Unflattering Photo Alert: Hillary Clinton


As primary season winds (or should that be a more puntastic “whines”?) down, we get what might be the last gasp of spectacularly bad photos of the political candidates. Both the Post and Daily News have photos of Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton that are goofy and/or frightening.

In the “frightening” camp is the Daily News. This picture—of a backlit Clinton raising her arm straight-ahead as she makes a stump speech—is only in the print edition. A different angle of the photo, complete with proper lighting is in the online version of the story. The story itself actually deals with Clinton’s rival Barack Obama and his declaration that if he wins the White House, he won’t seek the counsel of his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, also took Clinton to task for her comment that the United States would “totally obliterate” Iran if the country launched a nuclear attack on Israel. This context adds a creepy aura to the print edition photo. Clinton looks like a dictator, while the accompanying photo of Obama exiting a car at the Indianapolis airport makes him look like a suave jet-setter.

The Post chooses a “goofy” picture of Clinton with a Blizzard at a South Bend, Ind., Dairy Queen. It’s not like the photos of her husband Bill’s genial appearances at fast-food joints during the 1992 campaign, which Saturday Night Live brilliantly skewered. This photo, in which Hillary is talking to another person off-camera, carries more of a “Tracy Flick” from Election connotation. You can almost see the “Why do I have to do this again?” look on her face. (The answer, of course, is “because you didn’t shore up the nomination when you had the chance, Hill-Rod. Time to smell what Barack is cookin’, and it ain’t Blizzards from DQ.”)

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 5, 2008


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