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June 28, 2011

I Seek the Presidency Not For Vanity

Not hours into her presidential campaign, is the visual media having trouble taking Bachmann at face value, or is that the whole point?

More specifically: Is this a sexist cheap shot by Getty, distributing a close-up of Bachmann with all that makeup juxtaposed with a caption calling our her “vanity” quote, or does she somehow earn it?

Bachmann announcement slideshow at Zimbio.

  • Enoch Root

    I think the issue is not her makeup, but: Who disclaimers their run for President as ‘not for vanity?’ In this case the photo only underscores the lunacy of her statement. Of course it’s about vanity. The sad fact is that Bachmann herself is the only one who can’t admit it.

    In fact, in this regard, Bachmann is the perfect representative of the Republican Tea Party. The whole political movement is about narcissism, just about as well-disguised as Bachmann’s real eyebrows.

    • karen h

      Great point. I would add the word “orchestrated.” The eyebrows, liners, etc., accentuate the orchestrated narcisscism of the whole thing. I geuss that goes for any candidate in general if this one in particular. Especially one that says vanity has nothing to do with it.

    • karen h

      Great point. I would add the word “orchestrated.” The eyebrows, liners, etc., accentuate the orchestrated narcisscism of the whole thing. I geuss that goes for any candidate in general if this one in particular. Especially one that says vanity has nothing to do with it.

    • Thomas

      The vanity line is simply to counter-position herself against Obama, tapping on the view conservatives have of him as an egotistical, preening, status-hungry amateur. I think it’s fair to say that pairing the quote with this close-up is an editorial choice that pushes back on the claim in a way that, if not sexist, at least illustrates the difficulty women may face in taking this particular attack in this particular style.

      Palin seems to have found a much more effective message (or at least more satisfying to her conservative audience) in characterizing Obama as unmanly, a slur that her lipstick doesn’t compromise and may even reinforce.

    • http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ Ralfast

      Falls into the category of things that if you have to say them, then they are not true.

      Such as, “I am humble.”

      Or, “I am honest.”

  • black dog barking

    Who else uses makeup? Clowns, that’s who.

  • Anonymous

    The context is the way her behavior is so well stage managed these days. The “product” and its presentation have had a substantial remake. Which reminds me of the make-up and act put on by clowns. You know, like John Wayne Gacy.

  • http://styleofpolitics.blogspot.com Styleofpolitics

    It’s a sexist cheap shot. Bachmann has toned down her personal style and her previous penchant for ultra feminine clothing quite considerably in the lead up to this campaign. She’s really not wearing any more makeup than any other woman appearing on television.

    • tinwoman

      Disagree. Bachmann was wearing an immense amount of makeup on the day of her announcement, and it did have the effect of making her look younger and a lot softer.  I’m glad this shot called that out.

  • Anonymous

    Obama used to get people excited, but not any more.  He gives good speeches, but sit him down in a negotiation session with Republicans and he gives away the store.  I’m particularly annoyed at the escalation of the war in Afghanistan when it was clear he should have shut it down.

    Bachmann gets people excited today, and her campaign coffers are swelling with small donations.  If there’s no real power in the presidency – as suggested by Obama’s apparent weakness – then it doesn’t make a lot of difference what Michele Bachmann believes either.  She’ll have to sit down with other politicians and give away the store the same way Obama does.

    What are the actual powers of the president?  Obama regularly disappoints the people who worked hard to get him elected, but it’s not because he’s weak, we are told.  It’s because it’s actually a much smaller office than it was in the days of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.  If that’s the case, there’s an argument to be made for electing the first woman to the job.  For one thing, it’s long overdue.  And if the downside is that we don’t care for Bachmann’s politics, what’s the difference?  It’s a small, figurehead position.

  • Anonymous

    Obama used to get people excited, but not any more.  He gives good speeches, but sit him down in a negotiation session with Republicans and he gives away the store.  I’m particularly annoyed at the escalation of the war in Afghanistan when it was clear he should have shut it down.

    Bachmann gets people excited today, and her campaign coffers are swelling with small donations.  If there’s no real power in the presidency – as suggested by Obama’s apparent weakness – then it doesn’t make a lot of difference what Michele Bachmann believes either.  She’ll have to sit down with other politicians and give away the store the same way Obama does.

    What are the actual powers of the president?  Obama regularly disappoints the people who worked hard to get him elected, but it’s not because he’s weak, we are told.  It’s because it’s actually a much smaller office than it was in the days of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.  If that’s the case, there’s an argument to be made for electing the first woman to the job.  For one thing, it’s long overdue.  And if the downside is that we don’t care for Bachmann’s politics, what’s the difference?  It’s a small, figurehead position.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=810889128 Molly Whipple Douthett

      Whoops, clicked the wrong button; I don’t really “like” the above because dude, if it’s all about just electing someone based on ovaries, SURELY there are better options out there than this set.

      I know, don’t call you Shirley.

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  • Enoch Root

    “The vanity line is simply to counter-position herself against Obama, tapping on the view conservatives have of him as an egotistical, preening, status-hungry amateur.”

    Again, this underlines (eyelines?) my point: Only a movement engaged in psychological projection on a massive scale in order to protect their own narcissistic tendencies would see Obama as ‘preening,’ while overlooking Bachmann’s make-up (and makeup). It’s plain as the nose on your face. Sort of. :-)

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