Hillary Clinton has triumphed, but can she sing?
The other day, Meryl Streep performed an uproarious imitation of Donald Trump during a gala in New York. She did her hair up in a messy Alpha Male perm, painted her face orange and mimicked the Republican presidential candidate's gruff bombast and macho gait.
Unknown yet to Americans is that Streep has also mimicked Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee. It is in the new movie Florence Foster Jenkins, which has opened in Europe but not yet in the United States.
Streep stars as Jenkins, a socialite who amused tolerant (or cynical?) New Yorkers in the 1930s and 40s with awful renditions of Grand Opera. The movie is funny and light and Streep gets to ham it up. Jenkins died in 1944.
So what does Hillary, newly crowned candidate, have in common with Florence, the eccentric off-key soprano, you may ask? Well:
A) Both were wealthy, idolized in their adopted hometown, New York City, and intensely determined to succeed.
B) Each aspired to perform on the big stage of their selected vocations, Clinton as President in the White House, Jenkins as coloratura at Carnegie Hall.
C) Each was indulged and promoted by a philandering husband. (In the Jenkins movie, it is Hugh Grant, a charming choice).
D) Associates and critics praised both, seemingly without regard to reality: Hillary for being a "progressive" though she changes her position every so often to show she is not beholden to Goldman Sachs or a war monger; and Florence for being a "singer" though she displayed little understanding of, well, singing.
E) Neither could hit high notes, often sounded flat and were accused of shrieking.
Each also had a nemesis. In Jenkins' case, it was New York Post critic Earl Wilson, who is made the villain in the Streep movie for... telling the truth in print.
In Clinton's case, it is Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Senator who keeps on running and running and who Hillary backers vilify for... not being beholden to Goldman Sachs and a warmonger? To Clinton supporters demanding that Sanders recognize their candidate's superiority, Sanders is a "bitter," "grumpy," "angry old man." Earl Wilson probably got off easy.
Spoiler alert: Jenkins made it to Carnegie Hall. She was greeted with resounding applause -- and then saw her seeming triumph shattered by an avalanche of bad newspaper reviews.
Clinton is likely to make it to the White House (big donors are paving the way and she is running against the GOP's faux Don Rickles, Gong Show contestant). When the performance reviews finally come, maybe Clinton will have learned to carry a tune -- or at least, stop changing it.