but the video was good anyway. I like Celine Dion, but the song sounded too complex to catch on as campaign theme song...doesnt have that strong beat that makes you move even if you dont know the words, like Bill's theme song did.

Posted by: David | June 19, 2007 2:29 PM

I just don't understand why you'd pick a Canadian...nothing against them, but usually presidential candidates take every step to appear uber patriotic. GO USA! Personally, I would have gone with the Temptations.

Posted by: Ryan | June 19, 2007 2:30 PM

jeez....do I have to listen to Celine Dion?

i agree, the Sopranos metaphor is bizaaa. anybody not familiar with it might think they were going for a "happy days" theme.

woulda been nice to use a song by an american entertainer -- and one with less sappy lyrics than these:

High above the mountains, far across the sea
I can hear your voice calling out to me
Brighter than the sun and darker than the night
I can see your love shining like a light
And on and on this earth spins like a carousel
If I could travel across the world
The secrets I would tell

Chorus:
You and I
Were meant to fly
Higher than the clouds
We'll sail across the sky
So come with me
And you will feel
That we're soaring
That we're floating up so high
'Cause you and I were meant to fly

Posted by: b | June 19, 2007 2:37 PM

Even for those who weren't Soprano's fans, that final scene has been re-broadcast on every news show in America. Hillary has proven herself to be the most capable and serious candidate in the campaign (for D's or R's); this video is hillarious and a refreshing reminder that she can still poke fun at herself and her family even in these most somber of times. Kudos to her and her campaign. This was just fun.

Posted by: FF | June 19, 2007 2:45 PM

Yuk. Yet another reason to support Obama.
Still, I'm not at ABC (Anybody But Clinton). But this definitely doesn't help her case!

Posted by: citizenjane | June 19, 2007 2:46 PM

Come on, people, lighten up! I loved the "What no onion rings?" line (I feel your pain, Bill).
It's good to see our politicos show a little humor. For all you whiners complaining about the song, as T would say "wha'cha gonna do?"

Go Hill!

Posted by: Marsha | June 19, 2007 2:50 PM

Dion - The Wanderer has the best saxaphone.

Posted by: Kacoo | June 19, 2007 2:59 PM

Figures she'd use a foreigner's song for an American campaign.

Good ol' pandering, opaque, issue-straddeling, double-talking 'hilly

i miss Bill but I'll NEVER,EVER, NEVER-IN-A-MILLION-YEARS

vote for that lawyer

GO GORE/OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT!

Posted by: JBE | June 19, 2007 3:04 PM

So Barack would be singing this to keep his campaign moving along?

"I'm Shipping Up To Boston"

I'm a sailor peg
and I've lost my leg
I've climbed up the top sails
I've lost my leg!

I'm shipping up to Boston whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston whoa
I'm shipping off...to find my wooden leg

I'm a sailor peg
and I've lost my leg
I've climbed up the top sails
I've lost my leg!

I'm shipping up to Boston whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston whoa
I'm shipping off...to find my wooden leg

Posted by: Kacoo | June 19, 2007 3:10 PM

More idiocy.

Posted by: John Paul | June 19, 2007 3:15 PM

Humanesque!

Posted by: schlep | June 19, 2007 3:24 PM

great video -- places them together, as a family, in a middle class, bread and butter context.

great song choice -- uh, excuse me, but her entire campaign strategy is built on solidifying women. Does anyone outside the belt understand that Celine is an icon? Perfect choice.

Posted by: bronto | June 19, 2007 3:27 PM

That's a shame, was looking forward to "Civil War" by Guns 'N Roses.

Posted by: Chris | June 19, 2007 3:29 PM

Aren't you glad all of your Hillary campaign donations are going towards lame attempts at being "with it" like this spot? That must be a rewarding feeling.

Posted by: Libby | June 19, 2007 3:32 PM

Very cool video. Go Hillary!

Posted by: H Kazemi | June 19, 2007 3:57 PM

1. I hate Celine Dion.
2. This spot suffers by comparison to the Sopranos, which was truly inspired.
3. The dialogue is stilted and unnatural.
4. I still think Hillary looks like a horse.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2007 4:13 PM

The consensus is the Sopranos episode went to black before the lead character got whacked by the Members Only Jacket Guy (Curtola/Johnny Sack in the Clinton video -did they ask Gandolfini to cameo?).

I agree that is not the metaphor I would want viewers to think aboutwhen viewing this video, but this campaign presumably does not want voters to think about a lot of past events other than TV episodes.

Posted by: Dan | June 19, 2007 4:13 PM

middle class? clintons ARE far from being middle class. It's sad they have to portray themselves that way.

Posted by: burt | June 19, 2007 4:22 PM

CELENE DION?!? Boooooo . . . That's not what I voted for. Bad choice.

