Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Where's Waldo? I Mean, Where's Hillary?

What's Hillary Clinton been doing? All I read now is Obama, Obama, Obama. Might be just as well, given that she might wind up with Michael Jackson Syndrome. For you younger bloggers, that's the same as Britney Spears Syndrome.

Come again?

No, cheerful ones, this is not about their exotic parenting skills. This is about their marketing. MJ hit the heights of popularity when his excellent CD "Thriller" came out around 1983. For better and for worse, Jackson had an unusual string of hits. The better part is obvious: good songs hitting the top of the charts made him a fortune. The worse part is harder to explain: this success, plus the duration of Jackson being covered by the media, created a kind of Jackson exhaustion. We tired out from hearing about him.

Jackson's publicity machine was nonstop. MJ himself, was colorful. Jackson wore the single white glove, had an androgynous look, plus all the presumed plastic surgery and the changing color of his skin. Jackson became known as Wacko Jacko.

Then, as we all know, the Neverland bit, the parenting questions, and the questionable activity with children.

This brings us up to date.

Forgetting for a moment the issues themselves, consider the marketing challenges. Jackson, by virtue of music, dancing, and video making skill, saturated our awareness. Add, now, the unwanted publicity he received. He became a freak of the media, with every breath exaggerated, and every mistake seen as criminal. The courts are still sorting out some of this, but the sum of it, Jackson become bigger than bigger than life. Yes, I said it twice.

In my opinion, he became as publicized, or more so, than the Beatles in their day. Had John, Paul, George and Ringo had the Internet then, who knows?

Spears, to a lesser extent, has suffered similar problems. Her skills are not to be compared with Jackson, who redefined pop music. Spears, while hardly without ability, was more of just another teenage pop queen on a big scale. He was the King of Pop, and deservedly so. Like MJ, whatever she does now with her kids is watched closer than we might watch our own kids.

Both Jackson and Spears must contend with fame and infamy simultaneously, with expectations beyond measure with whatever they do next. Anything less than their best ever, and they will be cast by everyone but their best fans as has-beens.

What's the Hillary Connection?
Hillary's been a lightening rod hate and love since Bill Clinton first ran for office. She's everywhere, and in more places than we like. She's had more opinions scrutinized than anyone. She's talked about who we can abort, sleep with, go to war with, and every other issue. Part of this is that she's been newsworthy since George Senior left office. The other part is that many want her to be our next president.

Like Jackson and Spears, she runs a strong risk of driving even her followers nuts. The worst that can happen is that she becomes Rosie O'Donnell. Rosie, whether on her talk show, or now, on "The View" has created a case of Rosie Nausea. She speaks, and the public reacts with a "Won't she shut up?" She won't, and eventually might fall into the Richard Simmons or Tammy Faye Baker category, becoming a guest on talk shows as more of a clown rather than an influencer.

While, in many ways, Hillary has been cartooned and lampooned, but she isn't yet a circus clown. She's smarter than that, as are her handlers. But where is she?


Obama met with anti-war rally in Chicago
PeaceJournalism.com - 7 hours ago
Obama, who had earlier in the weekend announced his candidacy for the presidency and spent much of his public speaking time since then criticizing the war in Iraq, was met Sunday at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion with a crowd of 7300 ...

Obama visits Chicago before going east
Springfield State Journal Register

Chicago crowd roars for Obama
Aurora Beacon News

Fox 28 - NBC5.com - ABC7Chicago.com

all 78 news articles »

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