As FC's Danielle Sacks explored in this month's Fast Talk, much of the 2008 presidential campaign is being fought on the Web with the growth of online fund-raising, grassroots organizing, and viral video. This week's must-see clip comes courtesy of Hillary Clinton's camp. The Hillraisers juiced up the search for the campaign's song (Since when do campaigns need songs anyway? And what was Nixon's — "Suspicious Minds"?) by quickly turning out a spoof of the most talked about TV event in years, the The Sopranos finale.
There's Hillary waiting in the diner booth, Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" in the background, the unnerving jingle of the door bell, Bill asking for onion rings (the Sopranos' last supper), the sinister character watching from the counter and heading into the bathroom, and, of course, the sudden cut to a black screen.
Reaction on the blogoshere has been mixed to say the least:
"[A] stroke of freakin' genius" raved Rachel Sklar on The Huffington Post.
"One of the dumbest pieces of advertising I have ever seen," sniffed Lindsay Beyerstein on This Modern World.
"Speechless," stammered Time.com's Ana Marie Cox.
I thought it was amusing and certainly provocative but also tone deaf. How wise is it for a presidential candidate who's often characterized as the ultimate ambitious politician to equate herself with a monster like Tony? And to allude to such an ambiguous if artful ending? There's no avoiding one dark interpretation in which Tony - or Hillary - gets whacked. That's easy ammo for her opponents. Hillary's team let their cleverness get the best of them, and their brand — I mean, candidate — took a hit.