Two weeks ago I awoke to an e-mail from Sen. Hillary Clinton. Early in the campaign, trying to ascertain all the totally hip social networking elements the various candidates had built in, I created an account with almost all of their official Websites.
Stupidly. I've been getting a torrent of e-mails ever since.
This particular wake-up e-mail, though, was intriguing. Sen. Clinton had completed that completely superfluous campaign act: She'd picked a theme song. I was excited at first, then just confused as hell. The theme song for Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign -- among the most culturally important candidates of my lifetime -- turned out to be Celine Dion's "You and I." It's such a clich & eacute;d choice that even my criticizing it feels clich & eacute;.
Once again, everyone's saying the black community is going to be an essential election year get. This cycle too, Latinos are being courted heavily. Celine Dion speaks to no one but Francophone Canadians -- not exactly America's largest demographic. After five years in Vegas, can we even call her a diva?
The real problem isn't Celine per se, it's that she's the only choice. Since 2004, marketers have taught us that massive blanket ad campaigns don't work. Markets are fragmented and require highly tailored advertising to reach increasingly small blocks of people. Theme songs are like impressionistic ads. Thus, Hillary and the others shouldn't have a single theme song so much as a song to reach each little, tiny demographic. Diddy for African-Americans. Woodie Guthrie for teamsters. The Gypsy Kings for, well, gypsies. Tom Waits for sailors and alcoholics. Limp Bizkit for Riverside High School's class of '99. That kind of thing.