Posted by: Utah Dem | June 19, 2007 4:27 PM

lame. i don't understand why it couldn't have been Slayer's classic "Piece by Piece."

Posted by: gus mueller | June 19, 2007 4:29 PM

Both are criminals; Sopranos and Clintons.

What a brilliant metaphor.

Posted by: ken | June 19, 2007 4:30 PM

Both are criminals; Sopranos and Clintons.

What a brilliant metaphor in duality.

Entitlement knows no bounds.

.

Posted by: ken | June 19, 2007 4:32 PM

Would it be too much to ask what her positions on the issues are? Or is this how a serious Presidential candidate has to act these days?

Posted by: bsimon | June 19, 2007 4:40 PM

American politics has reached a new low. These sorts of cheap gimmicks just prove how ridiculous our system has become.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2007 4:58 PM

I'm unimpressed & mainly think this is just irrelevant froth, but I disagree with those who panned the use of a Canadian singer. After all, Bill rode to victory in 1992 with "Don't Stop (Thinking about Tomorrow)" as his campaign song, by the predominantly British band Fleetwood Mac, headed by Brits Mick Fleetwood and John McVie with fellow Brit Christine McVie on the vocals. I don't recall any complaints about that. If the British are good enough for Bill I don't suppose there's anything wrong with Hillary's using a Canadian.

Posted by: Brad K | June 19, 2007 5:01 PM

Um, how about you cover Guiliani's stellar performance in the Iraq Survey Group?

Posted by: HeavyJ | June 19, 2007 5:04 PM

So precious!

Posted by: mikie44 | June 19, 2007 5:04 PM

Correction: Iraq Study Group, not ISG. (Both were taken equally seriously by Republicans.)

Posted by: HeavyJ | June 19, 2007 5:10 PM

I am for Hillary! Some of Bill's ideas had to rub off. At least Clinton isn't a OIL tycoon and big spender on everything including all pollution.

Posted by: Charles Cox | June 19, 2007 5:19 PM

Now, here is a chance for three black people to unite and select the next president.

I can give Obama a song which will generate a life of its own. But, then again, its almost impossible get two blacks to work together at anything.

Posted by: Robert K Walcott | June 19, 2007 5:44 PM

What's wrong with Canadians?

Posted by: Belinda Stronach | June 19, 2007 5:46 PM

What's wrong with Canadians?

Posted by: Belinda Stronach | June 19, 2007 5:46 PM

Excellent video and excellent song - the choice of these by Ms. Clinton is very, very telling. Somehow thought, I don't think the tale being told is one she and her campaign really wanted to let out.

Why is it OK to continue to glorify organized crime? Ms. Clinton is doing just that in this video, so it must be just fine with her. (but not me)

And/or is this some sort of incredibly oblique way of referencing JFK again (the take off on the Soprano's - a clear Mafia reference - might subliminally bring back "Mafia-Kennedy connections") as has been done with President Clinton and his meeting JFK in his young years.

Just as poor judgement on choice of singer. With all the amazing American voices, she has to go outside her (my) country? (Maybe Ms. Clinton's choice is based on her similarity to Ms. Dion - in that as it is with Ms. Clinton, people either seem to love Celine Dion (and her singing) or hate her. A case of misery loves company?

This "ad" and campaign song are not nearly as frivolous as they may seem at first glance. With the decisions Ms. Clinton has made here, I find myself very, very worried, no, frightened, about future choices she will make should she be elected.

Posted by: Maggie Flinn, MD | June 19, 2007 6:22 PM

The video? Very funny... nice that Hillary and Bill can poke fun at themselves.

The song? Definitely a Republican conspiracy. Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris certainly must have hacked in and messed with the vote totals...

Posted by: Jeff | June 19, 2007 7:13 PM

I've lived in a cave all of my life so don't know nothing about the Soprano Family or Vince Curatola, who played "Johnny Sack" on the HBO show. Seriously though, I don't get the connection between Johnny Sack and the Clinton campaign. The rest of the video I thought was warm and well produced. I love the Clinton's and am willing to overlook their sordid history for a return to democratic values. It's not just "anybody but Bush" but really anybody but a republican.
Go Hillary!!

Posted by: maxie moore | June 19, 2007 7:20 PM

Some folks have to grump about anything. Poor souls. The video's fun and the song is okay.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2007 8:02 PM

I wanted Elton John's "The B#tch is Back".... =(

Posted by: Don | June 19, 2007 8:36 PM

Just another mafia Family like the sopranos, when will America learn? Its time to break this cycle of Bush to Clinton.

Posted by: RHB | June 19, 2007 8:47 PM

The video is cute; makes the two of them almost look like a happily married couple (almost).... I like the song, too; very uplifting, tho I assume that Celine will re-write some of it to fit Hillary and the campaign. So they get a day or two of good press out of it; good for them.

