Politicians: They Watch And Wait

Deep inside a terrific New York magazine profile this week of Hillary Clinton, we get a glimpse of what she and hubby Bill do during their rare downtime together at home in Chappaqua, N.Y. The world’s most famous, or infamous, power couple -- depending on your political stripe -- watch TV series that in a truly not-so-over-the-top way mirrors their stranger-than-fiction lives.

The list includes “House of Cards,” featuring the most Machiavellian First Couple in the history of fictionalized White Houses; “Madam Secretary,” with an almost super-heroine depiction of a Secretary of State; and “Downton Abbey,” the upstairs/downstairs saga of a dynastic family assaulted by a world in the midst of technological and geo-political upheaval.

One thing is abundantly clear: The Clintons are true to their demographic in what they watch. Save “House of Cards,” all of the shows on the would-be-First-Family-again’s DVR come courtesy of terrestrial TV. That’s right in line with a recent TDG study showing that among the 65+ demo, more than three quarters would choose traditional services such as cable or satellite over streaming services. The survey found that’s almost the inverse of the preferences of viewers 35 and under.



Clinton’s White House rivals, all in the same demo, also prefer offerings whose primary platform is broadcast. Bernie Sanders has said he’s a big “Modern Family” fan. Being the patriarch of a blended family, I imagine Bernie relates to Ed O’Neill’s grumpy grandpa Jay, although I don’t imagine he cares much for Jay’s unabashed free-market ways.

Meanwhile, I’m surprised “Modern Family” wasn’t mentioned by Donald Trump, who you would think could relate to Jay with his much younger immigrant trophy wife Gloria (Sofía Vergara). No, the most-sociopathic, least-qualified person to ever come so close to the most powerful office in the world, as Bob Garfield called him in a recent column, professed last December that his favorite show is “Saturday Night Live,” especially when he was on it and drew a larger audience than Hillary.

On occasion, The Donald has professed his love of the WWE Smackdown too. That’s not surprising, given how adroitly Drumpf has used a wrestling playbook in his staged trash-talking feuds with Megyn Kelly, her boss ”Fox News supremo Roger Ailes and various fallen GOP rivals, to spin ratings gold and win primary tallies.

“Game of Thrones,” the ultimate show about political power and the use and abuse of it, is the one series I’m surprised is missing from the list of all those fighting to take occupancy of the Oval Office.

It’s not surprising that current commander-in-chief Barack Obama, whose taste in TV tends to skew younger and hipper than those vying to succeed him, admits he’s an unabashed “Thrones” fan. According to “Thrones” insiders, the president has even used his clout to get advance screeners. (Talk about the type of story Fox News might use to suggest an impeachment-worthy abuse of presidential power.) Obama has expressed an affinity for Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), the “Night Watch Lord Commander,” a hero of mixed heritage, who strives to find common ground between competing factions.

When it looked as if [SPOILER ALERT!] Snow might be meeting his demise this season, “Thrones” director David Nutter told “Entertainment Weekly” how he was in the company of the president when Obama said, “You didn’t kill Jon Snow, did you?” And Nutter answered that if Trump got elected in the fall, by the 2017 season he’d make sure “Jon Snow is deader than dead.”

If you’re a “Thrones” fan and the type of person who needs any more reasons than you already have to deny Trump the White House, consider that a very good one.

Next story loading loading..