Hillary Clinton, who generally comes off way as more prepared and well-spoken than Barack Obama in their televised debates, has, naturally, received quite a bit of flack for her occasional attempts to crack jokes. These jokes—"change you can Xerox" and "no one asks me if I want a pillow"—are mostly harmless, but her delivery is terrible. Despite this, her family and friends insist she is actually a funny person. And they're right. In the clip above, she is very funny. The only problem is that she's also sarcastic, in the real sense of the word, and not the Michelle Obama sense of the word. That is maybe the worst possible way to differentiate yourself from Barack Obama, who inspires sarcastic people with his earnestness. We, with help from Jon Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres, shall explain why.
In the clip above, Senator Clinton mercilessly savages Barack Obama's cheerful message of vague Hope with a genuinely funny routine mocking his stump speech. The only problem with that tack is elucidated by Jon Stewart, when he takes the routine to its logical conclusion: HILLARY CLINTON KNOWS THIS WORLD IS MADE OF SHIT, AND YOU ARE JUST LYING TO YOURSELF IF YOU THINK WE CAN CHANGE IT. Not a very helpful strategy for convincing people to vote for you! And that's the problem with genuine sarcasm. It's off-putting, and mean. Comedy hurts.
Hillary Clinton clearly is funny, but she must do her damndest to hide that fact if she wants to save her campaign. Especially because when she tries to be light-heartedly funny, she comes off as self-pitying, over-rehearsed, and repetitive. As in the pillow joke, which she thought was sooo clever, she used it twice: