Caption: "The Toll of a Campaign." It seems so cruel. Immodest Proposals writes:
[T]his is the most significant photo taken in the year 2007. Think it will win a Pullitzer? Whichever photog snapped this photo effectively ended Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.My first reaction to that picture is simple disbelief. How can she suddenly look that much older? I know Presidents age horribly in their few years in office, but she's not President yet, and this seems to have happened overnight. Did some treatment wear off?
There's no recovering from that, image isn't everything, but it counts for a lot, and her image in that photo isn't the image most Americans would want us to project as a nation. You don't have to be wrinkle free to be president, but you can't look haggard and bedraggled, either.
But here's my second reaction, on reflection: We make high demands on women. A picture like this of a male candidate would barely register. Fred Thompson always looks this bad, and people seem to think he's handsome. We need to get used to older women and get over the feeling that when women look old they are properly marginalized as "old ladies." If women are to exercise great power, they will come into that power in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. We must — if we care about the advancement of women — accommodate our vision and see a face like this as mature, experienced, serious — the way we naturally and normally see men's faces.
ADDED: A reader (and regular commenter [Reader_Iam) emails this photo of Hillary taken Davenport, Iowa early this year: "I was literally inches from Clinton... I suppose it's possible that she's aged so much this year, but frankly I doubt it. I think she looked quite good in person (better than my photo captured). I think that Drudge photo is a little unfair, and perhaps--perhaps--a little suspect."
CORRECTION: That last photo was sent to me by iPhone, but taken on a Nikon Coolpix 4600.
MORE: Eugene Volokh likes the Drudge photo:
I think it just makes her look more down-to-earth: Less carefully put together and more lived-in, an older professional woman on whom time has taken its toll — as it does on us all — but who has acquired the advantages of experience in exchange.So, good. Eugene has the advanced vision I'm recommending for everyone.
YET MORE: Both Dr. Helen and The Anchoress note that men get attacked for their looks too.