Hillary Clinton still too old, sick, and worst of all, unattractive

As I predicted earlier this week, the sneering, sexist dismissals of Hillary Clinton are back, baby.  And just like in 2007 and 2008, it’s not right-wingers leading the charge–it’s people on the so-called “progressive” side of things.  Meghan Daum writes in the Chicago Tribune today:

Clinton’s finale could hardly have been more dramatic. After falling ill with a stomach virus in early December, she fainted, suffered a concussion and landed in a hospital with a blood clot between her brain and skull. Meanwhile, her detractors drummed up conspiracy theories about “Benghazi fever,” and her supporters had a moment of genuine fear that Clinton might not be around to follow the script that so many have been writing for her over the last several years.

Really?  Getting a tummy bug and a bump on the head is “more dramatic” than, for example, having a chronic heart condition (eventually requiring a heart transplant) and shooting a guy in the face?  I thought that was a lot more dramatic, especially for someone considered perfectly fit to be a mechanical heartbeat away from the U.S. Presidency!  And wait–what about choking on pretzel while watching a football game?  Maybe that was more ridiculous than dramatic, but I’d hardly call Norovirus high drama.  On to the comments about Clinton’s looks:

[After some rest and relaxation] “Her hair will finally find the sweet spot between the Stepford-esque helmet head of the campaign trail and the current granny-cum-Eileen-Fisher-model look. She might even, heaven forfend, indulge in some surgically assisted “freshening up.”

And then in late 2014, a more vibrant, less jowly Clinton will return to the spotlight and announce her candidacy for president.

Since when is “less jowly” a requirement for the U.S. Presidency?  Jowls were never held up as something that should tamp Richard Nixon’s ambitions, and he served as Vice President for eight years and ran for president three times!  (And he was jowly in his 30s!)

Of course, there’s the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t insinuation about plastic surgery.  Does anyone else remember the 1980s, and the fact that most reporters maintained the White House line that Ronald Regan never, ever colored his hair?  Why was that?  Why would the national press contribute images and reporting on the supposed fitness and vitality of the oldest president in U.S. history by portraying him chopping wood or on horseback at his ranch, and never mocking the obvious lies about his hair?  Why would they rarely, if ever, make an issue of his age or fitness, when we know in retrospect that signs of his eventual Alzheimer’s diagnosis were evident shortly after his second inauguration?

The article goes on to make a worthwhile point about the psychology of some Democratic voters, and their perhaps naive belief that Clinton would indeed be a good girl and wait patiently for her turn, and how they should prepare for disappointment  when they realize that “2008 was their one and only chance, and they missed it.”  But Daum can’t resist making cracks about Clinton’s supposed absence of fruitfulness, vitality, and freshness:

When it comes to historic elections, 2008 was just what most Democrats wanted. First the exciting young black guy, then the somewhat less exciting but eminently reliable old white lady. It was as if liberal voters promised to eat their vegetables if they could just have dessert first.

But as Clinton’s health scare reminded us, vegetables are perishable. Clinton is 65 and presumably healthy, but she cannot be presumed to maintain her past and current energy levels into her 70s. Moreover, as she has said numerous times, she has no plans to seek the presidency in 2016. She has instead joked that maybe she’ll host a decorating show.

Here’s a fun fact:  Clinton isn’t even the oldest prospective Dem nominee!  John Kerry is four years older than her, and we never hear warnings about how a man his age (now 69) might weather the grueling schedule required of secretaries of state.  Furthermore, Joe Biden turned 70 last November.  He’s nearly five years older than Clinton, and yet I’ve seen recent articles proclaiming that Biden is a contender for 2016!


