The public expects a lot, maybe too much, from its politicians. Not only do these elected representatives have to govern responsibly and ethically once voted into office, but they also have to be (or seem) inspiring, personable, and likable, whatever the hell those adjectives even mean anymore in these jaded times. To that end, political candidates do a whole lot of pandering during election season, often willingly sacrificing their own dignity in order to ingratiate themselves with John and Jane Q. Voter. And with her brash opponent pandering as perhaps no candidate has ever pandered before, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton cannot afford to stay above the fray. If that means feigning interest in sports, so be it.
In a new ad parody for the political satire site Cafe called “Hillarii Sports,” filmmaker (and A.V. Club contributor) Dominick Nero imagines a Nintendo-style video game based around Clinton and her real-life athletic adventures, including graceless attempts at bowling, soccer, and even dominoes. The game encourages her efforts, even though they’re mostly unsuccessful. Interspersed throughout the ad are excerpts from a pro-sports speech Clinton made when she was secretary of state under President Obama. A few ex-jocks, including Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, have wound up in the Oval Office, but Clinton does not seem athletically inclined. She’s clearly on the “nerd” side of the classic “jock vs. nerds” divide.
Nero explains his video to The A.V. Club as a comment on what he perceives as Clinton’s ever-shifting identity:
Let’s be honest, guys. Hillary Clinton’s public persona is hard to understand. She’s goes from whipping and nae-naeing on Ellen to sternly advising Donald Trump to “delete [his] account” on Twitter. Is she our silly grandma? Or is she our mean aunt? Now, it’s not to say that she can’t be all these things at once (more power to her!) but it seems that, for internet culture at least, her multiple personas are starting to create a quandary: What is Hillary? That’s where Wii Sports comes in!
Nero sees Clinton as the human equivalent of the much-parodied Nintendo game.
What is Wii Sports? Is it supposed to be lame? Or is it self-aware of its corporate presentation sensibility? Much of the same could be said of Hillary, which is why, when editing this mashup, I found the two to go together quite seamlessly.