Tuesday, December 11, 2007

When Hillary Met Rudy

Salon wrote an excellent article over Thanksgiving break about a little remembered aspect of the potential Hillary vs. Rudy Presidential showdown that might occur next year: that Hillary can from down 10 points to beating Rudy in the polls during her first run for Senate in 2000 before Rudy dropped out for health reasons...

The author of the article, Rob Polner, tracked down the defining moment of the campaign...the moment when things changed for Rudy and Hillary was during an early campaign stop in which the Clinton campaign accidentally played the Billy Joel song "Captain Jack" [which is essentially about cocaine use] instead of the campaign's theme song "New York State of Mind." The next day, Rudy lost it:

The next morning, Clinton's Republican rival for the Senate seat put her on trial at a press conference in lower Manhattan. Sounding like the federal prosecutor he once was, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani read aloud a political indictment, the lyrics to "Captain Jack."

"'But Captain Jack will get you high tonight,'" Giuliani recited from a paper in his hand, "'and take you to your special island. Captain Jack will get you by tonight ... just a little push and you'll be smiling.'" Then he raised his eyes to address the assembled media. "I think the message that got out by mistake was, 'Let's say yes to drugs.' I think it's a very, very dangerous message."

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton had already flown off to Buffalo, where she trudged through the snow and talked about jobs and economic recovery. By that November, Clinton was the senator-elect from New York, and Giuliani's political career seemed all but kaput.

Billy Joel -- Captain Jack

Billy Joel -- New York State of Mind

Both tracks can be found on The Essential Billy Joel.