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Hillary and Bill Clinton in defeat and victory: When pictures tell the story

After the Indiana election results Tuesday give New York Senator Hillary Clinton a victory, her husband ex-president Bill Clinton positions himself behind her visibly contradicting virtually every promising word she says

Just look at his face!

Doesn't William Jefferson Clinton look absolutely delighted with his wife's Democratic presidential primary victory in Indiana?

Sure the Clinton campaign (Hillary's) had hoped to do much better in North Carolina. It is difficult to put a happy face on a 14-point thumping down there by Sen. Barack Obama. But at least she tried -- "Thank you, Indiana!" -- even though Hillary didn't know when she gave her victory speech how close her opponent would come by night's end (1%) to pulling out a win in the Hoosier State as well.

Bill Clinton has arguably been helpful to his wife's now 15-month White House effort. The crowds are supposed to love him. And many do. But he's often stepped on her message, creating unwanted news of his own to detract from hers. In South Carolina, his controversial racial comments may well have cost her badly in that state's primary, and they might have hurt her again Tuesday in next-door North Carolina,  where 9 out of 10  blacks voted against the wife of the man so popular with African Americans that he was once called the first black president. Instead, they voted for the man who may well be the first black president.

Professional political packagers often mute the sound on TV to just watch the real message seeping out from the moving pictures on screen. President Ronald Reagan's communications crew once sincerely thanked CBS correspondent Leslie Stahl for a devastatingly critical news report she'd done on his senior citizen programs because the pictures showed Reagan talking amiably with numerous fellow seniors.

Last night, as the Clinton campaign did after her disappointing third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, the senator's political packagers let her down by allowing her husband (and daughter) onstage with her.

To be sure, by this point in virtually any presidential campaign, it is difficult for all but the most intimate staff to tell a candidate what he/she should do, so sold on themselves have the candidates become by hundreds of adoring crowds and the automatic subservience of virtually everyone around them. It is particularly hard to say "No!" to an ex-president and an ex-first lady who both think she should be president.

But Bill's glum puss, standing there right behind her, competing for the eyes of every television viewer everywhere, throughout the candidate's remarks visibly contradicted virtually every hopeful, positive word she said. As a veteran and successful campaigner for himself, he could know better.

It was the same after her Iowa defeat. (See photo below) There she was onstage before an immense banner -- "READY for Change!" -- and an enthusiastic crowd of fans who, however, went largely unseen on TV in the darkness in front of the stage.

And as millions of Americans at home watched the one-time frontrunner valiantly argue her  case, what did everyone actually see? About two dozen glum faces of disappointed campaign workers surrounding her, no doubt invited there to share the spotlight and offer moral support.

But they looked more like an oversized grieving family at a memorial service (in fact, look how many are wearing black), including a whole pack of faces familiar from the 1990s -- Bill and Chelsea and, directly by Clinton's right elbow, Madeline Albright!

This is READY for change? Living reminders of the turbulent Clinton past. While running against the fresh face and rhetoric of the triumphant Obama?

By the next week in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton or her communications advisors had learned their lesson. Click on Read More below to see that photo.

Where's the actual candidate? Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton of New York is lost in a crowd of glum faces from the 90s as she speaks after her disappointing third place finish in the January Iowa caucuses

Ah, now this is much better, isn't it? You can almost feel the vibrancy looking at this picture where the candidate is properly the sole focus onstage. Her husband and daughter offered congratulatory public hugs there before retreating into the crowd.

In New Hampshire, the victorious candidate was completely surrounded, on-camera, by adoring supporters clapping and waving signs visible to the vast audience at home that heard her say, "Thank you, New Hampshire." And then she declared, "Over the last week, I have listened to you and in the process I found my own voice."

Which images do you find more credible?

