Sunday, October 02, 2005

Commander in Chief


Flagging ratings have shelved the show till summer, but an interesting tidbit turned up.

Turns out there is a Clinton connection to the show after all...3 of them in fact.

The show’s lead writer, Steve Cohen, served as the then-first lady’s deputy communications director in the 1990s.

And two advisors have ties to the Clintons, former national security adviser Sandy Berger and Capricia Marshall, the former social secretary for the Clinton White.

I wouldn't call this a smoking gun by any means, and it isnt truly a direct connection so it does not fully justify my suspicians that this was a pre run for Hillary 2008. But it does explain the liberal tilt I noted below.

I also found it interesting that a group trying to get Rice to run was using the show also, with targeted advertising.

I think both parties want to test the water of a woman candidate.

I have approached this show from a fairly cautious standpoint for a couple reasons.

First, Hollywood has shown a marked tendency to trash conservatives, and applaud liberals, so in trying to discern whether to take it seriously or not, I have to bear in mind that bias.

Second the premise of a woman is not distant reality in my opinion, particularly with Ms Clinton staging herself so carefully for what many see as in inevitable 2008 run.

In fact it would not surprise me to think they are paving the way with a safe Hollywood drama to grease the idea into the American consciousness. How many other concepts has the TV brought to day to day mind that later turned true?

In fact, as my memory serves me, it seems there was already a Democratic President who was aided greatly by television, both during his campaign as advisors and before hand with a little sitcom name dropping. In the sitcom Designing Women, one of the characters casually drops Clinton's name as Governor of Arkansas in several episodes. Now granted this was not as high rated as other shows, but still can we ignore this considering the Producer, Linda Bloodworth-Thomasan and her husband are long times friend of the then presidential hopeful?

And their influence was certainly felt as Clinton used a very savvy handling of the media to advance his campaign. Some of it was likely his own charisma, but he also had great advisors.

So now we have the president, played by Geena Davis. Is she the stand in for a new agenda? According to some articles I found, yes. Geena herself has been quoted as saying:

'We're making this as entertainment. But God willing, if this show stays on and people see a woman in that office for a while, I think it will help people become more used to it. It's certainly about time that we had a few female presidents.'

Now this seems more of a feminist agenda then a democratic, but the two camps share a lot of the picnic blanket, so I cant count it out.

And looking at the plot I am slightly more convinced this has an anti conservative agenda.

First, the Republican President picks her, a registered Independent as his running mate, reportedly as a way to score points with women voters. Of course, the republicans are tapped to be some what self serving here.

Of course the staff all has ideological issues with her. Of course the evil Republican Speaker of the house wants her to resign so he can ascend. Naturally the republicans resent her and want her gone. It's a a bit too simple of a stereotype.

They could have played her and the president as democrats and showed her to be a remarkable woman deserving of the office, truly the best choice. Maybe that would feel too obvious. I don't know.

But my early impression is not very positive.

One thing they show well is the struggle to decide what to do with the first husband.

All I know is that women are making more and more serious contributions to American politics, and Hillary Clinton is not the only woman seen as a contender. The powder puff presidential battle of Hillary vs Condi Rice is being whispered in many places.

The concept of Mrs President is certainly overdue, and should be taken seriously. If the show seeks to forward that, I applaud it, as I think a woman could bring some needed changes to the country, and I just don't see gender as being an elminating factor.

I just hope that C in C treats it as a serious issue, and doesnt degenerate it into a DNC tool.

To fight for a woman president is fine, if she has to be a democrat then I think you are again forcing limits where none need exist.