Hillary Clinton’s campaign managers have been attempting to soften the former secretary of state's image by engaging in an “authenticity tour,” complete with appearances by Hillary on several entertainment shows, most recently in a sketch on “Saturday Night Live.”
In the YouTube world in which we all now reside, whether a candidate for president appears to be likable, particularly on television, is of paramount importance to that individual’s ultimate electoral success.
All of the chatter about Hillary appearing to be stiff and scripted, combined with her falling poll numbers, email scandals, and challenges from Bernie Sanders and others, have caused the presumed Democratic frontrunner to try and convince potential supporters that she is genuine.
Hillary recently danced on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” invited host Fallon of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” to touch her hair, engaged in a much-publicized interview with Lena Dunham, and appeared on the Sunday morning news program “Face the Nation,” a venue from which she informed viewers that she was indeed “a real person.”
In an apparent effort to boost her relatability, particularly in a family way, campaign strategists have shared with the press the notion of having Hillary emphasize her role as a grandmother
At the reported urging of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to obtain some image consulting assistance, Hillary sought counsel from director Steven Spielberg.
According to an excerpt published in the New York Post from journalist Edward Klein’s most recent book, “Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary,” Spielberg enlisted some acting coaches to work with Hillary but was unsuccessful in his attempt to achieve the desired image makeover.
Consequently, the Clintons turned to another powerful media ally, creator and longtime SNL producer Lorne Michaels, who promptly placed the Democrat candidate on the season premiere of the iconic show. The skit in which Hillary appears seems to have been crafted by writers in such a way as to provide a sizable assist to her campaign and additionally chip away at her frosty veneer.
In the “SNL” sketch, Hillary portrays Val, a bartender who engages in a conversation with a Hillary lookalike, played by SNL cast member Kate McKinnon.
McKinnon, who usually makes fun of Hillary’s overeager approach to vote seeking by portraying her as being obsessed with securing the top post, was atypically mild during this particular outing. Most of the script actually sounded as if it had been written by Hillary’s campaign advisors as opposed to staff writers at SNL.
After bartender Hillary asks faux Hillary about her vocation, faux Hillary says, “First, I am a grandmother. Second, I am a human entrusted with this one green earth.”
Bartender Hillary then refers to herself as “just an ordinary citizen who believes the Keystone pipeline will destroy our environment.”
The softball sketch ends with bartender Hillary and faux Hillary singing a duet of the classic Bill Withers tune, “Lean on Me.”
Predictably, another SNL sketch was considerably more pointed and caustic in its portrayal of one of Hillary’s Republican rivals as a faux Donald Trump, played by cast member Taran Killam, was used to caricature the GOP frontrunner.
The real Trump took it all in good fun, though, sharing with Fox & Friends Weekend that he has a friendly relationship with Michaels that spans the years and did not take offense to the political poking.
The extreme makeover of Hillary is likely to continue. It is critical to her campaign especially when there is a fairly good chance that she may have to face an additional Democrat challenger in the near future.
However, even more worrisome than this for Hillary’s strategists is the possibility that she may have to compete with a Republican candidate who has a much higher “Q” quotient and doesn’t need a dress rehearsal.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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