Since Barack Obama often cites the film as one of his favorites, he may wish to mention the scene to Hillary Clinton. The unlikely selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate has created an urgent need for a service that only Sen. Clinton can provide.
Mrs. Clinton must speak out forcefully to put down the notion that she and Sarah Palin share anything other than the "F" on their drivers' licenses. Mrs. Palin's pitch that voters should catapult her through the "glass ceiling" that Clinton could only crack is a clever marketing ploy, but totally without merit or logic.
"A McCain-Palin Administration would not be a victory for women," Clinton should immediately declare. "It would be a disastrous setback for many of the issues that women have fought so hard to achieve."
But in her first campaign appearance since the conventions, Clinton's posture regarding Palin was woefully inadequate. "It's easy to get diverted in this election," she told reporters, by way of explaining her tight-lipped approach to what Newsweek calls "Palintology."
Clinton referred to Palin's candidacy as historic and a source of pride for women. True, but no more relevant than the Democrats obligatory acknowledgment of John McCain's war record.
Hillary Clinton is wise to sidestep Sarah Palin's spat with a town librarian in Alaska, her troopergate troubles, her husband's flirtation with a secessionist group, and her daughter's pregnancy, among many trifles. But Clinton must not allow her followers to overlook issues that are deal breakers, not ceiling breakers. Sarah Palin is opposed to abortion even in cases of incest or rape. Sarah Palin wants creationism to be taught in school science classes. Sarah Palin believes the U.S. involvement in Iraq is "a task from God."
Positions like these are what prompted Sen. Joe Biden to tell reporters that electing Palin would be a "backward step for women." But Biden is not the best messenger. The response from an RNC spokeswoman was all too predictable: "The only person taking a step backward is Joe Biden, whose appalling and arrogant statements are better suited for the back rooms of his old boys club."
Hillary Clinton could skirt - or, in her case pantsuit - such criticism. But even before Palin entered the race, Clinton failed repeatedly to send a persuasive signal to her supporters, many of whom cling to the notion that electing a woman - any woman - is an achievement that trumps everything else, including what a woman stands for.
The genius of McCain's selection is that he has basically played the Hillary Card. He's challenged millions of disenfranchised voters - not 18 million, perhaps, but a significant number - to make gender their greatest voting priority. Women should recognize that they are being manipulated; McCain's campaign is the epitome of sexism.
With McCain-Palin sneaking ahead in some polls, Hillary Clinton needs to get tough. She must stress that her opposition to Palin has nothing to do with her gender, only her views.
After all: it's not personal, it's just business.
© Peter Funt. This column first appeared in The Monterey Herald.