The comparisons were made when The Manchurian Candidate remake first came out in the summer of 2004, but Hillary Clinton and fictional entity Sen. Eleanor Shaw have become even more alike as the real-life senator continues her crusade to win the Democratic nomination for president. Shaw and Clinton are ravenously ambitious and both, in their own ways, would do anything to reach their goals. Certainly I don't think Clinton is a villain; I think she is a brilliant woman who made a mistake by marrying Bill and overstaying her welcome in the public eye before shooting for the highest office in the land. I think if she hadn't been first lady or a governor's wife, she'd still be in the same position today: running for president, and probably winning the nomination. But I do sometimes question her humanity — which seems suppressed to make way for political expediency — as well as her ability to work with others. I watch Meryl Streep in The Manchurian Candidate, and the Clintonian vibe can't be ignored.
Am I being unfair? Am I being sexist? Does a woman's power automatically make her a calculating bitch? I don't think so. I look at Eleanor Shaw and Hillary Clinton as human beings who've been so bamboozled by their own sense of worth and power that they are too out of touch with reality to be in a position of authority (this is not gender-based judgment; I also think the same of Dick Cheney). A part of me thinks that, despite the odds against her, Clinton will find a way to get the nomination. I'm sure, right now, she's hosting all kinds of Manchurian meetings, conducting all kinds of Manchurian phone calls, in order to do this. I can see her getting that nomination in Denver by totally perverting the electoral process for a cause she thinks is just: she can do this job better than anyone, and who are voters to get in the way? I can see this happening. I really can. But I don't see it ending with an assassin's bullet which simultaneously takes out her and her husband. I see eight years of improvement in the United States under the second Clinton, but at a price far higher than it's worth.
Note that the remake of The Manchurian Candidate takes place in 2008. Ho ho.
(God I wish I could find a clip of the earlier scene where Streep has to convince party leaders to put her son on the ticket. Marvelously acted, and even more approriate for a Clinton comparison. Can anyone find it online?)