The people have spoken, some 200,000 of them, on which song Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., should adopt as her official campaign anthem. She announced the winner of the competition on her Web site Tuesday, directing people first to an online video that satirized the ending of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” substituting carrots for onion rings and her real-life daughter Chelsea for Meadow as the family member having parallel parking trouble outside the restaurant. Former crime boss John “Johnny Sack” Sacrimoni, played by Vince Curatola in the show, makes an appearance, as deputy campaign press secretary Isaac Baker explains.
After the campaign video goes to black, ala the Sopranos finale, viewers are re-directed to another site to hear the actual winning song, Celine Dion’s “You and I”. The campaign puts the number of views of Clinton’s two previous Web videos announcing the song contest on YouTube and her Web site at more than 1 million.
In addition to this week’s campaign song buzz, Clinton tied up three noteworthy endorsements from Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., author Maya Angelou and filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Speculation surrounded Spielberg’s endorsement, since he co-hosted a Hollywood fund raiser for another presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in February. In a statement released by the Clinton campaign June 13, Spielberg said, “I’ve taken the time to familiarize myself with the impressive field of Democratic candidates and am convinced that Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate to lead us from her first day in the White House.”
Though doubtful the endorsement would sway voters, New York Times columnist and NewsHour regular David Brooks called the move, “indicative of the fact Obama-mania is no longer sweeping the country, and that now [Obama and Clinton] are in the midst of a normal campaign.” Brooks said it was “also a sign that the Clinton machine is working overtime.”
Meek’s endorsement , meanwhile, generated media attention because it came from Florida, a potential swing state with an early primary date, as detailed by the St. Petersburg Times’ Adam Smith, and because he had denied the endorsement in an earlier media report , as recounted by washingtonpost.com’s Chris Cillizza.
The Miami Herald earlier reported Meek’s endorsement, and he responded by firing off an angry letter to the campaign denying the endorsement. Days later, the congressman put out a statement via the campaign, in which he officially endorsed her: “Sen. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate with the perfect blend of leadership, talent and intellect to lead our nation in a new direction.” Cillizza called Meek “the most prominent young African-American leader in the state.”
And Angelou, who has appeared at various Clinton campaign events, announced her endorsement in a video tribute, saying, “I know her as a woman, and she makes me very proud. I am proud that she gives herself the authority to be in her own skin, to be who she is. … She stands up for all women.”
The Washington Post and New York Times put on their front pages a story about the Clintons’ conversion of millions of dollars’ worth of stock to cash to avoid potential conflicts during the campaign. Documents filed with federal ethics officials showed the Clintons had liquidated the blind trust managing their investments in April, upon learning those investments included oil and pharmaceutical companies, military contractors and Wal-Mart.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd weighed in over the weekend in a column entitled, “Can He Crush Hillary?” in which she criticizes the Obama campaign for its “inept leaking” on possible conflicts of interest in the filings, namely Bill Clinton’s connections with a longtime donor’s company. Dowd says the Clinton filings also raise the question, “Do we want the country run again by a couple who get so easily wrapped around the fingers of anyone who is rich?” The Clinton campaign had no comment on the matter.
Clinton spent the weekend in Texas, Oklahoma and New York, with no public campaign events.
Clinton plans to speak Tuesday at the forum for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, which is the largest public employee and health care workers union in the United States. Wednesday morning, she intends to address her progressive base at the Campaign for America’s Future’s week-long conference in Washington, D.C., along with fellow Democratic presidential candidates Obama, former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. Some 3,000 liberal activists, thinkers, bloggers and elected officials are expected to attend.
Clinton plans to attend the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hearing Wednesday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s handling and aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. And on Friday, Clinton travels to Los Angeles, where she will address the U.S. Conference of Mayors.