Monday, May 18, 2015

Who Wants to Play Second Fiddle?

                      United States Department of State
Bank of New York Mellon has produced a laugh out loud funny commercial. Audience members are waiting to hear Itzhak Perlman begin a concert. You can see the look of anticipation on their faces and then all of a sudden, it’s announced the comedian Rhea Perlman will be sitting in for him. A few bars of cacophonic violin playing follow. The idea is that you don’t want surrogates handing your money. Rhea is, of course, the wife of Danny DeVito and not  the famed musician. However what is most interesting is the shared name and the not so subtle implication infusing the comedy and relating to marriage. However, glamorous it is to be married to a successful person, no one likes to play second fiddle. But, let’s imagine if Bank New York Mellon’s advertising agency had chosen the Clintons for their  commercial. This scenario might be slightly reversed in terms of the sexes. The audience is waiting for Hillary to appear, but at the last moment it’s announced that Bill will be taking her place. What would the equivalent of the out of tune violin in the context of a political campaign. Remember Monty Python’s, “Nudge nudge. Wink wink. Say no more.” But that’s too obvious. What could really happen would be something even more discordant with Bill, as he has on some previous occasions, acting like a runaway horse. For instance here is a Times report “Now on the Campaign Trail, a Reined in Bill Clinton,” (NYT, 2/27/08) dealing with how Clinton botched up Hillary’s earlier campaign for president. No one wants him to play that tune again.

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