'Texts From Hillary' Hails Rebirth of a Badass

Secretary of State looks cool, gets respect in viral phenomenon

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 10, 2012 11:26 AM CDT | Updated Apr 15, 2012 10:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – The latest meme to take the Internet by storm also might just indicate a Clinton renaissance: Texts From Hillary features imagined conversations between Clinton and pretty much anyone—other politicians, Sarah Palin, Mark Zuckerberg, Jay-Z—using a photo of Clinton taken last fall on a flight to Tripoli, in which she looks particularly badass in sunglasses while, apparently, texting. Sample line, from Clinton to John Boehner: "Baby in the room next to me at the hotel wouldn't stop crying last night. Thought of you. LMAO."

Interestingly, when the now-iconic photo first appeared, a Reuters blogger noted that it was unflattering to Clinton, reports the Boston Globe, making her look tired and overworked. But when Adam Smith saw it recently, he thought she looked "fierce," shared the photo with a friend, and started the Tumblr account. Now, people are sending in their own suggestions for imaginary conversations, all of them featuring a take-charge Clinton. A few reactions from around the WWW:

  • "More than just an image rebound, Clinton is enjoying a genuine resurgence," writes Benjy Sarlin on Talking Points Memo. Four years ago, her "cold, relentless style was considered one of her biggest vulnerabilities," but now people respect it.
  • In fact, this meme "is all about respect," notes Dylan Byers on Politico. "Where Obama, Biden, Gates, Geithner, et al have suffered gray hairs and waning enthusiasm, Clinton … has undergone a reinvention and seems more powerful and unflappable than ever."
  • "Gone are the man’s-world accessories, the pantsuit and masculine haircut," notes Joanna Weiss in the Globe. "Secretary Clinton is a woman, comfortably feminine, with long blonde hair, a chunky necklace, a giant brooch."
  • The popularity of the meme proves that Hillary could be a contender in 2016, adds Marin Cogan in GQ.
Check out the Tumblr in full here.

This Oct. 18, 2011, picture of Hillary Clinton on a Malto-to-Tripoli flight inside a C-17 military plane has gone viral.
This Oct. 18, 2011, picture of Hillary Clinton on a Malto-to-Tripoli flight inside a C-17 military plane has gone viral.   (AP Photo / Kevin Lamarque, Pool)
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