A new organization raising money for an anticipated Clinton White House run has released a song and the early reactions suggest it stands little chance of joining FDR's, "Happy Days Are Here Again," JFK's, "High Hopes," or Obama's, "Yes We Can" in the annals of popular presidential campaign tunes.
And that's just the reaction on the left.
Even media outlets normally sympathetic to Democrats were withering in their ridicule on Thursday of "Stand With Hillary" — released by a so-called Super PAC committee of the same name.
Those committees are legally entitled to raise huge amounts of money, but aren't allowed to co-ordinate their efforts with official campaigns — which is perhaps just as well because, given the reaction, it's unlikely any future Clinton campaign will want to claim ownership of this tune.
The progressive Mother Jones magazine helped get the mockery rolling with the tweet: "This Pro-Hillary Cowboy Anthem Will Make Your Ears Bleed."
The new-country tune begins with a slide guitar, morphs into a chorus with a rare chord progression, and features sentence-ending syllables that fall into that lyrical no-man's-land between rhyming and whatever the unheralded opposite of rhyming might be.
Yes, they went with quasi-rhymes.
The cowboy hat-wearing crooner announces in the crescendo to the first chorus:
"Now it's 2016...
"And I'm a-thinkin' guys, put your boots on and let's smash this ceilin'."
The National Journal published a blog item annotating the lyrics — pointing out, for instance, the inaccuracy of the line "Now it's 2016."
The Democrat-friendly Wonkette website described it as an early bid for the worst campaign song of 2016. "Here is your terrible, face-melting Hillary Clinton Super PAC ad/generic (Country Music Television) music video," the Wonkette piece began.
It went on to list theories for the song's provenance, starting with the possibility that it was actually a false-flag operation by Clinton's possible Republican rival, Rand Paul.
Speaking of Republicans, they got in on the fun, too. However, they also used the video to point to more serious potential kinks in the Clinton juggernaut.
The two serious points:
—Democrats are in trouble with working-class white voters. The party won barely one-third of the white working-class vote in last month's midterms, vaporizing its chances of taking seats outside cosmopolitan cities.
One conservative commentator quipped on Twitter that the alternate title for the Clinton country song could have been, "Please Don't Abandon Me White Voters (This Is the Kind of Stuff You Like, Right?)"
National Journal columnist Ron Fournier, meanwhile, joked that when played backwards, "The new Hillary song says, 'I need white, male voters.'"
—There's been some anxiety, expressed on the left, that Clinton might not excite the base. She spoke to a nearly half-empty auditorium at Georgetown University this week in an event that Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank described as having "a faint but unmistakable whiff of indifference."
It was the same theme Obama successfully deployed against her in 2008 — most memorably with an ad likening the Clinton campaign to a soulless cyborg, in a parody of a classic Apple computer spot.
If she runs again as expected, her opponents will inevitably seek to tag her with that same damning label of inauthenticity.
They were already using the country song, created by an arm's-length fundraising outfit, to emphasize that preferred narrative. The headline from the conservative website Breitbart.com said, "Stand with Hillary Country Music Video Is Predictable and Inauthentic (a Lot Like Hillary)."
Here's some material for a Clinton happy song, though: She still leads every possible Republican rival in the polls.
Although her numbers have softened a little, a compilation of polls at Realclearpolitics.com suggests she remains ahead of all potential Republican 2016 nominees, at least for now.Suggest a correction