July 28th, 2007
07:50 AM ET
11 years ago

Clinton seeks 'cleavage' cash

Clinton’s campaign is seeking to raise cash over recent attention devoted to the candidate's appearance.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Few political fundraising e-mails have ever carried the subject header “cleavage,” but White House hopeful Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign sent a solicitation to supporters Friday with the attention-grabbing header in order to decry a recent Washington Post article devoted to the New York Democrat’s chest - and raise campaign cash in the process.

“Frankly, focusing on women’s bodies instead of their ideas is insulting,” Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to Clinton, wrote in the e-mail. “It’s insulting to every woman who has ever tried to be taken seriously in a business meeting. It’s insulting to our daughters - and our sons - who are constantly pressured by the media to grow up too fast.”

“Take a stand against this kind of coarseness and pettiness in American culture,” Lewis adds, with a link to make a contribution to the campaign. “And take a stand for Hillary, the most experienced, most qualified candidate running for president.”

Lewis is referring to an article published in last Friday’s Washington Post Style Section, in which reporter Robin Givhan claims Clinton’s cleavage was “on display” during a recent Senate floor speech.

“With Clinton, there was the sense that you were catching a surreptitious glimpse at something private. You were intruding - being a voyeur. Showing cleavage is a request to be engaged in a particular way,” Givhan wrote in the article which detailed Clinton’s style evolution over the years. “It doesn't necessarily mean that a woman is asking to be objectified, but it does suggest a certain confidence and physical ease.”

Lewis also indirectly aired her grievances with Clinton’s Democratic competitors John Edwards and Barack Obama, who, at the CNN/YouTube debate last Monday, discussed Clinton’s “coral” jacket. When asked to say something he didn’t like about the candidate to his left, Edwards joked he wasn’t fond of her jacket, to which Obama replied that he liked it.

“There will always be people who try to make a campaign about make up, clothes, and now, even cleavage,” Lewis wrote. “In fact, if you watched the last debate, you remember that Hillary's jacket was the subject of some discussion among the candidates - because it was coral.”

But Clinton isn’t the only presidential candidate whose appearance has undergone scrutiny. Edwards’s pricey haircuts, Obama’s frequently ‘open collar’, Arizona Sen. John McCain’s V-neck sweaters, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s expensive make-up jobs have all been the subject of past media attention.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Phil NC

    Clinton News Network is funny. Can we find better candidates than Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. How about the Max Brothers, Red Skelton or Burns and Allen.

    July 27, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. Sevil Babayev, Boulder, Colorado

    Dear Ticker Producer.
    I am a former medical scientist, PHD, now retired. Everyday I read CNN site, including Ticker, and everyday it is difficult for me to read how purposefully and negatively you write about Senator Hillary Clinton. This person is admirable not only for me,I will be not mistaken to say, for the majority of the American people. This nation should be proud to have such an highly educated person, exclusively intelligent, with deep knowledge of the most important issues for the nation (health care, economics, foreign policy, national security, poverty, etc).
    It surprisers me why CNN TV channel (Wolf Blitzer)and Internet site day after the day constantly are busy to invent all kind of insinuations about Senator Clinton, trying to create a negative impression about her at any cost. Why the great abilities of such a talanted anchor as Wolf Blitzer is regularly used to disinform the American people in the very important issue of presidental campaign, negatively presented the most deserving candidate-Senator Clinton.I am sure The American people will not go after your mendacious propoganda. It will be smart enough to make the right choice for the next president of this great nation-everybody knows how able and smart is Senator Clinton and everybody remembers and knows bright examples of UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel of Germany.
    I would like to ask you and Wolf Blitzer stop doing this ignoble deed, do not mislead the american voters. Election of the president is an issue of too much importance and meaning and it should not be used in selfinterest of any malicious or greedy groups.
    CNN as leader of the Media should be a carrier of the most trustworthy information.

    Sevil Babayev.

    July 27, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. cj, kennesaw ga

    Please please please America focus on the chest of the country not the chest of Hilary.

    July 27, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  4. Rachel, Santa Rosa, CA

    Nice Ed – I agree.

    July 27, 2007 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  5. Brian Tampa, FL

    How did it ever come to this? Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Reagan are rolling over in their graves!

