31 August 2007

LOL Hillary?!?

How I suffer for my art. I went through Sen. Clinton's appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman last night, frame by frame to find just the right image with which to add a caption.

(OK, i didn't really go through the whole performance (and it was a performance) frame by frame, I just figured a moment when they were both laughing would fit the caption I already had in mind, but it sounds more dramatic if I claim to have gone through this appearance as if I were some Kennedy assassination conspiracy nut studying the Zapruder film)

Drudge had a headline screaming (with a question mark) that Sen. Thompson will finally announce officially his run for presidency on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. When Arnold Schwarzenegger made his official announcement for his run at the California Governorship on Leno, it was done well, all the copycats since, have been lame.

The two main latenight shows have become important stops on the campaign circus circuit. Nobody seems to give Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, Conan O' Brien or Carson Daly any love. I think they're making a mistake. All those guys are better interviewers than Leno or Letterman (each in their own way). Kimmel is very sharp, and he'd be a good challenge. Ferguson when matched with the right guest is brilliant, and if you were willing to respond honestly and follow the conversation however it goes, could flesh out a lengthy anecdote better than anyone, Conan can switch from whacky to serious the best of all the late night hosts, but he's committed to whacky, so if the purpose of the appearance is to show your humor, then he'd bring it out, and finally Carson is the ultimate sycophant, whatever you have your people tell him to ask you, he'll do, he'd give you the easiest appearance to control (yet without the obviously staged managed feel of a Leno or Letterman appearance where the difference between how they handle politicians and their normal persona is so obvious, not that either are tough on the starlets and stars on their shows, but there's still a big difference).

I left out the cable shows in this equation, though the Daily Show has become a major stop for politicians, and so long as your politics lines up with his, Stewart will treat you very well (when Sen. Obama was on, I was pretty sure that despite being straight, Jon Stewart was fully prepared to sex him up, but good).

I'm not going into the usual whine about how this makes the whole political process as unserious and publicity driven as pushing the latest TV show or feature film. I'm not going to write about how politicians are trying to sell themselves as celebrities rather than engage in policy discussions. I'm not even going to complain about how wooden, stiff and boring most of these folks are when they try and do their 'I can laugh at myself' schtick during one of these appearances.

Nope, not even going to mention any of that.

But, I will mention that few people look good captured in the middle of a wide grin with their head tilted downward (Sen. Clinton and Mr. Letterman being no exception).

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