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The YouTube Effect (Part XIII)

It has become a pet project of ours at The Fix to track the YouTube videos that have Washington chattering.

Today, we highlight a clip that has been on the site since March 5 but only of late is getting widespread attention.

The video is an almost direct copy of the famous ad run by Apple during the 1984 Superbowl. In that commercial, a woman -- chased by police -- runs into a room where a Big Brother-like speaker is addressing a group of mindless drones via a giant television screen. The woman throws a hammer at the screen and it explodes.

"On January 24th Apple will launch Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984,'"reads the text on screen.

The message was unmistakable: Computer technology was changing at lightning speed, and the coming change would be so radical that it would snap users out of their lethargy.

Fast forward to the Clinton ad. The images in the spot are almost exactly the same; the one difference is that it is Clinton -- not the Orwellian Big Brother figure -- who is speaking on the screen.

Clinton is shown repeating a series of snippets from her stump speech with a heavy emphasis on her desire to have a conversation with the American public. As Clinton says "I intend to keep this conversation going all the way through November 8," the woman throws the hammer and the screen explodes.

"On January 14th the Democratic primary will begin. And you'll see why 2008 isn't going to be like '1984,'" appears on screen. Those words are then replaced by an "O" with the distinctive Apple colors and a plug for

Again, the message is clear. Clinton is the establishment, yesterday's news. She -- and, by association, her husband -- represent the party's past, while Obama represents the future.

The ad has clearly struck a chord with some. As of this writing, the Obama video had been viewed 438,795 times over the past two weeks. The original 1984 Apple ad, which was placed on YouTube June 19, 2006, has been viewed 72, 531 times.

So, what do the campaigns in question have to say about the YouTube clip? Not much.

Clinton's campaign offered no comment when asked about the ad. Obama spokesman Bill Burton refused to comment directly on the ad but did say that "there is a lot of grassroots energy for Senator Obama on the Internet and it has manifested itself in many independent, creative ways."

Seeking more answers, The Fix sought out a handful of men and women who make their living crafting ads for Democratic candidates to get their thoughts on the ad and its potential impact.

Bob Shrum, perhaps the best known media consultant in the Democratic party, called the spot both "extremely clever" and "very unfair" to Clinton. "You could take almost any political figure's speech and put it in that box," he said.

Shrum argued that the Clinton campaign isn't and shouldn't be worried about the ad or its impact. Shrum downplayed the significance of this particular incident. Shrum added, however, that "at every stage the political class has underestimated the impact of changing technology."

Rich Davis, a Democratic media consultant not affiliated with any 2008 presidential candidate, said the ad has clear risks for Obama -- even though his campaign has said it had nothing to do with it. "It puts Obama in a tough spot." said Davis. "Does he disavow it, saying it violates his desire to run a 'positive, different kind of campaign?' Or does he embrace it, and risk a missile from the Clinton campaign?"

John Lapp, a media consultant who helped oversee the House Democrats' political comeback in 2006, said that the Apple/Obama ad was made for success on the web.

"YouTube really rewards risk takers -- the edgier the ad, the more likely it is to be viewed, forwarded, and echoed throughout the Internet and into the mainstream media," said Lapp. "The good news -- it offers more ways than ever for people to impact campaigns, to influence the political dialogue. The bad news for candidates -- the attacks increase exponentially, by land, by sea, by dark of night."

Several media consultants also noted that the ad highlights a fundamental difference between the rules of their business and that of the new Youtube world. If a campaign put an ad like this on television, it would almost assuredly face a lawsuit from Apple, a worry that rogue videographers on the web do not have.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 19, 2007; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Case For Fred Thompson
Next: Wag the Blog Follow-up: Jumping Ship on Gonzales


