On Feb.15, 2014, the Drudge Report fed ongoing speculation about whether Hillary would run for president in 2016. The site used a brutally candid image of former Secretary of State Clinton above a link to a National Journal article asking, “Is Hillary Clinton Too Old to Run?”
The close-up image of Hillary is so unflattering, it makes you wonder whether Drudge is sending a not-so-subliminal message to Clinton that she should quit now or else face a long, dirty, no-holds-barred fight.
In the image, Hillary’s face shows all of the sags and bags normal to a woman of 66 years. It’s a particularly stark photo, one any woman with any vanity would hate for the public to see. Hillary’s hair appears to be a limp, lackluster gray, her face is heavily wrinkled, and her skin is blotchy with unsightly age spots. All by itself, the close-up serves as an undeniable reminder that Hillary is no longer young while reinforcing concern that she has health issues.
The days when a high-profile personality can control which photos of him are used are long gone for all but the holder of the most powerful political office in the land. If Hillary runs and wins the presidency, as many predict, perhaps she might then follow President Obama’s example and use a hand-out practice which allows the White House almost complete control of what the public sees and the message that is delivered with it.
An article titled “Obama blackout urged as press fights for right to cover White House” describes the anger of the press over Obama’s “unprecedented limitations on photojournalists.” The press considers this kind of control a form of censorship.
Although Drudge eventually replaced the ugly photo link with a link to an article title “Michelle O tops Hillary in First Lady Poll,” a recent McClatchy-Marist Poll shows Hillary as a near shoo-in if she runs and wins the Democratic nomination. “A majority of registered voters nationally would support Clinton, regardless of her Republican opponent,” But will Hillary run? The Drudge-linked National Journal piece quotes an unidentified Clinton law friend who predicted, “If Bill and Hillary are healthy, she will run.”
From the “Hillary Papers,” a revealing stash of documents originally released to the public by The Free Beacon which many feels highlights Hillary’s capacity for ruthlessness, a book was mentioned as one that had captured the attention of Washington pols. When Hillary despaired over unfavorable press, her friend, Diana Blair, recommended the title, “Out of Order.”
Tom Patterson, the author, wrote of the relentless political stories hawked by the press, “The voter’s problem is that of overload.” He goes on to say, “Facts are not what drives the news.” Instead, “the mere whiff of a scandal triggers a “feeding frenzy,” making the case that journalistic motives are often impure, hindering their ability to deliver perfect information.
As for Hillary being “too old to run,” many potential presidential candidates have the luxury of deciding, as Patterson put it in his book, “Should I run now or wait until the next election?” Most would agree that Hillary’s options for her decision, whatever it may end up being, are certainly age and health related.