It was Eddie Murphy who pointed out, brilliantly, that white people make the terrible mistake of thinking that Rocky is true. His stand-up riff on the subject involved an Italian who had just seen one of Sylvester Stallone’s boxing epics picking a fight with a much taller black man - and ending up in hospital.
Hillary Clinton, I fear, is making the same error. “Let me tell you something,” she said, “when it comes to finishing a fight, Rocky and I have a lot in common. I never quit.” No doubt. But as a shameless student of all six Rocky films I can tell the Senator that her choice of cinematic hero is ill-advised. In the fifth movie, the fighter has suffered terrible brain damage (how can they tell, you might ask? A fair question) and has to retire from boxing altogether.
Miraculously restored to cerebral health in the sixth and most recent film, the almost-geriatric Rocky decides to jump into the ring for one last fight with a young black champion (remind you of anyone?) and show he can still pack a punch. He goes the distance, refusing to throw in the towel, fighting hard through all the boxing equivalents of the Democratic primaries – but loses on a split decision.
Not exactly what Hillary has in mind, one imagines.