There was a lot to like about Hillary Clinton's video announcement that she's running for president: Her line about the deck being stacked "in favor of those at the top;" the gay couple holding hands front and center, saying they're looking forward to getting married; the across-the-spectrum diversity (including an interracial couple, two Latino brothers starting a business together, a young Asian woman graduating from college and looking for a job, a reflective white woman who's nearing retirement, and a muscular white factory worker among many others).
Ultimately, Clinton's overall framing of the commonplace middle class struggle as a fun and hopeful task, positioned her as an American optimist—as opposed to the pack of angry Republicans who are running against her.
There were some miscues too, though. At a time when #blacklivesmatter is a defining issue in America, there were no references to the struggles of young black men. As Vox put it in its take on the expecting, happy African American couple featured in Clinton's pitch: "That's one way for a politician to approach race in America. Another way is to acknowledge, explicitly, the obstacles that people of color face right now, and the pain and fear that many feel."
And then there was
this anticity trope: "My daughter is about to start kindergarten, and so, we're moving, so she can belong to a better school."
For me, the biggest oversight in Clinton's apparent vision of America, was the absence of any obvious city life. There were suburban tomato gardens, woodsy rural roads (from the window of an SUV), spacious homes with dog kennels and driveways, and a generic factory floor. I guess the Asian student was pounding the pavement in a larger town?
But where were the city-based strivers.
At a time when cities are punching up America's economy and leading a wave of innovation and cultural change (most of us live in urban areas) and there's a pronounced uptick in migration to cities, it would have been nice to get more than the woman who appeared to have a line of apartment buildings outside her window, reciting something other than this anticity trope: "My daughter is about to start kindergarten next year, and so, we're moving, just so she can belong to a better school."
It turns out the gay male couple is from a city, Boston. And now they live in Chicago—though, you wouldn't know it from the framing in Clinton's coming-out video.