Re: Palin’s ‘non-serious’ Newsweek cover

Over on the homepage side of things, Billy highlights the noxious observations of Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart who mocked Sarah Palin’s fashion sense on the cover of the most recent Newsweek:

“She can’t possibly be taken seriously as a presidential contender dressed like that, especially since this is the second time she has graced Newsweek in a less-than-presidential pose,” Capehart writes, referring to Palin’s casual look.


I agree that image goes a long way in presidential politics, but since when is a determined, hands-on-the-hip pose “less-than-presidential”?  I have a sneaking feeling his fashion critique has more to do with a personal disdain for Palin’s politics than any substantive critique of the former Alaska governor’s image.  Or perhaps Capehart is simply pining for the past days of mandatory pantsuit uniforms for female political contenders.

Either way, lets look at a few scenarios which seem to directly challenge Capehart’s assertion.

“Folks want to be able to envision someone sitting in the Oval Office,” Capehart notes.  –True, but do people really envision a “serious” leader taking up a “serious” pose like this one?

When “folks” envision a serious contender in the Oval Office, I’m pretty sure their imaginations don’t automatically put the president’s feet up on the historic Resolute Desk.

(And before Media Matters wastes their breath pointing out how George W. Bush also put his feet up on the iconic desk, let me just say that I hated it then just as I hate it now.)

“They don’t necessarily want to envision them in the pages of Esquire magazine’s ‘Sexiest Woman Alive 2011’ or Maxim,” he adds.  –Perhaps.

I can certainly say pictures like this did not improve Obama’s image of a “serious” presidential contender in my mind…

…although they seem to bolster the president’s approval rating among readers of the Huffington Post:

After Capehart characterized Palin’s cover shot as “young and vibrant,” he added: “When Palin’s cover shot is viewed through the prism of presidential politics, it’s a dud.”

Sure, because “old and worn out” is the just way to go when it comes to bestselling magazine covers.