Sen. Clinton unveiled a startling new slogan today -- and by "startling" I mean lame: "Turn Up the Heat; Turn America Around."
Media mavens I've heard from say slogans don't mean much anymore; they've gone the way of jingles where they can't get enough exposure from a common enough audience to really sink in. For Hillary's sake, I hope so. The point of the slogan eludes me (Global warming? No, that would be turn the heat DOWN...turn our foreign policy from a westward to an eastward focus? Don't think so. Do the hokey pokey? Maybe THAT's what it's all about! )
At the end of the day, I'm not sure it matters a lot. But along with her slogan came another unfurling. Her new campaign colors. Green and gold. Green and freakin' gold. Now THIS requires analysis. Because colors do matter. There are millions of words that come and go across the backgrounds of thousands of politician's speeches. (Join any two of the following with a preposition and the verbs "New" or "Better" and you have somebody's slogan somewhere: Commitment, Quality, Tomorrow, Change,Leadership, Values, Integrity, Strength and, of course, America. Among many others.) But there are only so many basic colors (and the first rule of political color-choosing is only to go with clear, bold, basic colors.)
So, what are we to make of this particular choice? Well, the first thing we are to make of it is that there is something to be made of it. That is, this is calculated. Which is why she shouldn't have done it; it plays right to our discomfort with her. Somebody spent a lot of time coming up with this notion of going with a color scheme outside the normal safe boundaries of Red, White and Blue.
One imagines that a dedicated staffer and a dedicated consultant researched the colors that played best for the junior Senator from New York. Green: the color of riches, the color of environmentalism, the color of rooms designed to relax you before going onstage, the color of frogs. Brilliant! Gold: the color of riches, the color of dawn, the color of her flaxen hair, the color -- along with green--of the Green Bay Packers. Is that what this is about? The Green Bay Packers? Yes, I think it is. Well, a little, anyway. I bet it was part of the consideration. You certainly wouldn't want the colors of a BAD team. You wouldn't want black and orange, for example. (Ouch, Bengals fans.) Not when the timing of the primary season coincides almost perfectly with the professional playoffs and college Bowls.
Think about it. Who is likely to be playing in the key games next January? And what are the colors most likely to be seen waving across America's television screens? New England wears Red, White and Blue. Boooring. The Blue and White of the Indianapolis Colts: Also boring, and obvious for a Democratic candidate.
The Dallas Cowboys add silver to blue and white, but that's George Bush's state. Pittsburgh's Black and Gold wouldn't have been a bad choice, but those are also the colors of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Too pandering. OK, that may be a far-fetched concept, but you'd piss off the Iowa State (Red and Gold) fans in the process.
Green and Gold are the colors of Green Bay and Brett Favre, and who doesn't like to watch him? The veteran coming back for one more Super Bowl run. Reminds us of the glory days, do those colors. Let's wrap our candidate in those babies. As a bonus, the Oregon Ducks wear Green and Gold as well, and they are in a great position to play for the College National Championship about the time Iowa and New Hampshire voters are getting set to go to the polls. But really, this choice is mostly about the Packers. And the rival they have already stomped the aspirations out of. You know. The rival from Illinois.