Friday, February 29, 2008

The Three Faces of Hillary

Occasionally, when she is listening to Barack Obama during a debate, or she seems a little bit too satisfied with herself, for a flickering few seconds, candidate Hillary Clinton can look too much like the evil mom, played by Angela Lansbury (as pictured above), in “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962).

In that excellent political thriller the versatile Lansbury shows just what a marvelous actress she can be.

When I think of the awkwardness of Hillary having her husband and former president, Bill Clinton, stumping for her, I am reminded of “Sunset Blvd.” (1950). In that one a rich former silent movie star, played by Gloria Swanson, has her former husband, played by Eric Von Stroheim, working for her as a butler/chauffeur.

Don’t you wonder what in the world Bill’s role would be if Hillary wins?

Then when I watch Hillary Clinton switch from one personality to another, then another, in a matter of a day or two, I am reminded of “The Three Faces of Eve” (1957), which starred Joanne Woodward.

As Eve White: She sweetly, almost self-effacingly, praised her opponent, Barack Obama, at a debate, saying how “proud” she was to appear on a stage with him.

As Eve Black: With her most shrill voice the next day she berated Obama with, “Shame on you...” over what was a tiny disagreement over syntax. Then we hear how she wants the Michigan and Florida delegations’ votes to count at the convention, in spite of party rules forbidding the same.

As Jane: When she talks about what she has done as a senator to help needy people, she can sound like a disciple of Eleanor Roosevelt. Which makes me think she’s an excellent person to represent New York in the U.S. Senate.

But one can get whiplash trying to keep up with the multiple personalities Hillary can project from one minute to the next. In contrast, candidate Obama seems unflappable, consistent and more confident every day. Which is obviously making Hillary’s moods swing from one frustrated face to another.

2 comments:

MightyMouth said...

Oh. My. God.

Dude, you nailed it! Obama's on a first date, Hillary's on a job interview...and she's not sure what job she's interviewing for.

Ready on Day One...to do what,exactly?

F.T. Rea said...

MightyMouth,

Hillary's plight is also something like that of a veteran star baseball player who has lost a step, gets replaced in the lineup by a young phenom, then has accept a lesser role during the World Series.

Some ballplayers can do that gracefully -- team spirit! -- some can't.