— Andrew Malcolm

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton of New York joyously celebrates her January primary victory in New Hampshire with an adoring crowd of supporters

Top photo: Hillary Clinton in Indiana (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
Middle photo: Hillary Clinton in Iowa (Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times)
Bottom photo: Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire (Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times)

Comments () | Archives (44)

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One thing people seem not to mention is that Hillary is now spending less than what she is getting. Thats the sole reason she remains in the race- to squeeze more dollars from her uninformed and ignorant donors so she can pay off the millions she owes having extravagantly overspent in ealier campaigns mostly on herself. Wise up no college goers. She is out!!!!!!!

Very interesting analysis. Yes a photo or video clip is worth a thousand words to tell the story. This democrat lost all faith in Clinton when I saw the Bosnia clip.

a tiny glimpse into, and reflection of, the propaganda factory...which reminds us who's busy in the other booths, next door to clinton's cacophonic orchestra of hired sycophants. and the paens sung to obama, and occasionally even to mccain, are just the same - the cause of very real, distressing pain, an insult to sober ears and eyes.

I am from Switzerland, although I am not American hater; but after 2003; after Irak war decided not to visit USA nor buy any US products.
This is not the mind set of one person; try to talk to people out side US.
America is a great country, land of opportunity; and the land which has potential to bring whole world together as a single democratic nation.
Since couple of decades you have presidents who lie for their cause... who were/are selfish... real politicians than humans...
See how bad the US economy is, see how the people are suffering in war zones, see how other people from other nations think about America.
Its really sad; how a nation could fall this much down; because of the politicians and their selfish policies

What makes a good president?? Did you ever had a second thought???

- is your new presindent :
young and energetic to bring the whole world together..
think logically and judge the things in the right way and time..
wise enough to create a dream team around with best people for their job..
is a human than politician..
Change the world America!!

I am saddened by the lack of support, or belief in Mrs. Clinton by her own husband and campaign workers. Sure it is so much easier to be triumphant when one is triumphant- however real support and a 'showing of unity' during times of adversity, and discouragement is what a campaign is all about, I BELIEVE Hillary IS the one for the job--she has endured the greatest scorn of any woman- remained by HIS side as a #1 supporter and dutiful wife, has withstood the double standard of this country-home of the free- political slants oh I mean slights from an individual considered by many to be the better candidate- who also bows to old politics, and has no clue how cruel the pressures are while reigning inside the white house. I SAY ITS TIME FOR AMERICANA TO ENDORSE CHANGE- ITS TIME FOR HILLARY TO CLEAN HOUSE-women have been cleaning up after men since the beginning of time- its time for the whitehouse overhaul. Im proud of Hillary Clinton, she's got a lot of what many men lack! B___S!

Who will the Clintons blame for her defeat? From front-runner to also-ran is a mighty fall. Oh well, at least they have their tens of millions to fall back on--unless they blew it on the campaign!
-Wm Tate,

It's over - Senator Obama has strengthened his lead, and Senator Clinton should recognize the inevitable and throw her support behind him. Yes, she's a gallant fighter but it is over. It's time for her to be as gracious as he has been and get on with the big campaign to unseat the Republicans, rather than giving them an ounce of ammunition against the Democrats. Senator Obama is a statesman and a leader.

O Come On !!!! I'm an Obama voter and I saw her speech and Bill Clinton looked happy some of the time. You are just being clever and cheaply so. Can you imagine how exhausted YOU would be if YOU had stumped all over several states in the past few weeks? That guy's a heart bypass survivor and a fairly insightful political observer. So he's been scrounging up votes all day long with no end in sight. I saw his tired face too. Poor guy. They aren't getting the White House again. It's a losing and an exhausting proposition.

Actually, last night as I watched Hillary-in-Denial, I couldn't help but notice Bill's really sad, red face; it looked like he'd been crying...

Or maybe he was just reacting to the smell of burnt toast...

She won Indiana when she wasn't supposed to! That is a big win! Why the media does not ask the real question: Why couldnt't Obama win this state when he was supposed to?

His win makes it very obvious that he is a racially-based candidate. He is not qualified for a general election if he is nominated.

I think both pictures are equally credible. One show her loss with supporters around her giving her support because of her loss. The other show victory with the winner standing as she should in the spot light. Hillary is mentally the strongest and most knowledgeable of the three candidates. She lays out her plans on the issues and explains them. She has a sharp understanding of the danger this country face with terrorist here and our enemies around the world. Hillary look and sound like a good president should. She SHOULD become our next president. ======== God Bless America.

