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Behind the scenes of SOTU prep: Women in power

The images speak volumes.

Valerie Jarrett, a top advisor to President Obama, took over the White House Instagram account Thursday and sent out this photo of behind the scenes prep for the upcoming State of The Union address:

And on Friday, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) who is delivering the response to Obama’s address sent out this photo:

Anyone notice a theme here?  Women in positions of power.  And one question that keeps coming up as everyone, from magazine editors to politicians, grapples with how to portray women in power, is how to actually do it effectively and avoid offense?

A few recent examples: Last week’s Time Magazine cover of Hillary Clinton, depicted by a pants leg and a heel sparked, cries of sexism.  And this week’s New York Times Magazine cover image of Clinton as a planet sparked cries of…huh? And now comes Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who has an interesting record to call her own, but the press (yes, us!) seem to fixate on the fact that she has given birth three times while in office.  This bit of biographical information is interesting, but begs this question: What man has the record for having the most kids while in office?

Rodgers’ office sent out her tweet with this question:  “have you ever seen a SOTU practice photo like this?”

No, we haven’t.

Nia-Malika Henderson is a political reporter for The Fix.



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Nia-Malika Henderson · January 24, 2014

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