Bruce Parker

2008 Tragic, Fabulous and Hopefully Not Failures: Hillary and Britney

Filed By Bruce Parker | January 12, 2008 7:02 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History, Living, Politics
Tags: Britney Spears, Hillary Rodham Clinton


2008 may very well be shaping up as the year of the tragic diva for me. I find myself falling into what I will call the Kelly k-hole, but this time it's even more insidious. This time it's for keeps. Kelly Clarkson was having a hard time last July, but Britney and Hillary have been having hard times for a long, long, long time.

I believe that 2008 may be both Hillary and Britney's most successful years yet if they can just get out of their own ways.

My mother will delight in telling you about how in 1992, when I was twelve and Bill and Hill were settling into the White House, I was as sure as I had ever been in my short life that I wanted to be Hillary Clinton when I grew up. I pleaded with my mother to take me to a Methodist Church. In case you didn't know, Hillary Clinton is a Methodist. I was determined to become a lawyer because Hillary was a lawyer. Actually, Hillary was one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America - a fact that I delighted in sharing with anyone who would listen. I was convinced that underneath her ever changing (almost as if in response to polling data) hairstyle was not only a great mind, but also a compassionate one. My mind hasn't changed even though Hillary is having a hard year and I would bet she doesn't even recognize who she has become since her failed attempts to pass universal healthcare for me, my mother and you. You may hate her, but she did push this idea that most of us are on board with long before it became trendy.

My love affair with Britney Spears started a little later and was a lot more surprising. About the time that Britney's Pepsi commercial that featured Bob Dole first started airing, I become obsessed with her stomach. I was one hundred percent certified scared-of-naked-girls gay (at the time). But, for some reason her stomach was like the sun. I wanted to be in its presence as frequently as possible and my mood improved just by knowing it was there. I didn't even really like her music with the notable exceptions of profoundly inspiring breakup anthem "Stronger."

If I am totally honest, maybe I just wanted to be that chair.

My point, and I do have one, is that we should all maybe be a little less hard on Britney and Hillary. I would imagine that both women don't recognize themselves when they look in the mirror. I am so convinced that neither of them meant to be exactly who they are now and had no idea the price that getting to where they are would have the impact on them that it has. Hillary Clinton seems tired and that may very well be the most electable thing about her right now as evidenced by the now famous "crying episode."

I guess I would argue that success of any sort may have a higher cost for women than it does for men. Vote for Hillary or don't vote for Hillary - buy Britney's surprisingly inspired album or don't buy it - either way maybe we could all resolve to be a little less hard on these two women. Both of them had a busy and tiring 2007 and both of them are starting to show the strain around their eyes and their growing waistlines.

Ultimately, I guess I am trying to say that if Hillary could win New Hampshire even though the polls, the pundits, and even Bill Clinton didn't think she could, then maybe, just maybe, Britney will have a better year in 2008. In order for that to happen, she just might have to rethink her current "I am too hot for clothes" approach and Hillary should dump the tired Celine Dion theme song and use Britney's new "Piece of Me." Clearly at least New Hampshire was sure that they wanted a piece of her.

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So what do you think, Bruce? Is Britney one of "our people?" Sure seemed like it when she got hauled off that last time...

Oh, my. I think if people started equating Hillary with Britney, then Hillary's campaign would be dead in the water.

Be less hard on Hillary? Yes, and why don't we just stop engaging in politics, criticizing government actors, and just sit back and let them control things while we listen to Britney Spears albums!

I know this must be tough on any of the candidates - but they're all open to criticism and should be open to criticism. I know that at my grandmother's house no one is allowed to speak badly about GWB... this sounds rather similar.

I think Britney's own words are relevant here (referring to Bush's foreign policy:

I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.

We don't need another 4 years of that. The two or three that it lasted with GWB were enough.

Bruce Parker Bruce Parker | January 12, 2008 11:18 PM


Yea I think that Britney is pretty much one of our people. Sometimes I worry about her more than I should because I am totally confident that she is N-U-T-S.


I was joking. I was also making a comment on the fact that being drowned in attention and scrutiny is bad for anyone. I also think that the personal judgments and attacks that candidates face in running for office doesn't do much to help get a better candidate. Hillary's take on the issues gets much less scrutiny than her personality and her personal life.

Ultimately, I guess I think that your comment was grumpy and it made me want to hug you.


K sorry. I didn't realize your post was a joke.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | January 13, 2008 9:23 AM


I want to say that its hysterically funny that you have managed to wedge Hillary and Britney into the same post! I love it.

But, remember that Britney is a serious Republican and when asked about the Iraq war some years ago she said that we should just trust in every decision George Bush makes.

No matter what she has done since I have never been able to forget that quote.

I find myself agreeing with Bruce's overall point though...

The media IS harder on both Hillary and Britney. For example:

Mitt Romney cried 4 times on campaign trail
John Edwards cried at least a dozen times
Barack Obama teared up a couple times
Hillary gets misty once and it's on the news for days and days and days

Britney has mental issues, drug & alcohol addictions, and acts out - she's a pariah
Kurt Cobain had mental issues, a drug problem and killed himself - he's lionized as being too sensitive for the real world
Owen Wilson has mental issues and tried to kill himself - he gets a reprieve for always having to keep up the good guy image
Mel Gibson has mental issues and alcohol addictions and spouts of racist tirades yet he just made a bazillion dollar movie that folks went to see without complaint

What's the difference between women and men?

Bil, you're so on point. I was shocked last night at my feminist book group when the topic turned to Hillary's "tears" and everyone in the group but me said they thought that Hillary faked it to get a media spin. They all said she wanted to overcome her stone-cold-bitch persona. Do people really think that it's a calculated move to cry in front of the camera when the reality is that the media and other candidates are going to predictably respond with a barage of sexist rhetoric?

Bruce, I'm kind of intrigued that Brittney refers to herself as Mrs. throughout this song. Is she saying that she's married to the concept of contantly being in the tabloids?

Bil, you make me laugh!!!!

But we have to remember that these are human beings - subject to emotions and they have true feelings. I don't know much about Britney - I don't follow her escapades. But I could relate to what Hillary was saying as she shed her famous tear. She does seem passionate about what she is doing. I'm sure they all are. But she is still a human being and subject to emotions. I think she was tired and just let herself go. Nothing wrong with that.