(P.S. There's actually 3 photos. Check out the jump one that's the best by clicking the Read More line.)

Yes, I fully agree with the point of view of the author. There is no doubt in my mind the bottom photo conveys the message of Hilary more than the ones above. hats off to the author for writing a well founded article


Good-bye, Hilary!

I'm not American, I'm 20 years old and I'm a university student, politics have never really been my thing because I feel sleepy watching channels like BBC Parliament or listening to most politicians speak, but since I listened to Obama speak, I suddenly gained interest in politics that I can spend the whole day watching Fox news. I really felt like he told me something I wanted to hear. If I had a vote in US, even though I have never voted in UK where I do have a vote. I'll cast if for Obama. Earlier on in this race, I wouldn't mind casting one for Clinton either but I do mind now because if she can't see the Maths is not adding up in her favour, that is a problem. The longer she stays in this race, the harder it is to unite the Democratic Party.

I wonder where the Low Road will take the Clinton's next.

Bill Clinton's expression in In told the whole story as he was witness to his dreams of a third Whitehouse term go down the drain. The people have spoken and they don't want the Clintons in a position to further embarass
this great country again. Lets move forward with a new vision. Clintons please go home.

i hope clinton dont win my baby barack obama going win trust and believe he has more to offer from what i see he is a good man with the determination our society needs

poor hillary she knows bill has monica waiting on bended knees.

I am truly sorry Hillary lost NC; I thought we could pull it out, but IN was a good victory. It makes me sad how divided our party has become. We need every portion of the party in order for Democrats to win in November. I think the world of Hillary but I also think Sen. Obama will make a great president as well. His beautiful family is an inspiration to families all over this country; I enjoy seeing them as much as I do Bill, Hillary, and lovely Chelsea. I cannot imagine supporting John McCain for any reason- he is a war hero but he represents everything that is wrong with this country. I will never support any candidate that acts as he does toward women; I know he is a Navy man and some sailors are salty ( I have one here at home) but they do know how to treat women in the proper way and calling names is a horrible thing to do especially when it is your wife. I am always reminded of how he just laughed when one of his supporters called Hillary the "B" word; what a crass and low thing to do. McCain is who I will fight in the fall. I support Hillary in everything she wants to do but if she decides that it is time to end her campaign, I will do my duty and support the other democrat in the race. Too much is at stake to sit on the sideline. McCain will overturn Roe v. Wade in our lifetime with the conservative judges he appoints to the Surpreme Court and women's reproductive rights will be ended. If our democratic nominee loses to McCain in the general election, then it will be practically impossible to vote him out of office just look at what happened with Bush. Hillary I know you are a fighter and I expect you to fight to the end because the country is too important for you not to. And I will follow your lead on how to proceed in uniting the party!

Are you really from Switzerland??????

Becase you don't tell like people from Europea

Why Obama support manufactured story all the time.

Hillary can practically beat Obama on a shoestring, as reviled as she is.. Even as Obama shatters all records on campaign spending. How does that bode for November?


Agreed! and she should watch the rest of the election year on tv in the comfort of her own clean home.

BTW, everyone saying she "won" Indiana, it was a statistical tie, and this was directly attributable to Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos I believe. If not, Obama would have picked up the state and this would be over. I wouldn't have ever thought that horseplay would've made any difference except in a race this close.

(Not really. Statistical tie in polls with error margins. She won the actual vote nujmbers by a nose -- about 1.4%. But she won.)


You are correct. However, Obama will be the Dem. rep for President, and Hillary won't be (or if she plays her cards right, Obama may LET her become the V.P. candidate). Bottom line, bro'.

All this record breaking spending you say of Obama, well, should McCain win, well, you might guess who the front-runner will be for the Democratic ticket in 2012.

As for Hillary's campaign funds, well she's got a couple more bucks hidden in Bill's empty "cigar" box. It is empty because Monica "smoked" them all.