The advertisement also places a spotlight on the warmth missing from Mrs. Clinton's persona. Her husband, though perhaps deeply flawed, had what seemed to be an aura of genuine warmth about him. The argument could be made that she's just a bad faker, which only serves to further damage her credibility.
But the biggest problem from this American's standpoint is her unabashed and somewhat frightening ambition for arguably the most difficult and powerful position on the planet. We've heard murmuring about Mrs. Clinton's possible run for the presidency since an early as 1996 and she's going to ride this horse out from under her. In contrast and from an outsider's perspective, it seems to me that the people have elevated the junior senator from Illinois to this position. He didn't so much choose to run for this office as the people have chosen him to do so. That's a significant difference.
Mrs. Clinton seems to have taken the tone of a disconnected parent, trying to straighten out a greatly misunderstood teenager. She talks down to us and patronizes us with the same regurgitated political rhetoric we hear from other candidates who simply thought "It's my turn." and simply expected all other qualified candidates step aside and allow the much disliked king/queen assume his/her throne. I would predict that she's on the verge of some enormous tantrum if I thought she were capable of that sort of spontaneity. But I think she'll just brood angrily at us rather than recognize that a once promising prizefighter is past her prime and ought to contribute that wisdom to a sure winner.
Mr. Obama strikes me as a warm individual, who shows genuine interest in the lives of his fellow Americans. Maybe Mr. Obama is just a good faker. Who knows? But at this crossroads in our history, I'm certainly willing to take that chance when we emerge from the era of George the second. The quantity of viewings of the 1984 ad on YouTube indicate that I may not be alone.

Posted by: Todorojo | March 22, 2007 2:10 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed reading Ben's comments. Very interesting points.

Posted by: Ben | March 20, 2007 12:56 AM

Posted by: tony_daysog | March 21, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

This YouTube video is poorly produced, lacks creativity, and the featured Hillary speech is not Orwellian at all. Why the buzz? Why pay any attention?

Posted by: Eric | March 20, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Braaaaains... moooore braaaains.........

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 20, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The ad seemed too strong and shocking for my tastes. But it really did resonate with a judgment I have of Hillary Clinton being wooden and only pretending to 'have a conversation' as she speaks poll-tested *wisdom* to the people whom she has no intention of listening to or treating as of equal intelligence.

Posted by: Donna | March 20, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I remember watching this ad in my Media Ethics class and I thought to myself that this would be a great ad for "why we shouldn't vote conservative!" I think this ad reflects the Republican party more than anything. Tom DeLay is a perfect example - -they comb their hair the same or use the same hair plug artist - they have the exact same kind of lingo - they use the same "propaganda tactics" It's obvious that a conservative created this clip, because Obama and Hillary are talking about doing things DIFFERENT and the Republicans are true to their philosophy *we oppose change*

Posted by: Sandi | March 20, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I remember watching this ad in my Media Ethics class and I thought to myself that this would be a great ad for "why we shouldn't vote conservative!" I think this ad reflects the Republican party more than anything. Tom DeLay is a perfect example - -they comb their the same - they have the exact same kind of lingo - they use the same "propaganda tactics" It's obvious that a conservative created this clip, because Obama and Hillary are talking about doing things DIFFERENT and the Republicans are true to their philosophy *we oppose change*

Posted by: Sandi | March 20, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Candidates take the influence of the Internet way too seriously, imo. The ad has 1m views not because we all agree with it, but rather because you can't pick up a paper, or open your eyes, really, without seeing mention of it. Naturally, we're going to take a look. Many of us will say, "Hey, that's kind of creative," while others will say, "Meh". I don't think anyone is going to say "Holy cow! I have to change my vote now!!"

Who knows though. I'm probably wrong. I suppose I'm also in the minority in thinking that candidates looking to "reach out" to bloggers on the right and left are making a grave mistake. Having frequently visited the popular blogs on both sides of the aisle, I find that the majority of people who post there are so far off the center to either side that they are the last people with which I would want to associate my campaign.

Posted by: P | March 20, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about all the adds-one ad will do-two are enough

Posted by: tulip2 | March 20, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Now that the Clinton Camp has seen the effects of this add watch for them to get a team of experts together and outdo this add over and over-they are experts at hiring or placing puff pieces but late coming to the internet. However, they have the money and friends to prevail and a bull dog mentality.

Posted by: tulip2 | March 20, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton's problem is similar to Walter Mondale's of yore. Because she has been around the longest, she thinks she is entitled to the Dem nomination.

Hopefully, the party will not fall for that crap again.

Posted by: mangoboy | March 20, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"For all of the people expressing concern about infringement on Apple's product. It's been 23 years people. It's possible that copyright protection doesn't even apply anymore.

And, even if it does - Nobody's selling this for commercial gain.

