Exit Music (For a Campaign): Hillary Clinton

Written by Exit Music, Music, Popdose

Hillary Clinton boarding planeIt’s the end of the road for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. A few signs lately have pointed towards Hillary finally packing it in, and after Barack Obama sweeps up enough of the black vote in the urban strongholds of Montana and South Dakota today to claim victory in these final two primary states, it’s likely that Clinton’s campaign will offer a formal concession. Hillary’s last-ditch effort to convince the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee to seat Michigan and Florida’s entire slates of delegates with full voting status (and award all of said delegates to her) failed, and her pitch to undecided superdelegates over the last month has mostly been falling on deaf ears. By the end, her surrogates’ statements about the which states “mattered” and specific, irrelevant ways the popular vote could be tallied to produce a slim lead for Hillary were beginning to insult everyone’s intelligence.

The nomination is decided by delegates. In the primary process, the total popular vote is no more critical to the outcome of the contest than passing yardage is to the outcome of a football game. Having Hillary attract superdelegates based on an absurdly subjective interpretation of which votes to count would be like seeing Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy persuade the NFL that his team should represent their conference in the Superbowl because, even though his team had a lower number of points than the Giants in the NFC championship game, they forced more fumbles and had a higher field goal kicking percentage and would be a stronger matchup against the Patriots.

Normally, in this series I write about the music used for the end credits of an existing film. For today’s post, I created my own, featuring an ensemble cast and some familiar names among the film crew. For the exit music, I went with a suggestion provided by Popdose’s own Molly Marinik, the Rolling Stones song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” It was the closing track of their 1969 album Let it Bleed, and I think it’s particularly fitting for two reasons. The first is that even though Hillary probably won’t get to be president in her lifetime, she will be able to influence the outcome of November’s election and help provide this country with what it needs – a Democratic president. The second is three words in the lyrics that capture the fundamental reason for my distaste for Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate: her bloodstained hands.

I always felt that with her extraordinary stature and visibility, Hillary could have done more than anyone to prevent the Iraq war from happening. Instead, she made a coldly cynical decision to hand the President a bat so he could head out back and give the hornet’s nest a few good whacks. In the end, her calculation was based not on heartfelt support for the war effort, but rather a sense that resisting the push of conventional wisdom and dime-store patriots would ultimately damage her ambitions in the future. She owns the war every bit as much as each the Senators who voted in favor of it, and her stubborn refusal to acknowledge that it was a disastrous decision is the same type of obstinacy that 77% of us have come to know and loathe about our current president.

In the end, though, I have a lot of sympathy for Hillary based simply on the way the press and the “village” of DC insiders sabotaged her candidacy. I suspect many of the voters in New Hampshire felt the same way. The soundtrack for my hypothetical film is meant to reflect that, and I hope that all of Hillary’s supporters that are threatening to throw their votes to McCain as some form of misguided protest will realize that the game is over, and Obama is not their opponent anymore.

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Rilo Kiley – “It’s a Hit”

Le Tigre – “On Guard”

Heart – “Magic Man”

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Details of the War”

Neutral Milk Hotel – “Communist’s Daughter”

R.E.M. – “Exhuming McCarthy”

The Stone Roses – “I Wanna Be Adored”

Siouxie and the Banshees – “The Passenger”

Belle and Sebastian – “We Rule the School”

INXS – “Tiny Daggers”

James – “Hymn from a Village”

Sun Kil Moon – “Carry Me Ohio”

Don Henley – “Dirty Laundry”

Afghan Whigs – “Gentlemen”

The Pixies – “Gouge Away”

The Smiths – “William, It Was Really Nothing”

Radiohead – “Electioneering”

Journey – “Don’t Stop Believin’”

Night Ranger – “Sister Christian”

Modest Mouse – “Neverending Math Equation”

Guns N Roses – “Estranged”

Wilco – “Ashes of American Flags”

The Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”