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Were other messages sent from Hillary Clinton's Saturday surrender?

June 9, 2008 | 12:30 am

Nobody's complaining here, but did anybody else notice a couple of unusual things about Hillary Clinton's weekend "event" where she suspended her own one-time, sure-thing presidential campaign and endorsed her more successful Democratic presidential rival, Sen. Barack Obama?

Obama himself couldn't make it to the Washington unity event. The victor had the day off in Chicago and was seen heading out with his golf clubs. Aides said he watched the speech on a computer.

Who knows, maybe he wasn't even invited. Clinton and Obama have exchanged some pretty sharp barbs in recent months and that's going to take some time for each of them to pretend to get over. They'll no doubt have some kind of friendly joint media event in the near future. Ten gallons of gas says they raise clasped hands.

Clinton said all the right things in her speech, mentioned Obama 15 times by name. It was, not surprisingly, a moment for her people and mostly about her campaign. You can read The Ticket's account of her remarks and the full text here. (There's also a new retrospective photo gallery of her historic campaign available here.)

"Today, as I suspend my campaign," she said, "I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him, and throw my full support behind him. And I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me."

The clear words were delivered dutifully with a strong voice and we'll all no doubt see them repeated many times in coming weeks by the Obama campaign, which must desperately find a strategy to hold the crucial Clinton supporters in the Democratic column on Nov. 4. Clinton says she'll help with that.

But watch the video here. And look at Clinton's face. Are those

teeth clenched? Because that face is sure not smiling warmly as she carefully reads verbatim her heartfelt words of admiration and endorsement.

The other thing that had escaped our notice until we got a message from loyal Ticket reader Michelle and heard about a heated debate going on over at Facebook is, look a few seconds at the Clinton family in this photo from Saturday.

Notice anything?

The Ticket usually leaves celebrity sartorial observations to our fellow bloggers at LATimes.coBill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton at the weekend Washington event where she suspended her Democratic president campaign and endorsed Barack Obama for the nominationlm. But check out the Clintons' wardrobes for this celebration of a remarkable, genderly historic and narrowly defeated campaign and the earnest endorsement of the party's new Chosen One.

All three of the Clintons are perfectly dressed -- for a funeral.

Nothing wrong with that, of course. It was a death of sorts. Personal choice rules. But in major national political campaigns, where appearances are so important because television images are so important, such things don't happen by accident.

Perhaps these simultaneous wardrobe selections are not symbolism or a silent statement or an unconscious reflection of their feelings after all these months and millions of dollars of useless campaigning.

Three dark suits all at once is probably just a coincidence. What do you think?

(To see some of Sen. Clinton's other color preferences during her campaign, click on the Read more line below.)

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo Credits: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

It's true we pay less attention to the dark suits that male candidates wear like uniforms because a) dark suits are boring and b) they wear them like uniforms.

When Obama went with the open collar, that was carefully noted, however, as was his on-again-off-again-now-on-again-because-the-general-election-campaign is starting flag lapel pin.

Who could forget thorough coverage of Obama's uncoverage last fall on his Hawaii vacation when he was photographed not wearing any shirt?

And, let's be honest, if John McCain or Rep. Ron Paul ever did show up in a salmon-colored two-piece or a tailored, bright blue knit jersey outfit with matching scarf, chances are you'd read about it somewhere.

The Clintons were not into much clothing color for Saturday's official public recogniton of the end (for now) of a political dynasty that never really began.

But here are some other examples of Sen. Clinton's color preferences during her campaign:

Bill and Hillary Clinton in more successful presidential campaign times

Hillary Clinton doesn't look very happy at this presidential debate with Barack Obama, but she's not wearing black

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the Jay Leno show

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

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Photo Credits: AP; CNN; NBC; Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images

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