Your English is highly admirable. Given that the Swiss have no mother-tongue of their own, French, German and Italian are the official languages, may I ask which bank do you work for?

Seems to me, it is very easy for you pass judgement coming from a country that is neutral and for most your history were part of one empire or another.

This is an American thing! DO YOU UNDERSTAND! We could love, hate, support or loathe Ms. Clinton, Mr. McCain or Mr. Obama. It seems to me, that NO MATTER who WE vote for, you Europeans would never be satisfied.

There is no difference of how the world sees the U.S. today compared to the WORLD looked at Europe from the 1500's to the mid 1900's.

So, given you have the right to express yourself, that is what we allow OUR people to do, then express yourself as you wish. On the flip-side, expect someone like myself, who also can express myself right to gab not take your comments sitting down, to berate an ignoramous individual as yourself.

Sling-on America. Take the good, the bad and the ugly. For it is OURS.

Mr. Malcolm, are there any candy stores that have discounts on Swiss chocolates in the L.A. basin? My dogs love chocolates.

P.S. SwissMiss, perhaps the world was right about OUR President's wrong decision to invade Iraq. Could you blame him for not wanting to be like the British Prime Minister in 1938 named Neville Chamberlain? By not attacking Germany, he will forever known as a lemon of a coward. Need not say who that German dictator in question was.

Thank You.

Everyone stays away from it, but Chelsea had the near-tears look through the whole thing too.

And why was HC at the hotel awaiting the results, if this "win" was so important?

She just hasn't figured out a graceful way out of this thing. And, I'm sure she'd like to pay herself back as well. And, she'd probably like a powerful role in the new Democratic Administration.

They are probably trying to figure out how to pull a VP position out of this for her.

I think she should try for a supreme court judge position.

Pelosi for VP!

Have not registered democratic voters already indicated which of the two senators from New York or Illinois that they prefer to be their party’s candidate for president. Democratics have voted in the primaries and have donated monies individually to the candidates of their choice. The democratic voters of average means have voted with their checkbooks overwhelming in favor for the junior senator from Illinois. Why is it that the senior senator from New York is unable to convince her own supporters to contribute to the New York senator’s campaign in sufficient numbers or enthusiasm so that the senator need not contribute $6,425,000 in the past thirty days?
Although I have voted for only democratic presidential candidates in the last thirty plus years, this is the first year in which I have contributed money directly to a political campaign. It’s time for registered democratic voters to make a financial choice as to whether the Senator from New York or from Illinois should be our next president. Because I am confidant and dedicated, and I can only afford to contribute one hundred dollars for President.

Dear Europeans and other people not from America,

Please disregard all statements made by "robinia." Most Americans are not this hateful, divisive, and selfish. We love our European, African, Australian, S. American, and Asian friends. Thank you to all of those overseas who have expressed newfound interest in our democratic process. It's nice to hear from outside voices :)

Thank you.

The problem is they are sore losers and need to go back to Arkansas. The idea of the Barack/Clinton team is null. The Clintons are just as hated as the BUSHES. And she won IN by republican votes. Geeezz, they need to go away like last year.

What is your point !

I am NOT a Hillary fan at all. When I watched her speech last night I saw Bill and thought...Wow he looks really angry. Then I looked closer and realized he most probably was in pain for her. I think we forget these are people who hopefully care about each other, and I do think he was hurting for her. It doesn't change my opinion about the Clintons.....I think they are scavengers, but apparently they ARE possibly human.

Hey Clinto nation!

Bang, bang, chitty, chitty,
This is starting to be an O-house party,
Ha, ha, fooled you,
We're number ONE,
You're number TWO.

Aw come on. It was a close race. Obama won. Now onward!

SUPERDELEGATES should be allowed, and encouraged to take all the time they need to make this decision. It’s too crucial for the country.

