Soon after the United States entered the World War in December 1941, Rosie
the Riveter appeared in the culture. Millions of women went to work in
crucial industrial positions vacated by men who had gone to fight. Hence
the legend based in fact. There was a popular song about Rosie in 1942
and a Norman Rockwell (no, not Rockwell Kent) painting of her on the cover
of the Saturday Evening Post in May of 1943.
Now, in Ohio, a poster has been produced with Hillary wearing a a
red-and-white polka dot kerchief and a blue work shirt out of which her
muscles protrude. So Hillary is the contemporary version of Rosie. This
version, however, is fantasy. Hillary is clearly more comfy with Denise
Rich and Barbra Streisand. On the other hand, she does wear pants but
hardly the blue jean overalls in which Rockwell put Rosie.
Actually, the two discordant images of the Hillaries -- the pant suits that
somehow highlights her weight and Rosie's get-up that seems more like
Stalinist socialist realism than contemporary working women -- are but twin
expressions of the candidate's desperation. Saturday's FT carries the
Rosie analog. It accompanies a savvy story by Edward Luce,
headlined, "Clinton's lead fades in blue-collar Ohio."
The fact is that Hillary tries to be everyone. In the early days of her
husband's presidency, she was touchy-feely, "the politics of
meaning." Later on she back a communalist, "It takes a village." So
pretentious ... and so cynical.