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Hillary Clinton in the News

Hillary Clinton in the News: Gender and Authenticity in American Politics

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Hillary Clinton in the News
    Book Description:

    The charge of inauthenticity has trailed Hillary Clinton from the moment she entered the national spotlight and stood in front of television cameras. Hillary Clinton in the News: Gender and Authenticity in American Politics shows how the U.S. news media created their own news frames of Clinton's political authenticity and image-making, from her participation in Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign through her own 2008 presidential bid. Using theories of nationalism, feminism, and authenticity, Parry-Giles tracks the evolving ways the major networks and cable news programs framed Clinton's image as she assumed roles ranging from surrogate campaigner, legislative advocate, and financial investor to international emissary, scorned wife, and political candidate. This study magnifies how the coverage that preceded Clinton's entry into electoral politics was grounded in her earliest presence in the national spotlight, and in long-standing nationalistic beliefs about the boundaries of authentic womanhood and first lady comportment. Once Clinton dared to cross those gender boundaries and vie for office in her own right, the news exuded a rhetoric of sexual violence. These portrayals served as a warning to other women who dared to enter the political arena and violate the protocols of authentic womanhood.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09604-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction. Hillary Clinton in the News: The Historical Context
    (pp. 1-23)

    During a June 1, 2007,Todayshow interview,Washington Postjournalist Carl Bernstein declared that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was “inauthentic”—the central claim of his book,A Woman in Charge.¹ Such authenticity difficulties have dogged the former first lady-turned-senator-turned presidential candidate from the moment she entered the national spotlight. When Clinton was running for the U.S. Senate from New York, Maureen Dowd ofThe New York Timessimilarly charged: “We have lost all hope of getting any shred of authenticity from either Bill or Hillary—unless it’s the authenticity of the deluded.”²

    Although a central critique of Hillary Clinton...

  5. CHAPTER 1 Hillary Clinton as Campaign Surrogate: U.S. Presidential Campaigns—1992 and 1996
    (pp. 24-53)

    On January 20, 2007, Hillary Rodham Clinton ended weeks, months, and even years of speculation with the simple words, “I’m In,” as she announced her formation of a presidential exploratory committee for the 2008 presidential campaign.¹ The person whomWashington Postjournalist Carl Bernstein called the “most famous woman in the world”² had finally ventured into what MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson described as the “longest full-scale, full-blown, talk-about-it-every-day run-up to a national election in American history.”³

    For Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, the issue of her political authenticity occupied the attention of many in the press—a preoccupation that had dogged...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Hillary Clinton as Legislative Activist And Legal Defendant: Health Care Reform and the Whitewater Investigations—1993–1995
    (pp. 54-94)

    From the moment that Hillary Clinton entered the 2008 presidential campaign, her candidacy was framed by the memory of her involvement in the Clinton administration’s health care reform efforts from 1993 to 1995. With the presidential campaign well underway in early 2007, journalists often reminded the viewing public of Clinton’s most memorable political failure. Andrea Mitchell ofNBC Nightly Newsdubbed this policy issue as one of Hillary Clinton’s “biggest mistakes.”¹ Jim Axelrod ofCBS Evening Newsreferred to it as Clinton’s “spectacular political failure,”² and Richard Wright of ABC’sGood Morning Americasimilarly called health care Clinton’s “first spectacular...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Hillary Clinton as International Emissary and Scorned Wife: Diplomatic Travel and the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal—1995–1999
    (pp. 95-134)

    As Hillary and Bill Clinton faced what was arguably the biggest crisis of their marriage in the summer and fall of 1998, one of the key news frames of Hillary was that of a victim. From that summer forward, she was routinely framed as the scorned wife suffering the consequences of a philandering husband who had an illicit affair with a twenty-one-year-old intern named Monica Lewinsky. Yet, nearly ten years later, when rumors spread that Clinton would enter the 2008 presidential contest, that frame would be drowned out by one focused on the politically ambitious Clinton—the woman who had...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Hillary Clinton as Political Candidate: U.S. Senate Campaign—1999–2001
    (pp. 135-175)

    After months in the thicket of the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton would go public with her complaints about sexist treatment in the press. A May 25, 2008, broadcast of CNN’sReliable Sourcesaired Clinton’s stinging critique:

    It’s been deeply offensive to millions of women. The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted. And I think there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when and if it ever raises its ugly head. But it does seem as though the press, at...

  9. Conclusion. Hillary Clinton in the News: Lessons Learned
    (pp. 176-198)

    In a May 17, 2008, episode ofThe Beltway Boys, Fox News addressed the thorny subject of how Hillary Clinton would drop out of the Democratic presidential primary. Co-host Fred Barnes turned to a familiar sports metaphor to comprehend the closeness of the Democratic race, expressing his excitement over the possibility of an “overtime” in the presidential primary that mimicked a too close to call “basketball” game. The other “Beltway Boy” co-host, Mort Kond-racke, mentioned the growing “rumors” that Clinton was “forcing her way onto the Democratic ticket” in a way, he charged, that others dubbed her “testicular fortitude.” Barnes...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 199-228)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 229-244)
  12. Index
    (pp. 245-258)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 259-260)