SwissFish, we're sending Robinia to the Ribena factory in the hope that they may be able to make lemon out of such acidic lemonade just as we hope that sending Barack Obama to The White House will introduce a new era of co-operation inside and outside The United States. You have been disgusted by this adminsitration of Bible-thumping fools with their arrogant certitude and so have we - George W. had the best of intentions and, being incurious, was completely out of his depth so historians will train their sights on Dick Cheney who was responsible for accelerating the decline of this country by 25 years. Let's hope you'll have reason to think kindly of this great country in 12 months time for we need our friends all over the world and look forward to rejoining the community of nations under a rational president.

i see your point; but as unlikely as it is that you'll ever see anyone make lemons out of lemonade, or turn the kool-aid spilled, into delicious wine...what makes you think that it's the job or business of your president, to preside or rule the world? RON PAUL, your presidential candidate, has a more rational and convincing approach: engage in peaceful trade and communication, but keep the nation out of entanglement in the affairs of other nations; stop policing the world, as it only results in creating ever more injustice and corruption. instead, protect, uphold and live by your most precious principles at home, and create a brilliant example, to see liberty and freedom shine throughout the world.

I am an Obama supporter, but I hope she stays in the race until all states vote, it is the right thing to do as long as there is no more attacking Obama, I think her supporters should be allowed to vote for her in the remaining primaries, and I think the Obama supporter should remain quite. The bottom line is Obama needs her supporters, so they need their moment in time to come to grips with this and we need Hillary to stay in and make the transition, and start trying to sway her supporters over. So everyone need to remember we need them and if she'd won she would need us. So Please stop the cruel nasty Hillary bashing, if not we all lose in November.

Even now, after so much guff from the halarious Hillary crowd, I feel a tinge of remorse and sadness for the way the Clintons have cheapened their legacy throughout this campaign. Having been a past supporter of Bill, prior, during, and after his travails with the Republican hordes, I found myself now in stark opposition to the Clintons following the shenanigans they laid on for this campaign. The storm was whipped up by the media, which seems to relish divisions within the Democratic Party, but yes, Bill did utter those words which allowed them, the corporate media, to sow the race baiting division seeds. But the Clinton campaign continued to use race as a divider instead of cortorising the problem. Over time a number of statements were publicized from people either inside, or on the perimeter of the campaign that further deepened the division and made worse the quick recovery from the problem. Well, I think this campaign has been the ugliest that I've witnessed since becoming politically aware. I also think that Hillary has become toxic and non-viable for a future in high official position, due to her reprehensible behaviour. However, all that being said, I feel some sadness, perhaps self-pity, that I had been duped by this selfish pair who have always had their personal interests ahead of those of the American people.

Are you kidding me? Bill is not responsible for Hillary's problems in this race. She should consider herself lucky that that the media pretty much gave her a pass on the trials of the eight years in the white house that she stands so proudly upon. Why can't she, as a woman, accept accountability? More importantly, why can't we demand it of her? After all, we demanded that her opponent take accountability for another man's ignorant words. Hillary has controlled her own bid for the presidency. She chose to fire Patti Solis Doyle, who had been with her since 1991. She chose to keep Penn on the payroll. She chose to lie about her Bosnia experience 4 times. And SHE chose to stay with Bill because she knew that without him there was no chance of becoming the first female president.

Why should Hillary tie herself to a sinking ship? Obama will be a Titanic for the DNC. I am sick of the thought of this prejudice, white hating man as a symbol for the Democratic. Not just Wright, but him and his cult camp spew prejudice, race card ethics and inflammatory remarks no REAL American will forget! I will NEVER vote for Obama!!
Hill start you're own party,! I am with you to the end and beyond!! Thank you for everything you have stood for, worked your butt off for, because of you ALL the people have benefited!

But Obama would have goood GUY company. You know GUNBOAT KERRY, THE KILL EM KENNEDY'S AND RUSH LIMPBUGER! And the vast a** oh, i mean cast of the DNC. In the spirit of Reverend Wright "GOD DA*M the DECOCRATIC PARTY!!!

Oh, and Nanacy Pelosi, shut your big Flap Trap!!

Dear Bridget: Don't be a moron. What's left of Europe loathes us through and through, and if you'd read their digusting press all your life, you would too.

