President Bill Clinton is following in the Obamas’ footsteps.
The nation’s 42rd president struck a deal with The History Channel to executive produce a new docuseries about life as a U.S. President “through challenging times.”
Like MonicaGate, perhaps?
The Daily Mail writes:
The series, set to air on the History Channel, is expected to explore the history of the Commander-in-Chief position and will delve into struggles of American leaders.
Clinton is said to be ‘fully immersed’ in the project and is expected to appear onscreen in the documentary, which is so far untitled.
The History Channel has every right, nay obligation, to seek Clinton’s participation in a project like this. Why the executive producer title, though?
Does anyone think the show’s creative team won’t pull some punches when Clinton is either on set or just looming over the production?
Clinton, like the Obamas, grasps popular culture’s considerable reach. Clinton learned that firsthand when he played the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show” during his first presidential campaign.
The moment indirectly tied to Richard Nixon saying, “Sock it to me!” decades earlier on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In.” That 1968 cameo, which Team Nixon initially rebuffed, helped soften the Republican’s stony images.
The recent Clinton maneuver comes after a flurry of pop culture deals by his Democratic successor.
The Obamas have been mostly quiet since leaving the White House three-plus years ago. Their biggest moves have taken place well outside the Beltway.
The former First Couple signed a mega-deal with Netflix, promising a full slate of films and TV-like projects that reflect their values.
This week alone we saw what that means. “Becoming,” a cinematic love letter to Michelle Obama, debuted on the streaming service. The documentary captures the former First Lady as she tours the country on behalf of her best-selling memoir.
The movie currently has a 92 percent “fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
The Obamas also signed a massive memoir deal with Penguin Random House and inked a partnership with Spotify for future podcasts.
Heck, even Joe Biden has a podcast to call his own, dubbed “Here’s the Deal.”
Democrats fully grasp what it means to tap into pop culture’s enormous potential. The Obamas raised that skill to a fine art during their eight years in the White House.
Michelle Obama danced with Jimmy Fallon, sang on Carpool Karaoke and announced the Best Picture winner at the 2013 Oscars ceremony. Harper’s Bazaar called her the “First Lady of Pop Culture,” and It’s hard to argue against it.
So where are the conservatives?
Right-of-center politicians have a huge disadvantage here. First Lady Melania Trump, a former model, has yet to grace the covers of Vogue, Elle, or other women’s magazines since moving to Washington, D.C.
Nor has she yukked it up with Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert.
Those late night hosts wouldn’t let anyone from the Trump family grace their stages … unless they agreed to enter a dunking booth.
In 2015, Donald Trump hosted “Saturday Night Live.” The next year he appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” Progressives still seethe over those isolated moments.
Current tech advances allow conservative politicians to make an end run around cultural gatekeepers.
Just ask Sen. Ted Cruz. The Texas Republican has his own podcast, “Verdict with Ted Cruz,” co-hosted by The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles. Congressman Dan Crenshaw hosts “Hold These Truths,” where the rising star weighs in on political issues and more.
“The Devin Nunez Podcast” lets the California Republican sound off above and beyond his D.C. megaphone.
These Republicans are far ahead of the curve, but their access to Hollywood, Inc. remains restricted. And given the industry’s increasing activism, those doors may soon be bolted shut.
Clinton and co. know they have a sizable advantage here, and they’re not afraid to flex it.
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