Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hillary Clinton's malfunctioning wardrobe

Apparently, no one is going to say a word about Hillary Clinton's latest ping-pong fashion shift, because everyone is afraid of being called sexist and shallow.

America Wants To Know is not afraid. We're always proud to be called shallow and as for sexist, well, you'll just have to take our word for it that we have a sponsor's exemption from that charge.

And so, we would like to say a word about Hillary Clinton's malfunctioning wardrobe.

On Saturday, Senator Clinton arrived at the National Building Museum to make a concession speech and end her presidential campaign. She was dressed in a sleek black pantsuit.

Maybe you're not old enough to remember, but when Hillary Clinton ran for the U.S. Senate in 2000, she wore a sleek black pantsuit every single day. Usually she threw a pastel sweater over her shoulders and tied it in front to get a softer color next to her face.

In the Senate, Hillary Clinton typically showed up for work in a subdued, dark-colored pantsuit that called no attention to itself.

And then she ran for president.

Suddenly New York's junior senator was a walking Technicolor screen test. Some days she looked like a traffic cone. Red. Yellow. Orange. Some days she looked like an Easter egg. Turquoise. Pink. Blue.

What was that all about?

Her supporters are presbyopic, not color-blind.

Every day in America, dozens of professional women are on television looking perfectly well-dressed without crashing through your TV screen like a spilled vat of tempera paint.

And now that Hillary Clinton's race for president is over, she's back in the sleek black pantsuit. On Day One.

It is beyond our mortal powers to explain it. This is a job for Shakespeare. Or Mr. Blackwell.

We would like to call your attention, however, to a sentence from Saturday's New York Times story on the end of the Clinton campaign: "Mrs. Clinton variously tried presenting herself as the friend having conversations with the American people, then the experienced hand and tough warrior before settling on working-class heroine," Peter Baker and Jim Rutenberg wrote.

It's an eerie echo of something Hillary Rodham wrote herself in a letter to a friend during her college years: "Since Xmas vacation, I’ve gone through three and a half metamorphoses and am beginning to feel as though there is a smorgasbord of personalities spread before me,” young Ms. Rodham wrote in April 1967, “So far, I’ve used alienated academic, involved pseudo-hippie, educational and social reformer and one-half of withdrawn simplicity.”

Crowded in there, isn't it?

Well, at least they've all got something to wear.

Copyright 2008

Editor's note: You might be interested in the earlier posts, "Hillary Clinton and the 'basic bargain'" and "Michelle Obama is good."