22 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton still too old, sick, and worst of all, unattractive

  1. I read an insult that would be a perfect soubriquet for Maureen Dowd–Human Ipecac.
    Although-for once-she doesn’t insult Clinton’s appearance-Dodo has a column in today’s NYT that features three “Big Lies” about the current Secretary of State.
    1. Mrs. Clinton didn’t listen to other points of view or show willingness to compromise when fashioning her health care reform bill–Lie.
    2. Mrs. Clinton voted to attack Iraq without reading an intelligence report. This is an indirect lie because it suggests a failure on Clinton’s part and not on Obama’s and, as we know, Obama was not in the US Sentate at the time, and we have no idea how he would have voted, although, we can guess.
    Can you imagine the fire and brimstone Dowd would have called down upon the head of the junior Senator from New York if she hadn’t voted to give Bush the power to invade Iraq? Bitch, please.
    3. Hillary Clinton ran a terrible campaign for president-biggest lie of all.
    If true, how did Mrs. Clinton manage to win all the big/must state primaries and comethisclose to the nom before the Democratic big whigs stepped in and handed her votes to the cool guy who was such a game changer–right!!!
    As for this clown from Chicago and her waste of a perfectly good tree, she’s an utter fool. Such a sex traitor and utter tool should be shunned by intelligent women, everywhere. Let’s not speak of her again.


  2. The laughable thing about these attacks by younger women on Clinton’s appearance, or on the appearance of any woman older than the writer, is that they write as though middle- and old-age will never happen to them.

    According to Wikipedia, Daum is 42 or 43 years old. She truly should know better, especially as an Angelino. And wish MoDo a happy birthday tomorrow, everyone! In spite of her pathological Clinton hatred, she’s made it to the ripe OLD AGE of 61!


    If you haven’t seen it, watch Julia Roberts’s interpretation of the Snow White story in Mirror, Mirror. It has a very pointed subtext about the anxieties of women–especially in public roles or the entertainment industry–about their appearance and the desire to project a youthful appearance. The wicked queen meets a very Dorian Gray-type fate at the end.


  3. When William Daley fainted on the White House stage and tumbled into an artificial potted palm during his own cabinet appointment announcement press conference back in 1996, nobody said: “god, at least this guy won’t be coming back here in fifteen years as chief-of-staff.” The only thing they said was “it’s too bad nobody has invented YouTube yet.” But fortunately somebody did, and they’ve rescued the clip under “Bill Daley Faceplants.” Talk about jowls; from the family that invented them.

    If Hillary wanted to demonstrate some Bidenesque levels of vitality during her foreign travels, all she would have had to do was grab a few grandparentally-aged dignitaries on the ass at the airport meet-and-greets and say something like “thanks for coming out to the airport to meet us.” This would have been frowned on in Cheektowaga, but try it in Bangalore and see what happens.


  4. In small things as well as large, the sexism of the NYT towards Hillary Clinton has persisted.

    While Hillary Clinton has most often been the subject in her own right of their stories, they -always- refer to her as Mrs. Clinton. The only reason Michelle Obama is ever mentioned is in connection with her husband’s job and career, yet the nation’s Rag of Record always calls her Ms. Obama.


  5. Is that right? I thought it was house style to refer to married women who took their husbands’ names to call them “Mrs.” Why would the NYT call Michelle Obama “Ms.?” and also write “Mrs.” Clinton?


  6. I used to call her Modo, but now she’s so old, I call her Dodo-as in extinct.
    See, we can all play this game; isn’t it fun?
    Not that Dodo would ever admit to being a member of Hillary Clinton’s cohort.
    In the words of Dodo’s favorite president, “Nah gonna happen.”


  7. HA-ha. As though age is the worst possible thing that could happen to you.

    I have indulged in my share of body and beauty anxiety, I am sorry to say, and I wasted more years than I want to recall being worried about how I looked in a swimsuit instead of joining in the fun. But you get to your 40s, and your friends and other people not that much older than you get diagnosed with breast cancer or chronic conditions, and you start to take a different view about what you expect of your body and why you should be grateful for any strength, flexibility, or movement they give you.

    So far I’ve been lucky, and I’ve been truly grateful to have the body I have, instead of complaining about it or crying about a body I don’t have.


