Carmela Got Gold Jewelry. Hillary Wants a White House.
By MAUREEN DOWD
Would Carmela, she of the pans of baked ziti and casseroles of veal parm, ever deny the omnivorous Tony onion rings?
But the Carmela-Tony pact was a lot less strict than the Hillary-Bill pact.
Besides, this is a Hillaryized Carmela, or a Carmelized Hillary, so Bill Clinton must munch carrot sticks in their diner scene.
Actually, Hillary’s probably playing Tony, since she’s the one studying the songs on the jukebox and checking out a cruel-looking stranger at the counter.
Either way, the Clintons joined forces yesterday in a comic sendup of that last scene of “The Sopranos,” complete with a Journey soundtrack and an exchange about how Chelsea would be joining them once she got past her parallel-parking problems.
The satire was a video on Hillary’s Web site to whip up attention for the winner of her online contest to choose a campaign song.
Unfortunately, the winner, “You and I,” is definitely not for you and me. (I look forward to Obama’s new campaign ditty, “I Am Thou.”) It doesn’t bode well for the cultural health of the country that Hillary picked a song by Celine Dion, who combines the worst of Vegas and Canada.
It was an acid flashback to the cultural wasteland of Bill Clinton’s reign, when instead of Pablo Casals, we got Kenny G.
During the 1992 campaign, young Clinton aides obsessed on how they could get the boss to change from Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)” to something hipper and less baby-boomer middlebrow. Even Christine McVie, one of the band’s singers who wrote the song, said it might be better as a jingle for an insurance company.
Maya Angelou, the poet of the first Clinton inaugural, is back as well. With the campaign trying to shore up support among affluent, educated, over-35 women — women like Hillary — Ms. Angelou offers a taped testimonial to Hillary on the campaign Web site, saying that people “have profound affection for you, ever since you stood up as a woman and said: Yes, I’m a woman. Phenomenal woman. That’s my mother and all your mothers and my grandmothers and all your grandmothers. And my great-grandmothers and yours. And great-greats and great-greats and all you women here, along with Hillary Rodham Clinton and me!”
She said that she was proud that Hillary, who has dropped the “Rodham,” “gives herself the authority to be in her own skin, to be who she is.”
But Ms. Angelou gets it exactly backward. Hillary never seems at ease in her own skin, and she always gives herself too much authority.
A Los Angeles Times article notes that the paradox of the race is that voters want a Democrat to win, but when they are offered a head-to-head contest between Hillary vs. Rudy, John McCain or Mitt Romney, many switch allegiance to the Republicans. There is, the article said, “a sour aftertaste from controversies of her White House years with President Clinton.”
“Who wants four or eight more years of the Clintons’ marital disputes, paid for by the United States, we the people? I certainly don’t,” Carol Bendick, a 63-year-old Democrat, told the paper.
Whether Bill and Hill actually had a formal 20-year pact entailing two terms for president for her after two terms for him, as some suggested in “Her Way,” the Hillary bio by Don Van Natta Jr. and Jeff Gerth, they certainly had an understanding.
The Clintons’ “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy seems so similar to that of the Sopranos, that it could be a bit risky to play the mob couple, even for a gag.
Like Carmela, who was rewarded with jewels, watches and building permits for her husband’s infidelities with his goomahs, Hillary, too, found a way to profit from her husband’s failings and flaws.
At a lunch Carmela had with her girlfriends at Vesuvio, the women spoke admiringly of Hillary as a role model, someone who was able to turn a sow’s ear of a marriage into a silk purse.
And like Tony, Hillary is so power-hungry that she can justify any thuggish means to get the prize.
In the Clintons’ mob spoof, as a rather wooden Hillary is about to announce her song choice to a loose and funny Bill, the screen suddenly goes dark.
In the case of “The Sopranos,” this was cause for perplexity. In the case of the Clintons, it’s an unwittingly satirical moment, because if there’s one thing we know about this tough New York family, it is that they will never, ever go dark.
Where’s a black screen when you need one?