Last year was a very bad year for Vogue. The magazine seemed to grow thinner and thinner, to the point of looking like a campaign flyer for the DNC.
Increasingly, Vogue mingled its usual stories on fashion and facelifts with blogosphere agitprop bashing conservatives and long, badly-done soft-focus pieces on feminist figures, for which the word âgushing’ is only too kind. In February came the puff piece on Hillary Clinton; in August, the flattering one about Huma Abedin; in October, the ground-breaking endorsement itself.
Then came the blow, with those hardest hit being Huma and Hillary, who face unemployment. Not to mention Anna Wintour, the magazine’s editor, a prominent fundraiser and bundler for the one-time first lady, who was said to have been Clinton’s selection to represent American interests in at the Court of St. James.
Now comes the bid to recoup in the reverent story about Cecile Richards, the Claire Underwood look-alike who is head of Planned Parenthood, and whom Vogue seems to see as the last woman standing in a bleak and a frightening world. “Planned Parenthood had ‘big dreams,’ as Richards puts it, at the prospect of the first woman president,’ the magazine told us. But fate held otherwise.
What Vogue doesn’t say is that Richards (and Vogue) are far out of touch with most of the country, that their promotion of Hillary probably did her no favors. In fact, the person who destroyed the dreams of Vogue, Planned Parenthood, and Hillary Clinton was most likely Richards herself.
“Cecile Richards will campaign for Hillary Clinton in Battleground States,” read a headline last August. That was the problem right there. Battleground states â like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan â have large numbers of Catholic voters, who tend to differ with Richards and Vogue.
“Hillary Clinton lost the overall Catholic vote by seven points,” Thomas Groome wrote in the New York Times on March 27, “after President Obama had won it, [and] lost the white Catholic vote by 23 points…In heavily Catholic states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, she lost by a hair…A handful more of Catholic votes per parish….would have won her the election…If Democrats want to regain the Catholic vote, they must treat abortion as a moral issue, work for its reduction, and articulate a more nuanced message than ‘We support Roe Vs. Wade.'”
Abortion is a hard issue to get right with the voters. Although the parties are clearly divided on it, a vast cache of voters are split in themselves, with polls showing that many who don’t want abortion outlawed completely also think it “immoral,” while more than half of those who want it kept legal during the first trimester also want it outlawed by month five.
On the national scene, this is a nightmare for most politicians, who attempt to tread lightly, balancing the demands of their base with the center’s suspicions, with George W. Bush and Barack Obama acknowledging the issue’s complexity, and Bill Clinton coining his very effective and once-famous mantra, “Safe, legal, and rare.”
But with Richards’ embrace and endorsement of Hillary Clinton, the party went in for “safe, legal, and limitless,” stoking the zeal of the partisan activists while, in the words of Democratic pollster Doug Schoen, “pushing the party away from the American public, which fundamentally is center-right, and channeling the concerns and priorities of the Democratic coastal base.” No base is more coastal than that of the fashion-world activists, who turned very hard left in the recent election and may have mobilized Hillary out of her White House ambitions, a casualty of partisan zeal on behalf of her most fervent backers, and a true fashion victim at last.
Noemie Emery, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of “Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families.”