Posted by: Mike | June 19, 2007 9:21 PM

The video is brilliant. It's fresh, funny, and light. I don't know if the song is the best choice, but the video is a great alternative to the normal boring and negative campaign ad.

Posted by: Alanna | June 19, 2007 11:02 PM

wow! another hillary fluff piece from the post! who would have seen that coming???

Posted by: fred | June 19, 2007 11:11 PM

The people with such a negative primal reaction to the Clintons are just fascinating to me. Do you ever get tired?

Anyway, I thought the video was really fun. Most of us thought the whole contest was really fun.
And... it had no metaphors.
IT WAS FOR FUN!

The song was the choice of her supporters. That seems to be a problem for some. Why?

And I don't get the big deal about it being from a commercial???

I also honestly had no idea people didn't like Celine. I find that amazing, as her voice is surely one of the best of her generation.
She sure sells a lot of records, aye?

Posted by: Jan | June 20, 2007 6:39 AM

I loved the video!
A great choice of song... very upbeat and uplifting!
I love Celine Dion. Great singer!

Danielle

Posted by: Danielle | June 20, 2007 1:49 PM

I loved the video!
A great choice of song... very upbeat and uplifting!
I love Celine Dion. Great singer!

Danielle

Posted by: Danielle | June 20, 2007 1:49 PM

finally a song that makes me want to commit suicide to go along with the candidate who makes me want to commit suicide.

Posted by: sempertyrannus | June 20, 2007 3:33 PM

In the Sopranos, Carmela puts up with her husband's philandering for years until she finally explodes. But she decides it's best to reconcile with him under the condition that he use his power and influence to help her achieve her own career goals, eventually getting her spec house built. I wonder what made Hillary choose to spoof this?

The ultimate irony of this whole thing is that Hillary is a Carmela clone. Her husband cheats on her, while she puts on a face of denial about it, and in doing so, she sold out her dignity in order to get what she wants. Instead of jewelry, cars, and fur coats she gets a congressional seat and a run at the presidency. The more you see her, the more unbelievable she gets. Just like Carmela, except Edie Falco makes it much more believable than Hillary ever could.

Posted by: bobC | June 20, 2007 7:13 PM

terrible on both counts

Posted by: Very Big Burt Reynolds | June 20, 2007 8:21 PM

For my YouTube response to the clintons' vid, google: 'SMASH MOUTH' (clinton Sopranos-mob-hit-mashup MASHUP: 'humanizing' hillary)


"When Bill said, 'My money's on Smash Mouth,' I thought 'better put some ice on that.' I see you had the same thought" (mr1user)

"Desperation is like stealing from the Mafia: you stand a good chance of attracting the wrong attention." (Doug Horton)


The clinton Sopranos shtick (if you'll pardon the mixed marriage) is operating on several levels.

1- clinton virtual surreality: The continued blurring of the virtual and the surreal. Play the mob to get it behind you. A perversion of 'Tell It Early, Tell It All, Tell It Yourself' (The Lanny Davis crook's rule: Spin your baggage before your enemies do)

2- The clintons rubbing our collective nose in their crap.

3- The clinton inside joke. Always at our expense. A variant of #2

4- clinton opportunism. Arrogating someone else's success as their own.

NOTE: 'Mobster' replaces 'matron,' 'naugahyde' replaces 'chintz,' nothing replaces 'inhuman.'

Even the most casual observer of the American political scene would agree: It's a tossup as to whose stage presence, hillary clinton's or Al Gore's, is the more ridiculous.

But as opposed to hillary-on-stage, Al thereon has a saving grace: He doesn't try to appear human. To the contrary, Al Gore embraces his humanoid essence. (In fairness to missus clinton, 'inhuman' is a measurably less salable descriptor than 'humanoid.')

To better understand why this is such an advantage for Mr. Gore, simply consider missus clinton's recent 'conversation' (with herself).

It was risible. Unintentional theater of the absurd: A chintzed-and-powdered villain, a soulless, angry, arrogant scold, oozing cloying, saccharine-coated evil, pulsating to the metronomic swing of stubby appendages--claws too short to grab its prey.

(Gesticulation is a dud's only sign of life... and then only if she has a speech coach to prod her.)

'Humanizing' hillary? Can you say 'oxymoron'???

Instead of keeping this pathetic need to 'humanize' hillary secret, the clinton machine is actually broadcasting it. Why? Precisely because the clintonistas know that humanizing hillary is not possible, so they try to do the next best thing, namely, confuse the goal with the attainment of the goal. (Yes, they do think we are that stupid.)

(To hear Washington Post reporter, Lois Romano, discuss the clinton-machine effort to 'humanize' hillary (and exploit women), play the above-referenced YouTube vid.)

See: HILLARY! Can a chintzed-and-powdered villain win the White House? LEADING INDICATORS SAY 'NO' by Mia T

Also see: VOTE SMART: a warning to all women about hillary clinton (YouTube, 341,247 views)

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