Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
by Roger Ebert
TIME: Not too early on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 5.
PLACE: The Obama bedroom in Chicago's Hyde Park. Barack and Michelle Obama are beginning to stir. Their daughters Malia and Sasha come bounding into the room.
Malia: Daddy! Daddy! Are you the president?
Obama: Not for a little while yet, honey.
He kisses his wife Michelle, leans on one elbow, and dials the telephone.
THE CLINTON BEDROOM in Chappaqua, New York. Hillary answers the telephone.
Barack: Hillary? it's Barack calling.
Hillary: Barack! Congratulations! It was a victory for you, and a victory for America.
Barack: Especially for America.
Hillary (slight pause): Yes.
Barack: Listen, Hillary, I wanted this to be my first call after I woke up. I want to ask you to play an important role in our nation's future.
Hillary: But I have an important role. I'm a United States Senator.
Barack: The job I have in mind might not be open for awhile. When a vacancy occurs, I'd like for you to be my first appointment to the Supreme Court.
Hillary (pause): I didn't see that one coming.
Barack: Just give it serious consideration. That's all I ask.
BREAKFAST ROOM of the Clinton home. Bill is at the table, drinking coffee and reading the New York Times. He is dressed in Jockey shorts and an Arkansas Razorbacks t-shirt. Hillary enters, in a Karen Neuburger dressing robe with an Oprah logo.
Bill: They have an op-ed piece going back to Rush Limbaugh saying Colin Powell only endorsed Barack because they were both black.
Hillary: When one man says another man did something only because of his race, one of the two of them must be a racist.
Bill (in his W. C. Fields accent): That's right, m'dear. (Looks up from paper): Who was that on the phone?
Hillary: That was Barack.
Bill: What’d he have to say?
Hillary: He wants to appoint me to the Supreme Court.
Bill (puts down cup, looks up): And?
Hillary: I told him I'd think about it.
Bill (pauses, then thoughtfully): Hillary, I'd do it. Three things. One, it gives you an important role in the country’s future. Two, it solidifies your place in history. Three, no more goddamned campaigning.
Hillary: But think about it. Clarence Thomas. How would I deal with him?
Bill: How would he deal with you?
Hillary: It really is a wonderful opportunity. I wonder how I'd get along with Scalia? He's a smart cookie.
Bill: He'll have to be an even smarter cookie when he's in the minority.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
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