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Hillary's New Video

So far in campaign 2008, YouTube (and video more generally) has been used as a tool for mischief rather than good.

A number of candidates have already been forced to explain anonymous negative clips posted on YouTube and one -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) -- has watched as a series of video clips have helped drive a storyline that he is a flip-flopper.

But, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a new video gambit aimed not at negatively defining her opponents but positively defining herself.

Last week Clinton put a video clip on her website and on YouTube asking people to help her choose her campaign's song. A little cheesy? Of course. Effective? Undoubtedly.

The first video was viewed 600,000 times and more than 130,000 voted for a song, according to the campaign. So, it's not terribly surprising that Clinton released another video today designed to continue the conversation.

The clip features Clinton thanking her community for voting in such large numbers while snippets of some blooper videos -- sung to the tune of "Sexyback" and "Superfreak" are shown.

In one segment Clinton is shown bopping along to the music; in another Clinton says she is "so gratified that all of you thought this was such a wonderful idea" right before a series of guys who look like they still live in their parents' basements are shown calling it "disappointing", "insulting" and "ridiculous."

When Clinton announced her candidacy (also via video) her advisers said she was the most famous person in America who no one really knew. These videos are an attempt to show potential voters a side of Clinton they likely don't know. The reality of being Hillary Clinton is that anywhere she goes she is mobbed by people. As a result, she is forced to live within a bubble that can be a major impediment to the one-on-one courtship expected by voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Videos like "choose my campaign jingle" are attempts to bring people inside the ropeline, to let them feel as though they are getting to know the real Hillary Clinton.

It's an innovative way to use the web to not only introduce Clinton but also grow her online community. And, Clinton's campaign is showing a bit of the interactivity that is so prized on the web. In addition to the five pre-suggested songs that garnered the most votes, Clinton is adding five "write-in" choices suggested by viewers.

The Fix personal favorite? "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic." The Police ROCK.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 24, 2007; 4:13 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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