USA network says the miniseries Political Animals (debuts July 15), about a First Lady who dumps her philandering husband, then becomes Secretary of State for the man who beat her in a run for President, is not about Hillary Clinton. I believe them. Political Animals, an inconsistent, sometimes ludicrous, but also juicily fun political soap, is about something that ultimately makes for better TV: the idea of Hillary Clinton.
Think of Animals as the TV equivalent of Texts from Hillary. The Internet meme from this past spring used a photo (from TIME magazine) of Clinton sitting on a military plane, wearing sunglasses and staring sternly at a Blackberry, paired them with other celebrity photos and captioned them LOLCats-style. (Obama: “Hey Hil, Whatchu doing?” Clinton: “Running the world.”) It gave us an outsized icon of Hillary as international badass, telling it straight, getting ‘er done, no time for b.s. or wimps.