I’m more regular than you are: Clinton’s had Secret Service chauffeurs for 23 years now. She hasn’t driven a car this century. She prohibits traveling press from photographing her boarding chartered private jets.
Yes, photo ops have been evolving since the camera’s invention. The advent of television news added movement. But fake “news events” designed simply to attract news cameras and garner free publicity have come to dominate and deteriorate American politics more every year, draining most semblance of serious substance.
Barack Obama used photo ops endlessly when he was president, often flying four hours round-trip at $210K an hour for a 20-minute photo-op to inform workers that hundreds of thousands of jobs were due any minute due to his trillion-dollar stimulus program.
If not run right, however, photo ops can suddenly turn on a politician and bite their South Side — in front of the same leering cameras. Ask Hillary Clinton after her awkward Thursday experience attempting to enter the New York City subway.
Clinton’s had Secret Service chauffeurs for 23 years now. She hasn’t driven a car this century. She prohibits traveling press from photographing her boarding chartered private jets.
But with the New York primary just 11 days away and another elderly ex-New Yorker undermining her sure-fire, now lame nomination campaign by winning six of the last seven contests, millionairess Clinton wanted to look like a regular person. So, she shunned the limo and charter jet.
I’m more regular than you are
The former first lady, former Arkansas first lady, former senator, former failed presidential candidate and former secretary of State planned to take a well-guarded ride on the No. 4 train from 161st Street in the Bronx. Key words: well-guarded.
Such events are — or should be — pre-planned by advance people with the candidate fully briefed on what to do and expect. Everything must run smooth and normal like a Rolex watch, not a Clinton trademark this cycle.
So, Clinton walked up to the subway turnstile holding the MetroCard someone bought for her. She swiped it at the fare reader. And…….nothing. Again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Again. Nothing.
Cameras captured the painful scene as the woman who jokes about wiping her private email server with a cloth looked like a puzzled yutz.
Finally, on the fifth try Clinton gained entry, confident in the knowledge her straight face would appear in this photo, not her five tries.
Clinton waited on the platform, just like you would, except for all the guards. A train arrived. The woman who earned a minimum quarter-million per speech boarded with her entire entourage and went for a ride.
Had this been one of those obviously disconnected, rich Republican candidates stumped by apparent ignorance of an everyday experience we’d be hearing about the hilarious, mortifying, disastrous scene all weekend. And well beyond.
You’d be treated to endless talk-show jokes about the GOP candidate seeking an F train to tee time at the country club.
Remember all the mocking of President George H.W. Bush in the 1992 campaign against another Clinton when the chief executive asked a proud showroom clerk how this newly-invented grocery scanner worked? Or the non-stop laughter five years ago when Sarah Palin noted, accurately, that a captured Paul Revere also notified the British that the Minutemen were coming.
How many ex-senators does it take to swipe a fare card?
Don’t hold your breath for late-night laughs at this Democrat’s expense.
Tag-along media did cover the Bronx ineptness Thursday, but quickly added all kinds of helpful excuses and distracting details. Politico, for instance, noted her struggle with “those flimsy New York subway cards.” But reassured readers that Clinton pressed on “undeterred.” Impressive courage under pressure.
Then, quickly, the story switched to how Bernie Sanders, who lives in Vermont, didn’t know New York’s subway abandoned tokens 13 years ago. Which presumably proves something.
Yahoo News helpfully explained for Clinton that other New Yorkers have had trouble with those darned subway cards and even dragged in vocal opposition to Ted Cruz’ Bronx visit. Which had nothing to do with the subway, but shifted the subject off Clinton onto a Republican.