Give Hillary a Break Already on ‘Fashion’ – Who Really Cares?!


In an otherwise intelligent article on Turko-US relations, Yigal Schleifer makes the following wholly unnecessary remark: “Clinton appeared on a popular television chat show, Haydi Gel Bizimle Ol (Come and Join Us), similar to the popular American talk show The View. On the program, Clinton opened up to the four hosts about her family life and her challenged sense of fashion.”

Wth? Why? What is the possible value to the article of this remark? I can’t possibly understand why anyone really gives a d— about HRC’s clothes. If I were a woman, this is exactly the kind of pointless aside that would drive me up the wall and tell me there is still sexism in the world. For something like 20 years, Hillary’s clothes and hairstyles have been an on-again, off-again topic of conversation. What is the possible relevance of any of that to anything meaningful at all in her political interests? It’s so thoroughly pointless and vapid, and, given it endless repetition, vaguely chauvinistic.

I will admit that I know little about ‘fashion’ (‘nice clothes’ to me means Brooks Brothers),  but its not as if HRC dresses in t-shirts or jeans or otherwise unprofessionally. So give her break, because, really, why do you care so much? Aren’t your concerns about politics deeper than women politicians’ color schemes? (If you think I am exaggerating, read Maureen Dowd’s fawningly sycophantic coverage of Michelle Obama, especially here.)

This reminds me of an oft-repeated and similarly pointless pseudo-criticism of Al Gore in 2000. He was supposedly a poor candidate because he was too wonky and dorky, and he looked stiff when he gave Tipper ‘the kiss.’ GAH!! Who really cares? Must we be so embarrassingly insipid? Who cares what the E! Network or whatever thinks of Gore’s kissing ability? Don’t we want politicians who are a little nerdy and overread and don’t worry excessively about matching their jewelry or something ? I’ll take Hillary over Mrs. Sarkozy’s fluff, or Gore over the incurious W any day.

And for good measure, when HRC came to SK last month, she gave a good talk to a women’s college in Seoul. She said good stuff to young women about empowerment and advancement in a male-dominated society. And to its credit, no one in the SK media mentioned her clothes, style, etc. By contrast, I can only imagine HRC rightfully grinding her teeth on the Turkish View as some product of plastic surgey half her age asked her why she wore those shoes at that dinner in the 1990s. Awful…

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