    July 27, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  6. David, KC MO

    I wouldn't care how much cleavage she has. This Senate seat buying, crooked land dealer has no business near the White House. Doesn't matter what you think of the current administration either.

    July 27, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  7. Randy , Colorado Springs, Colorado

    The KFC Hillary Special: 2 Small Breasts, 2 Large Thighs, & 1 Left Wing

    July 27, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. Brian Rapp, Rockville, MD

    Why do so many corporate media outlets, CNN included, try to turn political elections into popularity contests? We have to listen to Chris Mathews' nauseating man-crush on Fred Thompson; vapid, mindless gossip about John Edwards' haircuts; Mitt Romney's chiseled features; and now Hilary Clinton's breasts. When you're not busy digging up important “news” like this, you're inundating us with all the sordid details of the personal lives of people like Paris Hilton, the Beckhams, Lindsay Lohan, or some other useless Hollywood tramp du jour while the country burns.

    This isn't high school. We aren't voting for prom king/queen. Grow up. We're in the mess we're in now because the media cares more about appearances than issues, and too many people buy whatever the media sells without stopping to think or form their own opinion (as though they could given how sparse the presentation of facts are). The media has a responsibility to the public to tell us who is lying and who is telling the truth, and not just telling what each side has to say without analysis or investigation. We would all be much better off if you would start doing your jobs instead of trying to entertain us. If we want entertainment, we'll go to the movies.

    George Bush has been looting and pillaging this country's assets and trampling on the constitution largely because the corporate media failed to expose groups like the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" for what they really were: a bunch of hired Republican operatives assassinating the character of an actual war hero while propping up commander codpiece, who was MIA all during the Vietnam war. Those are the facts and they have been readily available for years.

    It's pointless to bring this up because the beltway chattering class simply roll their eyes when they hear complaints like this.

    July 27, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. Smokestack Barnes

    While expensive haircuts, V necks, and open collars maybe topics for discussion of their appropriateness, displaying cleavage, while very feminine, puts the perpetrator on an even plane with those with whom she is competing. Whether thats good or bad, she subjects herself to a certain degree of ridicule inherent with this behavior. If one truely wishes to be taken seriously, then me the boys on the same turf and defeat them at their own game.

    July 27, 2007 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  10. Edward Rodriguez Mcallen, Texas

    It is outrageously absurd and insane that in this century some people are still unbelievably ignorant and believe women do not make good politicians because of their gender. Hillary Clinton has more brains than any other Presidential candidate (Republican and Democrat)put together. It is about time this country is run by an individual who God has blessed her not only with highly intelligence, but also wisdom and compassion.

    Hillary, you have my vote. God bless you.

    Edward Rodriguez from Texas

    July 27, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  11. Smokestack Barnes

    My apologies! The word I meant to post was "uneven" as in "puts the perpetrator on an uneven plane with those with whom she is competing".

    Thank you for your indulgence.

    July 27, 2007 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  12. Jim Ketcham

    My advice to the Democratic gentlemen running for President- show up at the next debate in a bright red suit.

    July 28, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  13. Rocket

    Clinton more experienced? Best candidate? Are you serious? This is a circus. Clowns dressing up to appeal to the public. Obama, Edwards good candidates? Get REAL! The sad truth of the matter is, there are NO good candidates.

    If there WERE good candidates, they sure as hell wouldn't be engaged in a media circus and buying the public vote. They would be working (a hell of a lot more than the 127 days congress spent in session last year) and doing the bidding of the public.
    Instead we have a bunch of limelight addicts who don't work for the public, they engage in enriching their own lives and pushing their personal agendas.
    As far as I am concerned, I am sick and tired of having to choose from a barrel of rotten apples, ONE, to make me feel good about having picked a rotten apple.

    July 28, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  14. lisa, San Diego, CA

    Didn't anyone actually watch the debates? It was Obama who didn't like the jacket and Edwards who did. But it was a trivial interchange in response to a rather silly question. What was significant was that all the democratic candidates out-performed and out-classed all of the Republican candidates.

