the pop culture of politics: can beyoncé make hillary the next president?
Who run the world? Girls.
If you're signed up to receive email alerts regarding Hillary Clinton's road to the Democratic Presidential nomination (like I am), then you received an email this week with "Yep. Beyoncé" in the subject line. On the inside of the email was a newsletter, complete with a screen grab from Hillary Clinton's Twitter account that read: "Say you'll Bey on Team #Hillary2016 too" and an image announcing Beyoncé's public support of Hillary Clinton's Presidential Campaign. There was also a link to sign up too, in case Bey Hive members needed a direct link to support their Queen's potential Queen. It begs the question though: does Beyoncé have the kind of power to place a woman in office?
In 1992, Hillary Clinton's husband, Bill Clinton, was elected as the 42nd President of the United States. Later that year, he appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show and played the saxophone. That became a monumental Polaroid in American history, as Clinton smashed the fourth wall becoming a tangible human — while also being President. Right-wing conservatives dubbed him the MTV President. It was no coincidence that two years prior, the non-profit organisation Rock The Vote was formed in an effort to get the MTV generation to hit the voting booth. Clinton, a Democrat, was always viewed as a free spirit to Republicans (all White House indiscretions aside), but then again that's how conservatives view liberals. Following Clinton's reign came George W. Bush, who often attempted to play the "cool guy," to left-wing liberals, but often fell short due to either 9/11 or seemingly appearing like he was made of spackle and clay. Then Barack Obama became President, taking Clinton's drive to reach the youth and kicking it up about ten notches.
Obama broke down cultural barriers with his election, but he did more than that. He humanised the role of Commander In Chief more than any of his predecessors. Sure, he had both Jay Z and Bruce Springsteen at his final rally in Ohio before winning (where Jay so eloquently rapped, "I got 99 problems but a Mitt ain't one"), but it was Obama who became the celebrity.
Brewing his own beer on national news, showing up on talk shows like Jimmy Fallon and Ellen dancing and having a good time, allowing Buzzfeed to do a video short with him—these are all of the things Obama's done on the Presidential watch in addition to running the country. His wife Michelle is no slouch either, clocking in countless campaigns for children in between dancing with Fallon and doing exercise challenges.
Pundits wax philosophical all day on the nature of a pop culture leader. America is a melting pot, comprised of bits of every other country, as people have emigrated from all corners of the globe and landed there. To single out one "culture" is impossible. So, the culture is now Pop culture. Hollywood is the real nation's capital. Musicians, actors, fashion designers and reality stars are the acknowledged House of Representatives.
So of course the perceived first female President, Beyoncé, could assist in making Hillary Clinton a sworn-in one.
The truth of the matter is Hillary Clinton needs Beyoncé. Bill and Barack cornered the market on awesome, where they both had time to play while the nation was still running. Meanwhile, Hillary has been a pillar to both men—a wife to Bill even during the most tenuous moments of his presidency (and their marriage), and the Secretary Of State to Barack, clocking in more frequent flyer miles than most in that previous position (she had the blood clots to prove it). Where was there time for Hillary to have fun or prove she even knew how? Even when a photo of her checking her Blackberry became a viral meme, it was circulated with the intent of a no-nonsense "I really don't have time for your bullshit" sentiment. The closest thing she's come to human is sending confidential emails from her personal email account, and apparently that's a bad thing. As Beyoncé has re-branded herself as the around the way girl over the last two years, perhaps she can bring Hillary with her in proving to the U.S. youth (the strongest voters on the rise) that she's not only a boss but a down ass chick.
America reached one milestone by electing a Black President, and is on the precipice of reaching another if a woman President enters the oval office. Bey is really just step one in the Pop culture push for Hillary Clinton, but she's a very strong step. After all, she's Beyoncé…and a girl. And, well, they run the world.
Text Kathy Iandoli