It's called satire."

Copyright last significantly longer than 23 years. Whether someone is infringing for commercial purposes doesn't make it less infringing (just ask those kids getting fined for pirated music).

Satire/parody can excuse what would otherwise be copyright infringement, but in this case it is more than satire/parody, it is stealing the original footage and changing it. That's copyright infringement.

But the reality is that Apple probably won't do anything about it, although I wouldn't completely rule it out.

Posted by: Anon | March 20, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr obama I am disapointed in your add on tv I thought when you started your campain you would not cut your counterpartI don,t beleave in this country any more I have been in this country for 75 years and I never seen something so discusting in washinton That is all we see people with no word if you can,t keep your word your not much good for the job. I think we had enough of the last seven years so please grow up.

Posted by: andrew jandreau | March 20, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps she's a target of a vast, right-wing conspiracy.

Or perhaps Hillary makes herself a target in that she comes accross as less than genuine and overly calculating. An example: she doesn't appologize or admit she was wrong for her biggest mistake, authorizing Bush to go into Iraq. Get real! It's like partying the night before an exam and then getting a C. At the time of the soirée, everything is cool; but when you get that grade, you know you messed up.

In any case, anybody would be better than that mule we currently have.

Posted by: Todd | March 20, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

For all of the people expressing concern about infringement on Apple's product. It's been 23 years people. It's possible that copyright protection doesn't even apply anymore.

And, even if it does - Nobody's selling this for commercial gain.

It's called satire.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 20, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

My first impression when I saw this ad was a chill down the spine. My second was anger, because it's one of the nastiest I've seen in quite a while. I heard a report this morning that Obama's campaign is denying anything to do with this ad. My guess is that it was done by some sleazy dirty-tricks Republican group, just like the Swift Boat ads.

I'm waiting for Al Gore to announce he's running, probably in late July after the Live Earth concerts.

Posted by: Dee | March 20, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

It seems to have been made by persons who have no strong political points to make at all, but wanted to "break out" and demonstrate their video and communication skills.

As there is no obvious monetary gain by the makers of the ad, which certainly infridges on Apple and the creative work of Ridley Scott and his team, what would Apple gain getting it off of youtube? Apple hasn't even shut down the posting of the original mcintosh ad.

Of great concern is that the 2008 campaign has started already. The amount of money that is necessary now to mount a successful campaign for president has at least doubled immediately. The pushing up of the primary dates in California and other big states also increased the pressure of having a lot of money right at the start. It penalizes anyone who cannot amass a significant amount of money right at the start. It's like the Christmas buying campaigns that now start right after Halloween.

The early start to the presidential campaigns leads to getting only more candidates who are multi-millionaires or corperately sponsored. The entry level for admission is too high. It is spoiling the system and getting us candidates who seem adept at running campaigns, but not always adept at running a republic. Certainly not running it for the benefit of the majority of the people.

A limit on all campaign advertising and spending to certain periods thoughout the election cycle would allow for more candidates that have good ideas to be heard and give the electorate more options.

Posted by: Jon | March 20, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

What's most interesting to me about the ad and the follow-up reaction to it isn't at all the content or even who made it, or why...It's that YouTube reflects a changing dynamic in political races and the national parties, the media and the candidates' brain trusts have absolutely NO control over what's posted. For this reason, it's something that they will have to address since it has obvious impact upon a significant portion of the voting populace. This ad is free speech at it's most free and untrammeled...this comes straight from the voters' mouths! That HAS to be a good thing. Change IS inevitable and a candidate who refuses to acknowledge that the medium IS the message as much as the message is the message does so at his or her peril. Marshall McLuhan lives!

Posted by: Demogorgon | March 20, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Nice jugs, sorry I missed the message. My brain was running on male overdrive,

Posted by: dras | March 20, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

If you remember the original ad, it worked on a number of levels. It appealed to particular groups - free thinkers, enterpreneurs, science fiction fans - and it was about freeing people from the oppression of Big Blue, noncomformity, breaking through - a breakthrough, get it?

It was also in the middle of the presidency of Ronald Reagan who was an authoritarian Big Brother, like George Bush, bent on [with the help of Rumsfled and Cheney!} expanding the powers of govrnment, spying, secrecy, alliances with murderous dictators, etc.

