Aided by the Texts From Hillary tumblr–and pushed over the edge when the Secretary herself submitted a text–Hillary Clinton’s image has taken a turn for the cool lately. But as Amanda Marcotte notes at The Prospect, Clinton’s image as a “badass boss lady” isn’t really new–it’s what her fans have always seen and loved in her. But, Amanda argues, it’s an image that was tempered as she sought older voters in the 2008 primary–and one that might be easier to maintain when she’s the Secretary of State and not a presidential hopeful:
Of course, the fact that Clinton isn’t competing openly with a male politician makes it that much easier for fans, either long-standing or newly minted, to project their fantasies of cool-headed female power onto her. One thing Dowd get right is that Clinton has more “permission” to be beloved when she’s subordinate to a man. If she stepped back out and competed directly with a man for power, would the image of calm-and-cool Hillary be replaced with tedious stereotypes about shrill, grasping women? Or are we finally closing in on the day when women can have power fantasies equal to men’s, with mediating them first through some formal subordination?
Either way, let’s take a minute to appreciate how cool HRC has always been–even way back in 1975.