Hillary, not Vogue

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The Post reports: THE “BRAINS” surrounding Hillary Clinton didn’t make any friends last Friday at Condé Nast when they balked on a firm, long-standing commitment to let the candidate pose for Vogue, while the astute Julia Reed hung ten waiting to write about her and the giant fotog Annie Leibovitz had her cameras at the ready for nothing. A source inside Hillary’s camp supposedly informed the Vogue contingent they’d decided some time ago not to honor the commitment, but Vogue wasn’t told until the last minute. Handlers for the senator decided Vogue would be “too elitist” and Hillary might come off as “too glamorous.”

Brand Girl must ask, “these handlers… were they the same ones responsible for Tuesday’s less than glam performance?”

The Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia reminded me of my youth, and its late night ping-pong sessions with the brothers — all four of them. Think suburbia, think sweat, think testosterone – think lots of it. At some point in the game, it would predictably get ugly. (C’mon we’re playing with boys.) The strategy would eventually turn to eliminating players – especially minorities. And hello – that meant your sister – or any girl in the lead for that matter. It was no longer about keeping the ball in play… it was about winning the serve. And that was what Hillary failed to do. Repeatedly.

No one expects any candidate to have the answers to solve largess issues like the immigration or social security crisis, but we do expect a candidate to answer. Hillary, rather than take any position, unfavorable or not, wavered on such issues like Governor Eliot Spitzer’s effort to award New York driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and basically got herself into trouble. Ironically, some of her opponents also supported the Spitzer scenario, but — they said they did.

So was Hillary’s downward tumble due to being tight-lipped and unable to rebound when she realized she was under attack? Maybe. But when placing yourself under the spotlight in a heated game (and running for president of the United States as a leading candidate, a minority and woman no less –– is a hot one), you need to know how to handle the pressure and return the serve – every time.

Clearly, I’m all about women being in places of power (ahem) –– and Steve Colbert too –– so here are three things for Hillary and her handlers to take note of to ensure future success:

1) When you’re building a brand campaign that hinges on your ability to play ball with the men –– then play ball with the men. No whining!

2) Do not underestimate the intelligence of your audience or women. (I wonder about that follow-up piece, “The Politics of Pile On” – a.k.a.”damage control”? Were they tugging for the sympathy of women or,… at their stupidity? Let’s face it, spin as they wish, but Hil gave those boys the ammo and ability to slam her off the table. Period.)

3) Do not freeze out your fellow sisters. I mean, really! Blowing off both Vogue and Annie Leibovitz in one sitting? Talk about Elitist! (Girl… where are your manners?!)

And yes… I can play a mean game of ping-pong.

Filed: boys, branding

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