Carpet Screening

March 6, 2007

Hillary Plays Selma, Bill and Women for Full Effect

In 1963, when Martin Luther King, Jr. famously roared “I Have a Dream” at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, the meaning — and the irony — was unmistakable. He was running a daring Screen , a short-term rental of a long-term symbol of fairness and equity.

Twice in as many weeks, the same play has been run by the hard-running presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY). In Selma, Ala., with husband and former President Bill Clinton at her side, Mrs. Clinton jostled with rival Barack Obama (D-IL) for camera angles and to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Selma voting rights march whose violence fueled the 1960s civil rights movement and, eventually, passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act. Here, the candidate ran a double-Screen , not only to stand in the shadow of brave black marchers but to stand next to Bill Clinton, still much beloved by the African American community and its coveted voting base.

Despite her brief attempt to drawl, the play worked well. Even the friction of the Obama tussle expanded the strategic stage for the Senator-from-the-north. But it wasn”t a one-act play.

This week, Mrs. Clinton again ran a double-Screen , not only on the happy chance that it”s Women”s History Month but on the happy coincidence that she, too, is a woman. Announcing her intention to author a new Senate Bill, “The Paycheck Fairness Act,” Clinton ran supporting Mirrors to lay out the case for equal pay for women.

It was a veritable carpet bombing of conditioning plays — from Selma to Bill Clinton to Women to Hillary herself — all sewn together to blanket black and women voters and advance a very presidential agenda.