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YMMV / The Candidate

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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Two years after the film's release, a Real Life young, idealistic Democratic son of a former California governor (Jerry Brown) pulled off an upset victory in a statewide race.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Many politicians (including Dan Quayle) have cited this film as an inspiration for their careers, even though the creators have emphasized that it's meant to be a cynical exposé of the campaign process (though it's easy to see how for a certain type of person it would fall into Do Not Do This Cool Thing territory). Jeremy Larner had written a highly critical memoir about Eugene McCarthy, entitled Nobody Knows, which informs his portrayal of McKay as an idealist who sells out his principles.
    • As mentioned on the Trivia tab, this movie originated the custom of politicians wearing an American flag on their lapel - even though it's worn by Crocker Jarmon, the film's antagonist, to show him as an insincere, pompously patriotic Smug Snake.
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  • Retroactive Recognition: Long before his career as a political pundit, Mike Barnicle has a small role as one of Bill's employees at the legal clinic.
  • Values Resonance: So, so much. The film's broad themes about the triumph of style over substance in political campaigns and how politicians are forced to betray their own convictions to win votes will probably always be relevant.
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