'Video Clip: "Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein," Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983.'

So it was far more powerful than you can feel today - unless dick cheney's face was on the screen --which is the ad the winner of the Dem priimary should make. Watching the hammer smash through the image of Shooter or Boy would be viscerally powerfully, becase we are now REALLY in 1984, and the government has the technology to spy on our every move - and does.

It just doesn't work with Hillary -- she's maybe phony but not authoritarian - and i agree/suspect it could well have been made by republicans to discredit both her and obama.

Posted by: drindl | March 20, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

meuphys: I'm listining to my radio station and Elvis just sang about "The Hard Headed Man", describes me to a T.

Posted by: lylepink | March 20, 2007 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Pablo: I like your support for Obama, but as I have stated many times, ZERO, is the chance he has to win the POTUS in 2008, this is my opinion and based on logic by its self, there is no way. meuphys: You will learn by reading a couple of books on phy just how accurate these folks are at predicting how folks will react in certain situations. Hope you come aboard, and be with a winner for a change.

Posted by: lylepink | March 20, 2007 2:21 AM | Report abuse

I hope that the video was the product of a Republican operation. If so that would give me more confidence that our side will be ready in 2008.

Posted by: jbaustian | March 20, 2007 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's the past and Obama's the Future: Obviously ...

All Hillary's lies are evident by the fact that: "the with holding of information is still prevarication". She's a liar by the fact that she's alway's so calculating and has no leadership abilities because she's so spineless and deceitful.

Everyone should be wearing the hat's that say: ;

Posted by: Pablo | March 20, 2007 1:18 AM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | March 20, 2007 1:16 AM | Report abuse

lylepink: I'm not for Hillary. Is it because she's a woman? No, it's because I don't trust her. That began in 1993.

She can overcome that, but the purpose of her campaign so far seems to be to steamroll the opposition and make her out as the Inevitable.

I'm open to see what she says and how she performs as a candidate. We'll all get a chance to see. I'm not getting excited about anybody yet.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 20, 2007 12:57 AM | Report abuse

I am deeply suspicious of this ad.

The soundbites seem to be completely wrong for the ad. I realize there is a certain irony in the original, which juxtaposes "we shall prevail" with the throwing of the hammer. But in the original, the voice has an obviously evil quality to it. These soundbites are Hillary's explicit attempt to come across as a regular person, having a "conversation" with each of us individually, whereas the original ad speaks of "one people, one will, one resolve, one cause," and "a garden of pure ideology where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests of any contradictory thoughts." Meanwhile, the Hillary soundbite says "I don't want people who agree with me." Also, the image of big brother is dark, and blends in with the dark wall in the original commercial, while the imagine of Clinton is bright white, an aberration in the monolithic room

If I had to guess at the source of this video, I would be it came from the Clinton campaign. Imagine seeing it without any knowledge of the original. Most people probably don't remember the original all that well. Here is an alternative interpretation of the Clinton video: Clinton is trying to awaken people who have become used to politics as a competitive sport, or partisan war, rather than a discussion, an exchange of ideas, about how to make everyone better off. Hillary says that it's "really good" that "so far, we haven't stopped talking." However, some evil forces don't want you keep talking. Right before the hammer is thrown, the text on the screen over Hillary reads, "this is our conversation." The next time we see the screen, a smiling Hillary again says she "hopes to keep this conversation going," just before the sledge hammer smashes into the screen. In the original ad, following the initial explosion as the sledgehammer crashes into the screen, we hear a light, cool breeze, suggesting freedom. This sound appears to have been slowed down in the Clinton video, lowering the pitch and suggesting the cold wind of emptiness and despair. By this point we are really wondering who would be so evil as to want to end "our conversation." We then see a bright white screen which says, "On January 14th, the Democratic primary will begin. And you'll see why 2008 won't be like '1984.'" Note that 1984 has a significance in presidential politics outside of quite apart from Orwell's book. 1984 was the year Walter Mondale, running as an unabashed liberal, lost every state in the nation except Minnesota. The white screen, associated with Clinton, promises a different outcome in 2008, until it is covered over by a pitch black screen bearing Barack Obama's web address. It must be he, who wishes to end the conversation.