On the other hand, Europe's opinion about anything means essentially nothing in today's world. Fortunately.

Dear Hillary,
Enough. You've reaffirmed your standing as a fighter, reconnected with blue-collar America, forged an identity as a woman of heart and steel. Now you can be a uniter, too, hailed for your toughness and grace in recognizing when a losing cause is just that.
It's time to bow out of the Democratic contest.
Yes, you can fight clear through to the convention, demand that the Florida and Michigan delegations be seated; bring in your attack dogs to question Barack Obama's – um – masculine fortitude; wink at another round of Internet whispers that question your opponent's funny name, his patriotism, and his religion.
You can bash the press, browbeat the superdelegates, and boast of your prowess in the working-class kitchens of big states the party must win come November. You can post more ads of that irritating red phone and revel in your ability to nick your opponent just enough to keep him slightly off stride.
But you'll still lose. And the Democratic Party may lose with you.
Consider your legacy. Do you want to be remembered as Hillary the Pillorer, Hillary the Heckler, Clinton the Cutthroat? Surely not.
Doesn't Hillary the Healer seem more salving, more uplifting, on the pages of Democratic Party history? Surely you and Bill don't want to risk discarding your moneymaking memoirs in the trash heap of Democratic sore losers?
In so many intimate aspects of life, timing is everything. And in the end, even in the 24-7 glare of panting journalists and pushy photographers, politics is a most intimate sport. Seize the moment.
As you walk to the podium, the photographers will bring their lenses in tight. You are smiling now – a broad, wise, embracing smile. (Was that a hint of dampness in one eye or just the glare?)
You spread your arms and speak. Shower love on your supporters. Thank them for showing that a woman can win in America, that women will be back – in 2012, 2016, 2020. Hint perhaps that it may even be you. But then praise Obama as a man of toughness and integrity, a leader who can set a new course for America. Say that you will stand by his side in his fight against John McCain. That he deserves to be president. That you will fight with all your strength to make sure he gets there. That if called on, you will even serve as his vice president.
Again Hillary, timing is everything. Your fortune cookie reads: "Don't delay." So I'd speak out immediately. Why gamble away another $6.4 million on a campaign car that's leaking oil? There's no need to be the Ralph Nader of 2008; Ralph's already running. And who knows. By mid-June even some of your old friends could be calling you the Benedicta Arnold of the Democratic Party.
But act now and you will be an American heroine, irresistible to the TV bookers from Today to Tonight. Sure. Your campaign aides – and most loyal supporters – will feel hurt. Some may even feel sold out, and that's tough. But the press and public will hail you as a woman of character and principle, the savior of her party, a fighter who understood that her fight was for America's people and not for herself.
I can't help tearing up just thinking about it. You can still write a happy ending to your narrative, Hillary. Tomorrow it may be too late.
Warmest regards,
Jerry Lanson
• Jerry Lanson, who voted for Obama, teaches journalism at Emerson College.

I agree with Jimmy....It is time for Ms. Clinton and Co. to head for the hills! It is not about her anymore...(it hasn't been for months now, but she still kept on pushing)...She has been totally annoying and I think she should shut up...get out and let Sen. Obama plan his strategy...his way and on his terms. With Hillary you also get Bill...and together, in their quest for power they would constantly undermine and betray Obama. And his team knows this!


Because you love with all your heart
Because you are wise and smart
You are woman; with invincible strength
You ran the race to its farthest length
It is easy to see how much you care
You trod on paths that others not dare
You love America and her people too
I commend you for the job you do
With confidence you stood your ground
Courageously you shielded every pound
Unafraid to show your most feminine side
Dried your tears then resumed with pride
It was wonderful when you took the stage
You with Obama wrote a historic page
You are a young girl’s hope inspired
A burning energy that’s never tired
Eighteen million cracks in the ceiling
That had to be a tremendous feeling
America has not seen the last of you yet
That is one thing I can surely bet
You championed remarkably in this race
I admire you, Hillary, woman of grace
You deserve a resounding applause
For so many reasons; just because
Elaine Jackson


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



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