Reinventing Hillary: Photos Meant to Make Clinton More Likable – Just Make Her Seem ‘Old’

Reinventing Hillary: Photos Meant to Make Clinton More Likable – Just Make Her Seem ‘Old’

Drudge bills it as ‘The Way We Were.’ Clinton is the tired oldness… Trump is the new hotness. Sorry, that’s just how it’s looking out there. Hillary is so incapable of relating to people on a human level, she has to dig up propagandic old photos to show she’s not a demon from hell. They just make her look old. Trump is out there with energy and passion… he’s relating to everyone he meets and thousands are rushing to hear him speak. Hillary, not so much.

Hillarys Past

From Politico:

Splashed across social media and the airwaves, the photos are hard to miss.

Follow Hillary Clinton’s Instagram feed, and you’ll see her as a toddler in Park Ridge, Illinois, riding a tricycle. On Facebook, you’ll meet her as an almost unrecognizable young Arkansas mother with brown hair, big glasses and loafers, spotting her daughter on a pony ride; on the website Medium, she stares out at you, just another earnest face in a crowd posing for a 1965 high school class picture. In the first television ads of the campaign, she is seemingly from another era, pictured in grainy black and white, about 10 years old with a half-smile on her face, hair pulled back in a pollyanna, holding her mother’s hand.

Since launching her campaign last June, Clinton has flooded the Internet and filled her TV spots with surprising, little-known images of the candidate pulled from old family photo albums, all part of a larger campaign strategy to make Clinton more relatable to voters. The nostalgic pictures are designed to present her as an average person — rather than a global brand — and to neutralize the negative image Clinton can sometimes project as the untrustworthy political insider campaigning in a rich lady’s uniform of bold-colored pantsuits and a helmet of blonde hair.

At one time, the images might have been too loaded to be advertised. The Clintons’ student activism was still the source of some controversy in the 1990s; their 1960s and 1970s attire and hairstyles might have served as a reminder of cultural and generational battles still fresh in some voters’ minds. But those concerns have faded with the passage of time.

Clinton’s campaign tried a similar strategy on a significantly smaller scale in 2008, when her ad man at the time, Jimmy Siegel, shot a 30-second television spot titled “Scranton.” The commercial featured gauzy footage of Clinton as a toddler in 1950, running around the working class city where her grandfather worked at a lace mill. “There was no heat or indoor shower,” Clinton narrates in a voiceover, describing her stays at a cabin there every summer, “Just the joy of family.”

The ad ran only in Pennsylvania, a state Clinton won in the 2008 primary. But in general, former aides said, Clinton’s last campaign was resistant to the softer focus, choosing instead to highlight her strength and experience.

This time around, however, the campaign is all in on the nostalgic memes as it tries to humanize a candidate who has stumbled through a difficult summer, with the controversy over her emails reinforcing the most negative stereotypes of the Clintons as paranoid and secretive, playing by their own set of rules. In polls, a majority of voters think Clinton is untrustworthy, and describe her as “dishonest.”

The goal in highlighting the photos, campaign officials said, was to let voters see who Clinton was before 1992, when she entered the national consciousness as first lady, and to reinforce the message that Clinton is one of the world’s “least-known well-known people.”

“The pictures of her early years are important in telling her story, where she came from, the moments that shaped her life,” said Jim Margolis, Clinton’s media adviser and top ad maker. In the television spots, Margolis said, many of the images were chosen because they show a young Clinton at work — fighting for school reform as first lady of Arkansas, or working straight out of law school for the Children’s Defense Fund.

The slideshow of photos in ads, Margolis explained, is to demonstrate that “it’s not just talk, it’s not more promises, but you can count on her to fight for you, because that’s what she’s always done — take a look for yourself, here she is.”

Scores of photographs that disarm are part of the campaign’s continuing effort to show a softer side as well.
On Thursday, for instance, while Clinton appeared on “Ellen,” where she reiterated her apology for using a private server while at the State Department and then performed the “whip/nae nae” dance, her campaign was busy online.

Politico gushes over how fabulous the photos are… showing hipster Bill and a demur Hillary. Please… give us all a break. Clinton becomes the first one to break out her baby pictures in a craven move to win votes. Softer side? What softer side? The woman is hard as nails and a beast. If I see her dance once more, I may implode. It’s disgusting. Republican media consultant Rick Wilson said the pictures are a smart play for a candidate who’s suffering in terms of likability — but the campaign still has an uphill road when it comes to revamping Clinton’s image. “They have to go back and build out the greatest hits: the young career woman, the likable mom,” Wilson said. “They’re looking for people to look at a new narrative of Hillary Clinton. But her brand is entrenched, so settled, it’s very difficult to wake up and say it’s a new Hillary Clinton.” They might want to address the blood all over pantsuit while they’re at it. That stain’s never going to wash off Clinton.

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Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - She also does research at You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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