Posted by: Ben | March 20, 2007 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Of note:

The add spoofed is not the original 1984 add. The woman was not wearing an iPod in the original. After all, they hadn't even been concieved of yet.

So the spoof is of Apple's own remake of the add.

Posted by: JinHi | March 20, 2007 12:07 AM | Report abuse

respectfully, lyle, i have to say that it seems to me that nominating hillary is a good way to lose another election. i suppose you will say that i am not a real "dem," or that i am "weak" and cannot support a "strong" woman like mrs. bill. i'm sorry if you feel that way, but i'm pretty secure in my political identity as a democrat, and i am plenty strong. my reasons for not supporting hillary have more to do with 1. her personality, 2. "bush clinton bush clinton" - in a supposed democracy! and 3. the presence of other candidates who i think would be better for the country. i have always respected your support for her, although i have disagreed, and now i would ask you to do the same in return, and please put down the f**king psychology textbooks, from the '70s no less. you may believe that those who do not agree with you are "only hurting themselves" - whatever. good luck with that attitude.

Posted by: meuphys | March 19, 2007 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Isaiah: I agree, after these GW years, it is unbelieveable how these left wingers are so set in losing another election. I did a little checking and to my suprise found that some of the folks on "The Fix" are putting stuff out here claiming to be dems but are not in any way, shape or form. This is with regret, I found the folks that are against Hillary are very weak and just cannot stand a strong woman, such as Hillary. I remember something I read back in the 70's,[psy] and these are outlined in several books by various authors. Any way Hillary will be just fine, and these folks don't realize they are only hurting themselves.

Posted by: lylepink | March 19, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

hey isaiah -

"If Hillary were 'hated' by the base of our party, then she would not consistently poll at 40 percent among Democrats."

-yes, but 60% of ALL registered voters say there's no way they would support a woman. and since condi ain't running, they're talking about hillary. no, she is not "hated," but she ain't "loved" either, and she has done nothing to "impress" them in her 1 1/2 senate terms thus far.

"Unlike the junior senator for Illinois, Hillary is uniquely qualified to be president of the United States."

-ha! see above. if she were not 1. a woman and 2. bill's wife, there is NO WAY she would be able to attract ANY support, or at least, not any more than Evan Bayh did. or are you referring to putting up with bill's hanky panky? that says nothing presidential about her.

"And the constant ravings of extreme liberals - who seem hell-bent of nominating loser after loser."

-so, if she isn't nominated, you're going to take your ball and go home? the important thing about this election is that we need to elect a democrat, whether it's obama, richardson, dodd, edwards, OR hillary. seems to me it's not very productive to characterize candidates who other democrats are taking very seriously as 'losers' - cuz they may in fact have a better shot than hillary does, and then you would have to decide whether to admit you were childish or stay home and pout.

although i have to say, i don't see anything, either in hillary's campaign or her character, and certainly not on her resume, that makes you think she's such a good choice.

Posted by: meuphys | March 19, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's campaign can't afford to get too riled up by attack ads/viral videos like this one. There's bound to be oodles more before this thing is decided.

It's surprising that the Obama camp isn't more excited or involved with an effort like this. It's how they can they win. And why doesn't Obama capitalize on the amateurish mistake from Hillary today when she promised - again - that she'll bring US troops home from Iraq after her previous forceful comments to the contrary.

Posted by: mpp | March 19, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The ad is obviously well made, creative, witty, and says a lot without directly saying anything. So just where was this ad in 2004? The ad works just as well, if not better, with George W. Bush's face on the screen. How come, more than a year and a half before the PRIMARY election, are we seeing this sort of ad? At least it has the excuse of not being officially affiliated with any campaign, otherwise it would be seen as part of the famous Democratic circular firing squad.

Posted by: Simon | March 19, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Regards the technical knowledge needed to make it, the placement of the videos of Mrs Clinton isn't difficult for anyone with a little knowledge of video editing, using free tools. However, I noticed the female athlete is sporting a white iPod complete with headphones, which isn't in the original. Adding that in there seamlessly, with the cord swinging to match her movements, is more difficult and probably needed more production than a 30 minute insertion of video.

It doesn't say much about who did it, a campaign or a voter, but I thought it worth noting. It's certainly still within the realm of many computer savvy users using completely free tools.

