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She the People
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Posted at 04:21 PM ET, 04/12/2012

Hillary Clinton is finally hip, thanks to a meme

Texts From Hillary” was fun while it lasted.

Founders Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith abandoned their viral sensation on Wednesday just one week after creating the meme. Easy come, easy go in these fast-paced techy times.


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton works from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya, Oct.18, 2011. This is one of the photos on the meme. (Kevin Lamarque - Associated Press)

On the pair's Tumblr site, Hillary, wearing dark sunglasses and studying her Blackberry, is surrounded by briefing papers while on the military transport plane to Libya. Diana Walker took the picture last year for Time magazine. It’s become a classic and powerful image in a week, thanks to massive exposure via social media.

The ingenious captions featured Hillary sending texts to an array of people. In one she ignores a friend request from Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. In another, Bill Clinton texts “Hey Mon” to his wife in one. She replies: “This is Hillary.”

Romney asks Hillary, “Any advice?” She replies, “Drink.” In a play off of another popular meme that features hunky actor Ryan Gosling, he texts, “Hey Girl…” to Hillary. She replies — we imagine — ever-so-icily, “…It’s Madame Secretary.”

On Tuesday, Hillary, who confessed a love for the meme, met the creators and gave them her own submission: “Thanks for the many LOLZ Hillary ‘Hillz.’”

“Texts From Hillary” transformed her into an ultra-hip, uber-witty goddess. A woman with brains and looks? Oh my!

It’s about time that Hillary became hip, right? Some of us have been waiting forever.

When Hillary was Arkansas’s first lady, she was anything but cool to most Arkansans. She refused to take her husband’s name. She didn’t buy into the Southern belle’s hair and makeup regiment. She was a mother and a powerful attorney — a role model for a girl surrounded by stereotypical Southern women. All points in her favor in my book.

Because I liked Hillary, my friends called me a Yankee feminist. Like Arkansas, the rest of the country was slow to catch on to the Hillary mystique.

In the Clinton White House, it was Bill who wooed popular culture. He appeared on MTV and discussed “boxers or briefs.” He wore Ray Ban sunglasses and played the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show.” He had a fascination with rock and roll, Elvis Presley and Hollywood.

Hillary, in turn, was the serious policy wonk, wearing a headband, who was focused on health care and women’s rights around the world. She seemed, well, boring, in comparison.

Even when she ran for president in 2008, Bill’s shadow loomed. She didn’t connect with young voters like Bill had. She didn’t ignite the fire in millennial voters like Barack Obama did. Fatigue surrounded her aura.

Not any more. Obama’s appointment of Hillary as Secretary of State has allowed her not only to influence and implement world change but to become her own woman — again — at age 64.

Numerous Web sites and Facebook groups are dedicated to Hillary. “The World of Hillary Clinton (Dedicated to a President America Needs)” features portraits and yes, memes. One picture shows a picture of Hillary meditating before a meeting. The caption reads “Hillary Clinton enjoys the moment of silence without text messages. Or does she think of 2016?”

Earlier this week, Stylist highlighted Hillary as a fashion icon for her choice of striped pants in a 1969 Wellesley College photo. The site suggested to readers how to replicate the classic look down to Hillary’s classic hootie glasses. There was a time when people couldn’t stop laughing at that picture.

The slick fashion magazine, Elle, features a lengthy, and worshipful, profile of her this month. A black and white photo in the magazine features Hillary resembling a classic beauty — hair gracing her black jacket — with a hint of mischief crossing her face. She’s a long way from her days of drab on the campaign trail.

Young men crush on Hillary via social media. Young women want to be her — smart and successful. Her supporters want her to run for president in 2016. Some want Obama to replace Vice President Joe Biden with Hillary this year. Hillary’s popularity currently knows no bounds. A Gallup poll shows her favorability rating reaching an all-time high — even among Republicans.

She will avoid this summer’s Democratic National Convention as my colleague Mary Curtis reported. Bill will be on his own to inspire the party’s faithful. Meanwhile, Hillary will likely be saving the world from disasters.

Don’t worry, there’ll be a meme about it.

Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt.” Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker

By  |  04:21 PM ET, 04/12/2012

Tags:  Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Ryan Gosling, meme, 2016

 
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