Hot and Cool Continued: An an Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s & Elizabeth May’s Campaign Ad
Thesis: After analysis of their local campaign videos, although Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth May could, overall, be characterized as hot candidates, Elizabeth May’s degree (hot or cool) varies depending on the ground of audience viewing the campaign video: Those who know or already support her would view her appearance, personality, and message as hot while those who do not would view them as cool.
Introduction: Hot and Cool Revisited
In the late 1950’s, communications theorist, Marshall McLuhan, developed a classification scheme to categorize past, existing, and future media: cool or hot. According to a 1961 interview with Playboy Magazine and in his book “Understanding Media,” McLuhan identified media which contain “[high] definition qualities” as hot and media which contain “low definition qualities” as cool (“The Playboy Interview”). Although applicable to media from a variety of traditional sources, such as television and film, McLuhan also applied his categorization scheme to categorize political candidates.
Using a set list of features presented in the previous paper, the paper will analyze nationally broadcasted interviews and campaign videos of female political federal election nominees Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth May to identify them as either hot or cool candidates. Using this categorization, the paper will analyze the political factors which influence whether a candidate is hot or cool.
Therefore, as in the previous paper, for the scope of this analysis, a hot political candidate can be best described as one with a well-defined and strong personality, appearance, and message/value: Similar to a photograph, people can easily identify what he or she stands for and his or her public image (Owusu 1). In contrast, a cool political candidate can be best described as one with an undefined and weak personality, appearance, and message: Similar to a cartoon, people must search to identify what he or she stands for and his or her public image (Owusu 1).
Analysis: Local Campaign Videos
Hilary Clinton New York Senate Campaign Video
In 2000, after eight years serving as First Lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton ran for Senator of the American state of New York. A heavily contested run, in early 2000, she released the first of many campaign advertisement videos. Clinton’s appearance in the video could be best categorized as hot, her personality cool, and her message hot. In the campaign video, Clinton is seated in an arm chair in a neutrally decorated living room which resembles the setting of a traditional suburban home. She wears a a dark green suit with a sweater draped around her should. A necklace around her neck is the only jewelry which she wears. Her short hair is neatly styled away from her face and her make up is conservatively done drawing attention to her lightly applied dark red lipstick.
Hillary Clinton’s appearance (both in...