Posted by: Ann | March 19, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

this is great. at this point, hillary = the democratic machine, while obama = the new face. yes, this is simplistic, but it hits a nerve with so many of you because it is true - hillary DOES in fact come across as a soulless robot, whether or not she's actually a nice person with a great sense of humor, as so many of her friends go out of their way to tell you. if you remember, they said much the same thing about al gore in 2000.

and she doesn't have any unique ideas - boilerplate poll-tested moderate democrat (recall bill's "third way"), and she doesn't have substantially more experience as an actual legislator...
also, the last poll i saw had obama beating mccain, romney, AND giuliani (although obama giuliani was within the margin of error), while hillary only beat romney. she is not the strongest candidate on the democratic side, and certainly not the candidate voters get excited about.

Posted by: meuphys | March 19, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse


The "It's Pretty Obvious" argument was used by Dick Morris in an attempt to claim that the madrassa smear against Obama was perpetrated by Clinton.

Put away the Argument From Authority and at least acknowledge the one possibility that has an established precedent!


Posted by: eLK haven | March 19, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"In 2000, the courts ruled against MasterCard's attempts to stop the Nader campaign's use of a "Priceless"-themed commercial. Citizens United parodied the MasterCard commercial as well in 2004."

There's a difference. Those Nader ads merely coopted the style and punchline of the Mastercard ads. This one clearly takes the actual film of the original ad. That's more than parody; that's an unauthorized derivative work.

Although, Apple would be damn ballsy to sue seeing as they blatantly ripped off a Postal Service video in a recent ad.

Posted by: Chris | March 19, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting that the number of views of the ad will soon be half a million. With numbers like that, to categorically dismiss an effect of this and similar ads really seems a bit silly.

Posted by: Todd | March 19, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

eLK haven--It is pretty obvious that the ad is by Obama's supporters since it, well, supports Obama.

Perhaps what you are concerned about is whether it was made by Obama's campaign. The answer to that is almost certainly no.

Posted by: roo | March 19, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

FYI - the campaign could very well have made the ad without much fear of a successful lawsuit from Apple. In 2000, the courts ruled against MasterCard's attempts to stop the Nader campaign's use of a "Priceless"-themed commercial. Citizens United parodied the MasterCard commercial as well in 2004.

Posted by: Jay | March 19, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse first reaction was, Apple should be pissed. Someone abused their most beautiful, powerful ad!

Second, the reviewer twisted Apple's original message: the ad was an attack on IBM and the introduction of a true personal computer. Apple made the best maching then ... Apple makes the best machine now. And they do it by breaking with convention.

Third, it's hard to imagine squeezing Hillary into the Big Brother role. In no way does this make sense - she may be a powerful personage in the Democratic Party, but she is hardly Big Brother. Bush would have been a better person on that screen ... Cheney, even more terrifying than the old bald white guy that Apple cast for the role!

So, will this ad matter? Only if you truly believe that Democrats are so stupid that they can be influenced by one uncreative, moderately entertaining YouTube clip. I like to thing we are smarter than that.

But, damn, would I have laughed if it were Cheney up on that screeen, and Hillary throwing the hammer!

Posted by: GavinColorado | March 19, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"It puts Obama in a tough spot." said Davis. "Does he disavow it, saying it violates his desire to run a 'positive, different kind of campaign?' Or does he embrace it, and risk a missile from the Clinton campaign?"

Uh, how does that put Obama in a tough spot? Embrace the ad, take a risk; disavow the ad, look good. Gee, tough call. NOT. In fact, Obama should reinforce Clinton's message of conversation, rather than confrontation, contrast it with the Republicans, and talk about how he welcomes conversations with the American people AND Hillary to explore their differences and disagreements.

Also, I agree with comments about Bob Schrum, and not understanding the Apple ad. But then, this is the Washington Post in 2007, not exactly cutting edge in journalistic talent.

Posted by: truth machine | March 19, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I seem to be in the minority here, but the ad just doesn't do anything at all for me. Maybe it is because I just don't understand the pathological hatred of a large section of the U.S. population to HRC.

To me, the ad made no sense at all until someone explained it to me. It came across as confusing, boring, and lifeless. I also like to think that I am more intelligent and informed than your average American voter. If I don't get it, and don't care much about it, exactly how much impact will it have on your average person?

