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Ebert Offers Up Wit and Insight Among the Bland

You know, I’m so tired of this election year already. I’m so sick of the horrid pounding Hillary has been taking by guys on the web who are mostly small-minded in general and tend to think in terms of white and black or black and girl. I’ve gotten so sick of it, in fact, that I’ve stopped watching or caring. I don’t have a lot of faith in our government but I admire those I know who still do. I will say this much about the Obama campaign: they ain’t see nothing yet. The stuff Hillary’s campaign has been throwing at them is softball compared to what they’ll be getting at the big show. At any rate, here is Ebert as he ponders what kind of movie might be made about Bill and Hill:

Hillary and Bill are both intelligent, experienced political creatures. They’ve both been running for something since grade school. They are fueled by the desire for high office and public recognition, but fueled also by the process itself. They’re good at it. Considering their apparent depression on Tuesday night I realized that, yes, as late as that, they really did still think Hillary could win, even after the CNN “panels” were running out of ways to say farewell. They believed it right up to the end, because they had to, they needed to, in order to keep on running at all.

Yet there must have been private moments of despair. The two realists, as able as anyone to read the trends, must have spoken privately about their shrinking options. And on Tuesday night, as Hillary’s double-digit lead in Indiana dwindled to very small single digits, there must have come a time when one of them said, “We’ve lost this thing.”

What were those moments like? What kept them going between themselves? Did they encourage one another, or was there an unspoken pact not to voice the unspeakable? Was there blame when Bill had one of his unwise moments? Did their shared past, of success and scandal, enter into it, or were they absorbed in this moment?

In answering those questions, there you would find the movie. It would be more introspective than audiences would probably prefer, and less sensational. Smarter, too. There would be a limited budget, because you wouldn’t need a stadium filled with thousands of people so much as you’d need lots of lonely hotel rooms after midnight. The climaxes would come as one old comrade after another abandoned them for the Obama camp. There would be a desperate, clinging love that had survived all the years, because it was based on shared experience and memories and goals, not so much any longer on passion.

It would be a sad story, but a true one, and it might contain more truth than political movies are conventionally allowed to have. It might, like “Bulworth,” say forbidden things. And issues would not be at issue: The campaign was not about political positions, but about sheer desire. Hillary wanted to win, and she ran and ran and ran until there was a kind of heroism to it. Futile heroism after a point, but that’s where the story lies.

Thank you, Ebert, for bringing some intelligence to this discussion, a rarity these days on the web.