If there is one word the picture seems to be aggressively striving to evoke, it would be "relaxed." McCain's studied repose is in direct contrast to the image she projects in campaign photographs in which she is pressed, polished and so stiffly poised that she often looks like a wax replica of a political spouse. There's nothing especially natural or nonchalant about her Vogue portrait. One can almost see the fingerprints of the assistant who adjusted her hands just so and one wonders how long she had to hold her head at what looks to be an uncomfortable angle. But the implied message is unmistakable: I am not a Stepford wife.It's just more Stepfordish — isn't it? — to annihilate traces of Stepfordishness.
[Michelle] Obama's photos seemed crafted specifically to help the viewer imagine her in the role of first lady. She is a study in little black dresses, conservative pearls, preppy hair and restraint. Again, the implied message is unmistakable: I am neither subversive nor threatening. I am not some scary "other." I am Camelot with a tan.Camelot with a tan.
Meanwhile, neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton has submitted to the transformative powers of Vogue. Would it help, and would it help more for Bill or for Hillary to do the posing? Hillary's hair, makeup, and fashion are fiercely controlled by someone (presumably, some team of experts), so it's no surprise she did not allow it. And tousling Bill up is too apt to be taken the wrong way. It's best that the Clintons remain unVogued — though, with hindsight, everything they did seems ill-fated. If only Hilary's hair had blown free while she lounged on a rock by the ocean. If only she'd — just once! — worn a dress — a diaphanous gown...