Posted by: J. Crozier | March 19, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Hello, Everyone:

Why anyone would make this video and why anyone would take it seriously is hilarious.

The chattering classes have only ever impressed each other, but this is becoming embarassing.

Kids, this is like believing that hip hop is authentic and has nothing to do with the money.

Furthermore, the WP is running an ad on the page I'm viewing that is sponsored by AARP and presents AARP as a serious advocate in the health care debate. Yet another joke. AARP is to policy as hip hop is to art and the Hilary/1984 ad is to elections. A joke. An irony. Someone is having you.

This is communism without the dead bodies.

Doncha get it?

Posted by: Steve | March 19, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing. Wait till the nominations are over and see what the GOP pulls.

I shudder to think of the lows that will be reached in the 08.

Posted by: Gerald | March 19, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

As a longtime Hillary supporter, I can truly say that is it incidents such as this that only strengthen our resolve and determination to win the Democratic nomination. There are far too many mistatements about Hillary to address them all here. Suffice it to say, if Hillary were "hated" by the base of our party, then she would not consistently poll at 40 percent among Democrats.

Unlike the junior senator for Illinois, Hillary is uniquely qualified to be president of the United States. And the constant ravings of extreme liberals - who seem hell-bent of nominating loser after loser - will not in any way discourage us or our campaign.

I think I'll go to our campaign website and donate more money.

Posted by: Isaiah | March 19, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

OK ok, apple is condescending to you...

IBM and microsoft had noooothing to do with that. So funny you are. The ads appeal to people who want to break the mold. Be it big brother, big boo, or clinton.

I do have a problem seeing her as Big Brother... But i have to say having her in politics is like breaking a mirror. Seven years of bad luck and all that. You just can't keep a Clinton story out of the news cycle. Endlessly churning in the end it devours the real issues of the day. Which is why despite the lack of altruistic behavior elsewhere... I think Hillary should really think about what would truly be best for this country. Would she be so much better for the country that it would outweigh the polarizing effect she would likely have? And the overwhelming coverage the Clintons cannot control? And the possibility of another Democratic loss?


Posted by: big blah | March 19, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

It's a great ad and perfectly shows how most of the democratic base view Hillary and obama. Obama is the future and Hillary is the consultant driven insider who is corporate owned.
I think it was done by someone who reads political blogs and is expressing our feelings about both.
Just as McCain has base problems, so does Hillary. The democratic base hates her.

Posted by: vwcat | March 19, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

How is it determined that the ad was in fact made by Obama supporters? That assumption is irresponsible. Anyone can forge a logo. It is just as plausibly an attempt by Republican propagandists to sabotage the two of them at the same time. That very thing has happened in the very recent past.

Posted by: eLK haven | March 19, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I interpreted this differently, but I saw this ad as a much more direct commentary on the style of Hillary's internet campaign. Her online "conversations" were widely criticized for seeming canned, with questions selected and read by an aide. Her video announcement made multiple references to "Let's talk" or "Let's start a conversation," but because of the style of her effort came across as style and contrived.
The comparison is to Obama's lively, more spontaneous style and his Web 2.0 Social-Networking style website, which might just change the way politics happens in this country.
Lastly, this ad is also a sign that Clinton's strategy of being the inevitable candidate has its downsides, that she can be seen as trying to elbow out the opposition and seem domineering.

Posted by: Peter | March 19, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

The Hillary 1984 ad is truely brilliant, better than the original. There is a numbing quality to Hillary's voice and words. Seeing the Obama logo on the runners shirt makes one remember how exhilerating it is to listen to or read Obama's words. It time for a generational change in Washington.

Posted by: GR | March 19, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Chris - Shrum's a Clintonista - part of that DLC/DCCC clique/clack clabal... The reason that the 1984-esque YouTube video is so powerful is because it does hit Hillary where it hurts - her incessant, mosquito-whine of blather about 'conversations' and 'listening'. She doesn't *Say* anything. It's always middle-of-the-road BS that inspires no one. Hence, it really, really is clever juxtaposition of Hillary and the droning Big Brother...

Posted by: john | March 19, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"The message was unmistakable: Computer technology was changing at lightning speed, and the coming change would be so radical that it would snap users out of their lethargy."

