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TV networks prep the cultural battlespace for the Hillary 2016 campaign


Myra Adams at National Review notices the rather large number of Hillary Clintonesque characters popping up on TV shows this year, just in time for Madame Hillary’s expected announcement of her 2016 presidential campaign:

On November 17, 2014, NBC, the unofficial propaganda arm of both the White House and the Democratic party, is scheduled to premiere its new weekly drama, State of Affairs. One of the show’s main characters is the president of the United States, who, “for some reason” (a reason that ignores the first-season cancellation of the last woman-president series, ABC’s Geena Davis vehicle Commander in Chief), just happens to be a woman.

[…] Another new Hillary imprint, titled Madam Secretary and portraying a “take-charge” secretary of state, premiers on CBS September 21. It could also be running when a former embattled secretary of state declares her presidential intentions in January.

State of Affairs features show-business stalwart Alfre Woodard as the president (and serial box-office bomber Katherine Heigl as the CIA heroine), but it still feels like a consolation prize. Last year, NBC announced plans to produce a miniseries about the real Hillary Clinton, but the project was shelved after the Republican National Committee complained.

I think Hillary’s sycophants in the media would be delighted if audiences identified all three of these characters – the president and CIA heroine from “State of Affairs” and the SecState from “Madam Secretary” – with Mrs. Clinton.  Something tells me this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Adams highlights the absurd ham-fisted transparency of this effort by wondering if any network might be working on a show about the first Cuban-American president, timed to coincide with the launch of a Marco Rubio presidential campaign. 

I don’t know if any of this is going to work, though, at least not with anyone outside the Low-Information Voter crowd that was going to shuffle to the polls and lifelessly tug the lever for Hillary anyway.  One obvious wrinkle would be if the Republicans also have a female candidate on the ticket.  But even if that doesn’t happen, the problem is that these characters make Hillary look bad.  No one with a minimal awareness of recent events can watch those commercials of Tea Leoni’s “Madame Secretary” vowing to bring captured Americans home without thinking of Benghazi Clinton and thinking: Oooh, sick burn.

I haven’t seen much about “State of Affairs,” but a heavy barrage of ads for “Madam Secretary” has littered my TV screen, and I have to say another problem with this bit of Clinton 2016 cheerleading is that it doesn’t look very good.  Even though Leoni is soft-spoken, it reads like half of her character’s dialogue is written as all-caps catch phrases in the script: “I’m going to TOTALLY CIRCUMVENT YOUR AUTHORITY!  I want to resolve this crisis through BACK CHANNELS!  I’ve never encountered a situation where I DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE!”  The equally lead-footed advertising copy in the previews clutters the screen with promises about how UNCONVENTIONAL and UNEXPECTED she’ll be.  The show itself might be less cliched than its advertising, but it doesn’t look like a promising start, especially given the poor track record of political shows (as opposed to action-adventure programming, and soap operas or comedies that happen to be set in the White House.)

The Left’s cultural control is extremely useful for pushing an issues agenda, but it remains to be seen how well it can sell individual political candidates, especially when selling a charisma-free candidate with an uninspiring resume to an electorate that has grown visibly sick of seeing the current President on television.


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