SNL’s Democratic Debate: Obama vs. Clinton

In case you missed it on TV, here’s the recent Democratic Debate cold open from Saturday Night Live, courtesy of Hulu. It is a spoof of the debates between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as they seek the Democratic Party nomination for US President and the way that some members of the press have swooned over Senator Obama.

Also see this video: SNL Hillary and Obama - The 3 A.M. Phone Call

This skit caused some debate on race because the SNL actor portraying Obama, Fred Armisen, isn’t African-American but is Latino-Asian. I think he pulls it off rather well but should Obama win the White House they should consider hiring an African-American comedic actor that can look the part. Although, considering in the show’s early years Chevy Chase spoofed Gerald Ford, there isn’t any reason why current SNL cast member, Kenan Thompson, couldn’t do it in spite of his large size.

The serious point behind the humor is that the mainstream press does tend to favor certain candidates over others. Bill Clinton took advantage of this to win the Presidency in 1992 but this time around Hillary, lacking Bill’s charisma and faced with a highly charismatic opponent in Obama, failed to capture it. Of course, this attitude by the mainstream media is real and the reason for the rise of talk radio and political blogs across the US political spectrum.


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Comment by John Cooper
2008-03-02 13:14:43

I think it is pretty sad that it takes SNL doing this sketch to get the american people to relize what has been happening to Hillary.

I also find it funny that YouTube endorses Obama a few weeks ago and any sketch showing favorable for Hillary is removed from there site. Including this one.

Way to go SNL i thank you.

Comment by jfc
2008-03-02 22:29:19

Hi John,

This time it’s a “vast left wing conspiracy”. I think it is funny/ironic how the press has abandoned her in favor of the new kid in town.

I suspect that the SNL video got pulled from YouTube due to copyright issues, no political ones. SNL videos routinely get removed for that reason.

Comment by Desty
2008-03-02 16:32:42

It is a pretty funny video. I didn’t throw it up on my site until Wed or so. I like to use Google Videos :)

Comment by jfc
2008-03-02 22:18:40

Hi Desty,

The thing I like about Hulu is that with it the writers and other staff members are getting paid while with Google and YouTube they aren’t. Of course, the downside of Hulu is that the video won’t play outside the US. I wish that they could get all this licensing stuff worked out.

Comment by Dinheiro
2008-03-03 12:59:30

That’s my problem, i couldn’t see the video (outside us)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Dennisjr
2008-03-03 15:09:52

This is pretty funny, Leave up to SNL to always go the opposite way of public opinion. I am really surprised Hillary’s campaign strategy didn’t having her attacking McCain weeks ago rather than fighting Obama. That would have taken some of the spotlight away from her losing 10 times to Obama.

Comment by jfc
2008-03-03 17:48:13

Hi Dennis,

I think the whole Obama phenomena blindsided her and her campaign team. The situation reminds me some of Ford vs Reagan in 1976 and Mondale vs. Hart in 1984. It will be interesting to see if the establishment candidate wins out over the insurgent this time around.

Comment by Obama
2008-03-07 00:12:29

I hate how they’re showing ads in front of these short clips.. isn’t 30 seconds of advertising a little too much for a 3 minute clip? That’s the first time I’ve seen that clip.. I stopped watching SNL years ago and think that was a good decision although they do occasionally have gems.. not that this was one of them although I do love that they put Hillary in her place.

Comment by jfc
2008-03-07 00:33:28

Hi Obama,

The ads help insure everyone involved in the creative process gets paid. That’s what the recent writers strike was all about. Of course, I don’t get paid nor do any other site owners who show these clips on their blogs. Like a local TV station, I have to ’sell’ my own ad slots.

There was speculation I heard on CNN today that this skit might have been a factor in Obama losing in Ohio and Texas.

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