That's funny that you consider the message unmistakable when it seems you got the message wrong. The message wasn't that technology was merely changing, but rather that IBM was the equivilant of big brother and Apple was there to save the people from big brother/IBM. Thus beginning a long history of condescending and arrogant advertisements.

Posted by: Big Blue | March 19, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see Democrats finally focusing on attracting Apple users.

Perhaps next they'll take a stab at VW drivers or members of the Daily Show audience.

Posted by: Chris | March 19, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

'Hillary Clinton's campaign is spending more than $20,000 per week with's Liberal Blog Advertising Network to place ads on the biggest liberal blogs, including, Talking Points Memo and Crooks and Liars.'

And the reason for that is that these are the people who will be hardest to convince to support her.. Contrary to the usual rightwing talking points, the left considers Hillary too far to the right.

Posted by: Livingston Park, NY | March 19, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse


Hillary Clinton's campaign is spending more than $20,000 per week with's Liberal Blog Advertising Network to place ads on the biggest liberal blogs, including, Talking Points Memo and Crooks and Liars.

Clinton is paying $4,900 per week to advertise on and $2,500 per week apiece to Talking Points Memo and Crooks and Liars, according to Liberal Blog Advertising Network's rate card...

More on

Posted by: Douglas | March 19, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I expect to see more guerrilla advertising this in politics from here on out. This is one excellent example. Low cost, widely seen, strong visuals. Viola!

I have to agree Hillery is just not well liked but the general public.

Posted by: WOW | March 19, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Chris would you please stop quoting Bob Shrum. He never has anything of substance to say. He is a living breathing talking point.
On the video, I think the Clinton campaign should be worried.

Hillary has the worst problem in all of politics. People just don't like her. Do they have any reason for this. Not really, but that doesn't matter. People don't need a reason not to like someone, all they need is an excuse.

Everyone has that friend who nobody likes but you and your close buddies cause you've known him since ya'll were 10. As you get older your new friends are always conveniently not availabe when he comes into town. Well that is what Senator Clinton is like. People who have known her for a long-time think she hung the moon, but everybody else just doesn't understand why they hang-out with her.

Posted by: Andy R | March 19, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

CC, why do you ask the opinions of Dem consultants in DC, who have done nothing but lose for several years? Who would take Shrum seriously? The answer is, only another DC insider. Neither shrum or carville nor any of the rest of them has any credibility.

but thank god, at least you mentons the guttersnipe drudge.

And tony, the atmosphere of tolerance, respect and fair play you long for will never happen as long as the movement conservatives exist -- becuase that sort of b3havior is antithetical to ther natures.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the anti-Hillary ad, this is what i wrote in my part-time blog on March 7:


Ouch . . . .
March 7th, 2007 by tony_daysog

I hope Hillary's team keeps their wit and don't lose their cool over this or any other video anonymously posted on Youtube. Likewise for the other candidates who, sooner or later, will get their Youtube moment. . . . Yes, the advertisement is a clever take on my generation's big TV ad, and, taken at face value, it is humorous in a sly way. And, yes, I did notice the emblem on the shirt.

What troubles me about this is the ease with which we can dehumanize someone and, in so doing, replace thoughtful discourse with images that appeal to our base instincts. Nothing new about that, you might say. After all, Republicans cornered this market. But we're not them, and we don't want to be like them. All candidates should make an impassioned statement against the kind of politics this video represents and for a kind of politics that elevates through enlightened discourse in which ideas and policies are debated in an atmosphere of tolerance, respect and fair play.

Our Party's mantra going forward should be to agree or disagree without being disagreeable, because, come November 2008 after all the primaries and caucuses are done, we're going to need each other.

Postscript: A number of people have posted the video on Youtube but, judging by the number of viewers of "Parkridge47's" version of the file, I'm guessing this person might have originally posted the video. I read several books about Hillary ("Rebels with White Gloves" is a great book), so "Park Ridge" sounded vaguely familiar. A quick Google search confirmed my hunch; Park Ridge is Hillary's Illinois hometown. I'm guessing she was born in 1947. I wonder if Parkridge47 is officially affiliated with any campaign.

Posted by: tony_daysog | March 19, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

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