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Hillary Scende in Campo

Jan
23
2007

Hillary Clinton now has something in common with Italy’s flamboyant ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.
When the real-estate developer and owner of Milan’s soccer team decided to enter politics in 1994, he adopted the stadium cry “Go Italy” (Forza Italia) for the name of his party.
To announce his candidacy he extended the sports metaphor by “taking to the field” (scendere in campo).
Now, nearly everyone who counts in Italy does not “candidate” themselves — think how lame that sounds — but takes to the field, a là Berlusca.



Level playing field?

Mrs. Clinton’s triumphant trot onto the presidential playing field (watch those cleats!) was hailed by no less an authority than Italy’s grayest daily, Corriere della Sera, but many other papers saw fit to use the same expression.
And so E-larry, as they inevitably pronounce her name here, not only took to the field but did so “via Internet.”
Imagine that! If you’re reading this, you’re not part of the 60% of Italians who don’t use the Internet — and I know you’re tired of hearing it — but it’s a fact worth keeping in mind.
First, we’ve got a woman who’s entering the playing field — strange for Bel Paese residents because girls don’t even play soccer here. On a political level, it’s nearly sci-fi for a lot of Italians who are still wondering whether they need to set “pink quotas” (quote rose) to increase the number of women in government.
Then you get a woman in the Internet, practically outer space.
The Corser set four correspondents on the story and gave them two full pages, but the best of the pack was Beppe Severgnini, one of the most dexterous wordsmiths in Italy. With a characteristic facetious touch, he did a great job of explaining her message to Italians who would never be able to watch the original.
First order of business: that bewilderingly ugly floral print couch. No Italian in their right Zanotta would ever buy that. Sure Hill could afford better, but Severgnini explains that it is a staple in “every American household” meant to underline her as a kind of everywoman.
Next up: the photo of Bill and Chelsea, as if to say “We’re here too.” The table lamp serves to give a warm glow, the flowers on the table are visible but not ostentatious, the French doors leading out to the garden are another typical feature of the American home. The language she used — which seems overly familiar and buddy-buddy in Italian — is given in English and then explained.
He wraps up by saying that the Internet never ceases to amaze — and hopefully Hillary won’t either.
There is something to be said for the TV news programs, though, which almost without exception spoke wondrously of Hillary’s arrival on the playing field. Her most serious rival? A black man! And because it’s Italian TV, the real point of mentioning Barack Obama was to show him in a bathing suit.
This is going to be one helluva match, folks.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 1:02 PM | Permalink

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