    July 28, 2007 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  15. Di, LA, CA

    So Hillary's outfit suggested confidence and physical ease. Thank you Dr. Freud for the style section. Perhaps Ms. Givhan should head back to reviewing B-list movies for the entertainment section at the Detroit Free Press or back to Vogue. Tsk, tsk, tsk, a Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism should know better. Or maybe she should just go work for Obama's campaign. Me thinks that's what this is all about, n'est-ce pas?. God forbid CNN should look anything up or fill in the blanks. Givhan actuually said, "it was more like catching a man with his fly unzipped." And that, Boys, is offensive to women and should be to men, too. Not as offensive as bad press coverage though. It's like you hire junior high students.

    July 28, 2007 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  16. H, San Francisco, CA

    After reading this sexist CNN headline, my daily visits to this website are over.

    July 28, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  17. Glenda, McEwen, TN

    She's a woman running for president. Guess what? She has breasts! Deal with it and talk about what matters in this country. Through personal experience I've learned Obama is not my candidate. Edwards will not have the backing to beat the Republicans in 08. But there is one clear choice. She has the knowledge, the experience, the name recognition in her own right, diplomacy (WOW!) and can lead this country into a better tomorrow for all of us, not just the wealthy. Go Hillary! I will be proud to cast my vote for the first woman president in 08!

    July 28, 2007 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  18. Suzanne, Waukegan, Illinois

    I find it amazing that CNN, MSNBC or any other news provider spends so much time on such sophomoric nonsense. Vote for Hillary or don't vote for her. The opportunity to choose is a premise of our foundation.

    Reporters reporting on a candidates physique – grow up!

    July 28, 2007 03:22 am at 3:22 am |

    no one in america would have paid this any notice if you people hadnt reported it.This is a headline ?PATHETIC

    July 28, 2007 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  20. sdj, Laf, IN

    What's wrong with showing some cleavage on a woman? Seems like she should be proud of what she's got. Since when did everyone become so puritanical?

    July 28, 2007 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  21. Terry Nazar. Canada

    Were not talking Lohan & Hilton -type trash people here kiddies.
    Have some responsibible reporting with decency and try to be a bit more credible in your reporting.
    What a sin to put a focus on her cleavage. So juvenile.

    July 28, 2007 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  22. Perry Logan, Austin, Texas

    This just proves my theory, that right-wingers have the hots for liberals.

    July 28, 2007 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  23. Tom, Omaha Nebraska

    Just when things start getting very uncomfortable for Clinton because Obama called her number on her Bush-like foreign policy, she pulls a dirty political trick (probably suggested by Bill) and flashes her cleavage to change the subject, move the focus to her, and make her appear like a victim.

    As if every item of her wardrobe were not the subject of a staff review.

    As if people (women and men) never used their sexuality as a weapon; in this case, one which shows her growing panic.

    At least the people reading these blogs are not that naive, especially when they see the ready-made banner advertising from the Clinton campaign featuring her cleavage. There's one at the top of this page as I'm reading it.

    July 28, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  24. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    You know I really have to wonder, how hard is it today for reporters,newspapers, media to get a good story? How much are these people paid anyway for their mere opinions, views, perceptions even if twisted, slanted, out of focus, on any subject they wish to cover?

    This "clevage" hype by the Washington Post certainly tells what side of the aisle they are on.

    I have to wonder, if it weren't for hype and the rebuttals from the targets of the same, would we be getting any news?

    This topic was not only low ball reporting. It was Gender Biased and totally Jeuvenile.Lets' get back to talents and credentials shall we?

    July 28, 2007 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  25. Lynn, Vancouver, BC

    Instead of worrying about the "cleavage" comment let's hear Clinton's and Obama's stance on the article entitled "Bush seeks big boost in arms for Mideast allies" to friendly nations in the Middle East on the MSNBC website. Why isn't there mention of this on CNN?

    Wasn't Iraq once a "friendly nation" armed by the US?? Isn't Saudi Arabia funding and arming Sunni insurgents?

    Your government continually makes this world a more dangerous place and you continue to focus on high school campaigning. The military power of the US makes it the "most powerful" gov't in the world, not its policies or examples internally or externally.

    What are Hillary Clinton's experiences and accomplishments...not that she has been around Washington. These should be listed and itemized by the people who contend this.

    And the credit for the North Korea negotiation goes to ALL the countries involved!!

    America and the world needs a visionary not more of the same!

    July 28, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
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