(CNN) - A New York Times Magazine cover story about Hillary Clinton was getting reaction online even before the piece was released. But it was the cover itself that has created the buzz.
Clinton's face is set on a planet against a celestial background, surrounded by multiple circles of friends above the headline "Planet Hillary."
Amy Chozick, the New York Times political reporter who wrote the piece, discussed the provocative nature of the cover.
"I didn't pick the cover. But when they showed it to me, I definitely thought, 'Oh, this is going to receive a lot of reaction,' " Chozick said Friday on CNN's "New Day."
Most likely mindful of the reaction, the magazine explained in an online piece Thursday evening how the cover came about. "When we created the cover of this Sunday's magazine to accompany Amy Chozick's article – to be published online tomorrow – about Hillary Rodham Clinton's influence on the various people within her political universe, the immediate idea that came to mind was Clinton's face embedded on a planet," Arem Duplessis, the magazine's design director wrote.
The provocative cover quickly trended on social networks even before the Friday morning release of the piece online. According to Topsy, a social search and analytics company, as of 8:30 a.m. ET Friday morning, "Planet Hillary" had more than 2,800 mentions on Twitter over the past day. And mentions of Hillary Clinton had topped 6,200 over the past 24 hours, the second-highest total for Clinton in the past month.
Some in the Clinton orbit say the cover is disrespectful.
"It's goofy. It's embarrassing for the magazine. Seventeen out of the last 20 years Hillary Clinton has been voted in the Gallup poll as the most admired women in the world and this is how they depict her?" said Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala, a close adviser and friend to Bill and Hillary Clinton for over two decades.
"I'm a strong believer in the free press. They have a perfect right to do it. I just don't get it," Begala said in a separate interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo and Kate Bouldan on "New Day."
The story itself looks at the universe surrounding the Clintons and the challenges in organizing that universe for a potential 2016 president bid by Hillary Clinton.
"I found that the Clintons are unlike any other political family in terms of how they have collected people, literally since Bill Clinton's kindergarten class, they have been collecting friends, advisers, donors, people who feel a stake in now, her future, and want their voices heard. In 2008 we saw a lot of cooks in the kitchen because of this vast network," Chozick told CNN. "So I think the big question is how do you make all these people feel involved and feel heard without creating that same chaos that destroyed her the last time."
Check out what Twitterverse is saying.
Oddball cover, no doubt - but if it's generating attention, hasn't the design director done at least part of his job? 6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/23/how…—
Harry Wilson (@CanGeoHW) January 24, 2014
OMG, I thought that NYT Mag cover with Hillary as a planet was a joke. IT'S REAL??!—
(@whitneymae) January 24, 2014
– CNN's Eric Weisbrod contributed to this report.