Texts From Hillary: An Internet Meme about Hillary Clinton Explodes
Hillary Clinton has endured more than her share of the media saying not very nice things about her. During her 2008 presidential run, she was mocked and vilified for everything from her likeability to her ambition to her pantsuits to her laugh. Yet she also was humorless. For some reason, the cankles remark particularly upset me, I think because it was so petty and beside the point. I also fondly remember the media’s seemingly endless fascination with the Hillary nutcracker dolls.
Oh, and let’s not forget the New Hampshire primary. The politician with ice in her veins actually cried talking about the hurdles she’d faced as a woman running for president! But even her tears were fodder for suspicion and contempt. They were an act!
Then something extraordinary happened.
Clinton soared as secretary of state, and most of the sexist chatter stopped. I say “most” because just last week, conservative Daily Beast pundit Andrew Sullivan started up again, declaring Clinton a “non-feminist” and claiming that the only reason she excelled in politics was because of her husband.
Now, besides that being one of the more absurd remarks about Clinton I’ve ever heard, I can name several problems with Sullivan’s claim. (Not to mention his stunning comparison of notorious women’s movement hater Margaret Thatcher as the real feminist.) But it turns out I don’t need to.
Earlier this week, Clinton got the last word when she became an Internet sensation with Texts From Hillary. Created by Hillary fans Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe, the blog features photos of Clinton texting a series of celebrities and politicians like Ryan Gosling and Mitt Romney while she’s en route somewhere important on a military plane. Clad in dark sunglasses and staring at her BlackBerry, she looks intimidating, like she’s negotiating a nuclear treaty with Iran. The texts, of course, are made up, and they’re extremely funny and creative. (Smith and Lambe were in a trendy Washington bar at the time, which might help explain it.)
In one, for instance, Clinton gets a text from Obama: “Hey Hil, Whatchu doing?” he asks. “Running the world,” she sniffs.
If the conceit had ended there, that would have been validating for Clinton enough, evidence of her surging popularity. As a result of the meme, everyone’s now chanting “Hillary 2016!” But this week, the most powerful woman in the world revealed something else about herself, something that many of us already knew.
Hillary Clinton has a sense of humor!
As Mashable noted, this week Clinton contributed her own text to Texts From Hillary. I’m not going to spoil it by telling you what her text said. It’s more fun to read on the blog. But needless to say it was funny ... and had to do with a scrunchie. She also met with Smith and Lambe at the State Department.
And with that text from the real Hillary, Smith and Lambe ended Texts from Hillary on a high note, saying:
"As far as memes go -- it has gone as far as it can go. Is it really possible to top a submission from the Secretary herself? No. But then when you get to text with her in real life -- it’s just over. At least for us. But we have no doubt it will live on with all of you on the Internet.”
Now. Who says the most powerful woman in the world can’t take a joke? Hillary 2016, anyone?