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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Tale of Two Magazine Covers

posted by on April 22 at 12:04 PM

Exhibit A: This week’s New Republic, which features an extremely unflattering photo of Hillary Clinton and all but calls her hysterical—attributing her decision to stay in the race to “voices in her head” and calling her entire campaign a “psychodrama.”


Exhibit B: An oldie but goodie from New York Magazine, which I happened to spot on a table at the gym last night. It features Bill Clinton dolled up as a First Lady in pearls, a red sleeveless dress, and an unflattering Jackie O wig. Because being the husband of the president is basically the same thing as being a girl—an ugly, awkward, sexually ambiguous girl.


There are legitimate reasons to oppose Hillary Clinton—the war, her husband, the fact that you think Obama will usher in a new period of nonpartisan hope and unity—but the argument that she’s just another hysterical lady, or that a female president would emasculate her husband, ain’t among them. And, as Jill at Feministe (an Obama supporter) points out, this is the kind of thing that really tears the party apart—misogynistic, pointless crap that ignores who the real enemy is. (Hint: He isn’t a Democrat.)

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So, if someone posts a picture of Obama or McCain looking goofy that means that person is a sexist. ECB, a feminazi looking for anything to defend her deadbeat, can't win fairly candidate.

Posted by Bud Dickman | April 22, 2008 12:08 PM

Is drag as offensive as blackface?

Posted by john | April 22, 2008 12:09 PM

I'm sorry. I thought the Sinbad one was funny.

"Leave me. Save yourself."

Posted by keshmeshi | April 22, 2008 12:11 PM

@2 Guiliani did drag. So that's not offensive. It just proves that even Republican drag queens can run for president and get some votes (FL for example).

There are legitimate reasons to oppose Hillary Clinton—the war, her husband, the fact that you think Obama will usher in a new period of nonpartisan hope and unity

ECB you're coming to your senses. What took you this long? :)

Posted by apres_moi | April 22, 2008 12:11 PM

Do not feed the troll (ECB).

Posted by Jeff | April 22, 2008 12:11 PM

Does anyone still read the New Republic? I subscribed to TNR for years, and they are so last century ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 22, 2008 12:11 PM

I think the problem is the voice in her head, telling her

If Obama cannot beat me in the pledged delegates, superdelegates, electoral and popular votes by at least 30%, how can he possibly expect to win against the Republicans in November?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | April 22, 2008 12:14 PM

Ha! Thinking "Obama will usher in a new period of nonpartisan hope and unity" is now legitimate? Other points well taken.

Posted by annie | April 22, 2008 12:14 PM

Shit, that could've been Howard Dean circa 2004 on that New Republic cover. Gender has nothing to do with it.

Posted by DOUG. | April 22, 2008 12:17 PM

yeah that hillary cover is pretty f'n hideous. but i think the other one is kinda funny. can't we have a little fun at the expense of the novelty of the "first lady" being a man? and that if hillary is the next president we're going to have to figure out a different title for the president's spouse?

oh, and one more reason to oppose hillary -- her inability to distinguish fact from fable. i hesitate to call it lying because at this point i don't think either of the clintons know the difference.

Posted by brandon | April 22, 2008 12:26 PM

At this point Sen. Clinton is acting out some of the worst things ever said about her, plus she is being desperate and hysterical. (5 public flip flops on nuking Iran in the last week)

What the two Clintons have done to themselves (and America?) in the past 3 months is a thing of classic tragedy.

Posted by mirror | April 22, 2008 12:35 PM

Hey, whatever works. If it inspires her to shut up and go home, I support it.

Posted by pox | April 22, 2008 12:43 PM

How about that she's just a liar and an opportunist, which have nothing to do with her gender? Jesus, just four months ago I really wanted to see her in the White House, and didn't think Obama had a chance.

Hoping today is goodbye for her in PA.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | April 22, 2008 12:47 PM

Yeah, there's some sexism at work in both these covers. That said, the sexism of the media and some Obama supporters is not a reason to support the Clinton campaign, any more than the racism of the media and some Clinton supporters is a reason to support Obama. Yes, America is racist and sexist. We still have to evaluate candidates on their ability to do well as president--including rising above the deeply ingrained bigotry of many Americans.

Clinton's approach seems to accentuate the cultural, economic, and political divisions in our country. Obama, on the other hand, attracts a lot of divisive attention but spends much of his time trying to channel that attention in a more productive and inclusive direction. In a nutshell, that's why I'm supporting Obama. No amount of intelligence and policy wonkery, which Clinton possesses in abundance, will enable her to succeed as president if half the country starts off seeing her as the enemy.

Posted by Cascadian | April 22, 2008 12:49 PM
this is the kind of thing that really tears the party apart-misogynistic, pointless crap that ignores who the real enemy is.

Indeed, pointless crap that ignores who the real enemy is does tear the party apart. If only we could get Hillary to campaign on her own credentials and policies and stop yammering on about "elitism" and Jeremiah Wright and how inexperienced Obama is compared to McCain. But it seems we can't, unfortunately.

Posted by tsm | April 22, 2008 12:52 PM

I'm reminded of Ronald Reagan's saying, about my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy. ECB is right AT LEAST 80 percent of the time; it's just the magnitude of the 20 percent that can give one pause (but not me, Erica; I forgive you!)

Posted by Perfect Voter | April 22, 2008 12:53 PM

One can learn or hire expertise or experience, but statesmanship, leadership, and effective demeanor are much harder to come by.

Posted by pox | April 22, 2008 12:54 PM

The Clinton's negative campaigning have earned them this honor. I wish they would start talking about the things THEY would do if they were in the White House instead of bashing Obama on stupid stuff that doesn't matter.

