Republican and Democratic candidates who survive the February 5 delegate nomination marathon should be ready to confront a hidden danger to their campaigns—movies. Hillary Clinton, for example, should be concerned about Primary Colors (1998), a thinly disguised portrait of her and Bill. Based on a book by Joe Klein, the film follows the early career of fictional candidate Governor Jack Stanton (John Travolta) and his wife, Susan (Emma Thompson).
Late in the film campaign adviser Libby Holden (Kathy Bates) confronts the couple with her research on charges about the candidate’s sexual escapades—not a part of history the Clintons want voters to remember. Holden reminds the Stantons that they were once idealists; in their quest for power they have abandoned their idealism. The governor’s wife defends the shift, saying they must do what is needed to reach the White House—where they will then act on their ideals.