Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Silly Putty Candidate

Back in the 1960's, a band called The American Breed had a hit single called Bend Me, Shape Me. How were they to know that the song would aptly describe a future presidential candidate?

A better question might be, who could imagine the most rigid (and oft described as "smartest") woman in America could transform herself into whatever she needed to be to appeal to the most voters? If it weren't so transparently obvious, I would offer some credence to the parenthetical description. I'm sure there are those who would, nonetheless.

Hillary Clinton appeared as a guest on Fox's O'Reilly Factor on Wednesday night, a show greatly anticipated by many conservatives as a potential bloodbath. It never happened; in a clear attempt at looking more feminine, Hillary wore a bright pink pant suit. What this did for me is to remind me of another '60's hit which, ironically, is tied in an abstract way to the song by The American Breed...Silly Putty.

Silly Putty was a toy that came in a plastic egg. It was pink, pliable and kept kids busy for hours. The best part of Silly Putty was that you could flatten it out, press it onto the comics and peel up the image, which you could then stretch into funny faces. Hillary might as well have been singing Bend Me, Shape Me as she plastered her face onto a photo of Ronald Reagan and, peeling up the image on the pliable putty, tried to sound like what O'Reilly's audience might have wanted to hear, all the while stretching the hell out of the truth.

For his part, O'Reilly, while not completely folding like a cheap camera, still allowed her latitudes and escape avenues that someone not-Hillary could never have expected. The kid gloves were most definitely on for the entire interview. There will be more of this futility to air on Thursday night.

I can hardly wait.


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