Posted by Suz | April 22, 2008 12:59 PM

Hey ECB, is OK with you if I oppose Clinton because of her lies and Rovian campaign tactics? Please?

Posted by montex | April 22, 2008 1:20 PM

Wow ECB, as a Clinton supporter you actually have the gual to write about attacks on HRC have been bad for the party? She has clearly been the most devisive force within the Dem party in recent memory. You have completely lost all credibility in the last few months. Congratulations.

Oh, and sometimes, hysterical behavior is just that... hysterical. You and HRC are exhibits A and B.

Posted by longball | April 22, 2008 1:22 PM

Thanks Erica. You nailed it.

Posted by freeheeler | April 22, 2008 1:31 PM


Bill is a Republican and so is Hillary.

Vote for them, and vote for revenge, neato guns, gay bating and bashing, and sexual purity.

Fuck you Erica.

Posted by ecce homo | April 22, 2008 1:44 PM

I think that cover is great. I have to admit that I'll be a little sad when she finally drops out of the race merely for the entertainment value of watching the Clintons piss their legacy away.

Posted by Clint | April 22, 2008 1:44 PM

You know, the whole "humorless feminist" meme has really kind of died out, as more third wavers come along and are comfortable with feminism in the context of a full life, which for many people includes the ability to see humor in anything.

ECB serves as kind of a benchmark for how far modern feminism has come. Thanks, ECB, for reminding us of how it used to be.

Oh, bonus joke:

Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: That's not funny!

Posted by also | April 22, 2008 1:55 PM

Actually, I have never believed that "she’s just another hysterical lady". But I do absolutely believe that she personally is female and prone to hysteria, (and paranoia), but that's because she assumes others are as monstrous as she is (not because she has a vagina).

As to "a female president would emasculate her husband", again, not something I would generally agree with, but I do think that being her husband would be an emasculating experience (inside of or outside of the white house). Which would go along way to explain Bill's pathological libido.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | April 22, 2008 2:00 PM

Sounds like the era of unity has already begun, Erica, cuz this Obama delegate agrees with you. We don't want Barack to win based on sexist imagery of Senator Clinton. We want him to win fair and square and for the right reasons. If magazines presented Obama in unflattering ways based upon stereotypes, it would be equally sad, and we'd hope that Clinton supporters would be just as critical of those images.

Posted by Andy Niable | April 22, 2008 2:03 PM

So how does caricaturing a female politician as crazy automatically qualify as sexist? Are you going to suggest that there haven't been plenty of portrayals of other, be-testicled politicians as batshit loony as well? Do you remember Dean's campaign?

Posted by seriously. | April 22, 2008 2:18 PM

The fact that she continues on is a perfectly legitimate reason to oppose her. If she can't face the truths of her candidacy with dignity, why would I expect her to do so with the truths of the world?

Posted by w7ngman | April 22, 2008 2:18 PM

None of this changes the fact that Hillary can't win and she's taking the party down with her because she is such an egomaniac.

Posted by Trevor | April 22, 2008 2:36 PM

What's funny about Erica "Cherry-pick" Barnett is that she will probably read this thread of people telling her that this is crap and will use #21 as evidence why this was a useful and insightful post.

And everyone knows that Osama bin laden *is* a Democrat.

Posted by w7ngman | April 22, 2008 2:46 PM

If this hasn't been said a thousand times already, then let me be the first:

Bill looks hot in that picture.....

Posted by NapoleonXIV | April 22, 2008 2:47 PM

the only thing missing from the jackie o outfit is the blood splatter.

Posted by skye | April 22, 2008 3:26 PM

(sigh) It still seems that sexism is acceptable in this society. Thanks for your insightful post, ECB.

I must say that I've been pulling for Hillary for sometime. With that, I'm reluctantly changing my support, and turning to Obama. I guess I feel like the Democratic party is feeling divided and I want to get behind one candidate (and the candidate that I feel like the rest of the party is supporting). Can you change my mind back to ECB? I'm feeling unenthusiastic about my support for Obama at the moment. I feel like if someone is going to make a compelling argument, it’s going to be you.

Posted by sam | April 22, 2008 4:00 PM

The women I know do not think all this hilarity at the expense of "psycho" Hillary is very funny. It is very painful to many lifelong Democratic party women who have done volunteer work and are now being mocked and spit on. The Democratic party has made it very clear that it has nothing but revulsion and contempt for the Clintons, whom they confuse with Republicans (apparently they do not realize that Obama is actually to the right of Hillary on several issues, including health care and social security). If this is how they treat Hillary I can't even imagine how much disgust they have for women even older, or women who are even uglier, or women who have not accomplished so much. I am horrified and digusted because I did not realize the mentality to be found within the Democratic party. I thought my party was superior, morally and ethically, so the pettiness and cruelty is a real shock to me. Honestly I cannot imagine any Republican allowing anyone to treat its women candidates this way - let alone joining in the spitting and smearing themselves. I have no doubt that Hillary would have won if the Democrats had not poured so much energy into attacking her. I only regret that they could not summon this much viciousness to aim at Bush. Good luck the rest of you with staying young, beautiful, and vacuous forever.

Posted by jol | April 22, 2008 5:19 PM

I agree. The sexism by the media and others is tearing the party apart. It is disgusting. I wish that you could see similar errors in the racism perpetuated by the Clintons. Both are tearing the Country apart.

Posted by Papayas | April 22, 2008 6:32 PM

The first one doesn't really bother me, since she personally has earned it. If she doesn't want to be portrayed as a middle-period Joan Crawford drama queen she needs to stop acting like one.

The second one bugs me, though. The only maybe good thing about H becoming president would be that the term "first lady" might go away.

Posted by Phoebe | April 23, 2008 12:27 PM

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