  8. There are many things that will go into my political choices in 2016 (and I probably won’t make them until 2016, or at least late 2015), but Clinton’s looks aren’t part of it. Should she choose to run, Clinton has a lot to offer.

    It seems to me that this is the other side of Gloria Steinem’s “This is what 50 looks like” thing. Age is supposed to be erased for women. So though men shouldn’t, women should have plastic surgery? Yikes.

    I’m told I don’t look my age, but I think being an academic has helped: I don’t spend much time out in the sun. Fluorescent lights for the win!


  9. The mistreatment of older women compared to younger ones, needs no proof. We had quite a few older and uglier male presidents. No one complained then.

    American progressives are reactionaries. Their Obama support in 2008 was manifestation of hate, misunderstanding, arrogance, ignorance and snobbism that is the core of the movement that I am to the left of. Bill Clinton and, therefore, Hillary are evil for them. Why? Almost why not.


  10. Historiann@1:35pm:

    It’s something I noticed in the way the Times referred to the two women.

    I seem to remember that when the Times reluctantly agreed to use “Ms.” years ago, a statement was issued to the effect that the marriage-neutral social title would be used unless the subject had requested otherwise. However, they may have altered that since then. Or I may not remember something from so long ago accurately (it -was- from a time women’s equality was so taken for granted it seems like another country).

    What I am sure of was noticing their reference to Mrs. Obama as “Ms.” and their referring to Hillary Clinton as “Mrs.”

    As to why they would do it, I just assumed it was the kind of sexism that’s overtaken most print journalism: Michelle Obama has shown that she knows her place as “First Lady”, so is given the more egalitarian title as ironic reward, whereas much of the disrespect evident in the Chicago Tribune article and the NYT coverage of Hillary Clinton seems to be because she has always rejected the passive behavior expected of a politician’s wife.


  11. What I am sure of was noticing their reference to Mrs. Obama as “Ms.” and their referring to Hillary Clinton as “Mrs.”

    This is completely false. The NY Times always refers to Michelle Obama as “Mrs. Obama”, and never as “Ms. Obama”. If you can find a reference to her as Ms. Obama anywhere in the NY Times on-line archive, I’ll eat my filthiest oldest Yankees cappe.


  12. AHEM:

    Light blue was already the summer’s color of choice for many women in the under-40 range (one blogger described it as “equal parts Katy Perry and high school goth”), but Ms. Obama is 48, and many of her new nail followers are around the same age. The San Francisco-based writer Ayelet Waldman, 47, who is married to the novelist Michael Chabon, said: “I just ordered the color online, so it’s not yet on my nails. But I’ll be rocking it, as will at least a few of my kids. And we’re going to make their father wear it.”


  13. From the nail article, I love this: “The power of an image is enormous,” Ms. Lion said. “We can’t just sit around with clear nail polish on our hands.”

    Plastic surgery, yes, until attitudes change it is to be done in late 50s, when the change will not be as noticeable. Christina Kirscher turns 60 this year and here are a variety of images, with and without makeup.


    Guaranteed she has done Something. I am not saying it should be so.
    But it is a business plan, yes.


  14. I think it has to be for a lot of women pols, Z. Thanks for that photo montage–I’m certainly no judge though, either of whether it was done or whether it was the right thing to do. Like you said: it’s a business plan.

    Funny thing: I don’t just “sit around with clear nail polish.” I don’t have any polish at all! Who has time for manicures or even home maintenance, anyway? I use my hands pretty much every day, all day long.


  15. Oh, I have clear nail polish, had a manicure this very day, it only takes half an hour. Your fingers show as you put objects on document cameras to project across lecture halls and you can’t have raggedy nails for that. It is a requirement for my sister in law’s job and she is an MD. Men have it done as well. Straight ones.


  16. Pingback: Ponderings on perfection « Grumpy rumblings of the half-tenured

  17. Pingback: Just Out of Curiosity, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, Commercial Costume Companies? | Bitter Gertrude

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