Why Are Blogs Evaluating What the Candidates' Wives Wear?

Over at Slate, the XX factor team is dissecting the wardrobe choices of the candidates' wives last night (what color tie was Bill Clinton wearing? Anyone? Bueller?). They've honed in on Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama's choice of a red suit. Here's what Dana Stevens had to say:


To wear [red] is to quote [Nancy Reagan] as unambiguously as McCain evoked the Reagan/Stallone '80s by marching onstage to the Rocky theme for his victory speech. Michelle Obama's donning of the hue is more complex. Obviously, this choice is supposed to recall the general optimism of the morning-in-America days. But is it also meant to reassure us that Michelle, who only last year left her high-powered job as an executive at the University of Chicago hospitals, will remain safely on the Nancy-esque sidelines when her husband becomes president, confining her role to charity work like the cleft-palate foundation whose board Cindy McCain serves on (and through which she adopted their now-16-year-old daughter from Bangladesh)? At any rate, the color-coded association of both women with the ultimate loyal-but-silent political spouse clearly serves to distance them from a certain prospective first husband who doesn't need to wear loud colors to get himself noticed.
Uh. Color me confused (bad pun intended), but I didn't think that Nancy Reagan had claimed ownership rights over the R in Roy G. Biv. I think Stevens is right that the red may be intended to bring to mind optimism. At least in the case of Mrs. Obama, I'm guessing it's also supposed to evoke energy and excitement, rather than the staid same-ol'. But, seriously, since when are we relying on the "neighborhood astrologer's" positive associations with red as the jumping off point for a discussion about presidential politics and PR? And why is it that we assume that Michelle Obama is invoking Nancy Reagan (whose politics she probably couldn't disagree with more), while Hillary Clinton is evoking...something else unnamed...when she wears red?

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.