Hillary Clinton: Macarena Mania

While checking through political archives and watching the 2016 Democratic National Convention wrap up, I caught a glimpse of something. It was so quintessentially 90’s that I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a video of Hillary Clinton getting everyone to dance during the 1996 Democratic National Convention. It wasn’t just any dance, no. It was the Macarena:

According to Amy Goodman and Salim Muwakkil who spoke on Democracy Now!, after the ’96 DNC, the Macarena was used a song for unity among Democrats. The song was originally in Spanish and the Democrats opposed English-only laws:

AMY GOODMAN: The Democratic National Convention is over, and so, for the moment, we’ll all be spared the flag waving, the glitz, the empty rhetoric and, most importantly, the Macarena.

[music: Los del Río, “Macarena”]

SALIM MUWAKKIL: Well, why the “Macarena”? Well, the song projects a hip, energetic, multi-culti image of the Democratic Party on national TV. It also reminds America that the Democrats oppose English-only laws, since the song was originally all in Spanish. But you have to wonder if the political handlers who designed this convention bothered to listen to the lyrics.

[music: Los del Río, “Macarena”]

SALIM MUWAKKIL:Give your body happiness, Macarena,

That your body is to give happiness and pleasure

Give your body happiness, Macarena,

Hey, Macarena!

AMY GOODMAN: So that’s what they were singing—

SALIM MUWAKKIL: That’s what they were singing.

AMY GOODMAN: —and dancing to at the Democratic National Convention.

SALIM MUWAKKIL: So appropriate.

AMY GOODMAN: You know, we should say that they were also dancing at the Republican convention, not quite as much. In fact, Jack Kemp danced the Macarena on the podium. Oh, well, so much for English only.

Well, Dick Morris has done the Macarena, right out of the White House.

That was a bold strategy for the Democrats, but it ended up working. Bill Clinton would win by a big margin, winning 49.2% of the vote. His opponents, Bob Dole and Ross Perot, won 40.7% and 8.4% respectively. Now, Hillary Clinton looks to win in her own presidential election, 2o years later. How time flies?

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