How New York Has Covered Hillary Clinton Over 24 Years

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For the cover of the current issue, photographer Brigitte Lacombe re-created her 2008 portrait of Clinton.
For the cover of the current issue, photographer Brigitte Lacombe re-created her 2008 portrait of Clinton.

In this week’s New York Magazine cover story, Rebecca Traister takes readers inside Hillary Clinton’s campaign, where nothing about the candidate or candidacy is simple. Below, a look back at how the magazine has covered her through the years as spouse, senator, loser, and winner.

1990s
“Friends remember Hillary Rodham as a fierce feminist who had trouble choosing between Clinton and a career of her own in politics. ‘I was kind of disappointed when Hillary married Bill,’ says [aide Betsey] Wright, who is active in feminist politics. ‘I was hoping she’d run for office herself.’ ” “Bill Clinton: Who Is This Guy?,”  by Joe Klein, January 20, 1992

“Rumors have been circulating about the First Lady throwing things at her husband; one even has an anti-smoking Hillary lighting a cigarette to aggravate Bill’s allergies.” “Intelligencer” item, May 10, 1993

“The Clinton health-care-reform plan, not so long ago considered an unstoppable juggernaut, bled to death on the floor of the Senate … [Regarding the midterm-election losses by Democrats] Hillary Clinton continued to maintain there had been some terrible mistake — how could we lose when we’re so sincere?“Feeling Their Pain,” by Jacob Weisberg, December 19, 1994

“There are … a lot of wise ideas in this book. To make them as nonthreatening as possible, Hillary Clinton swathes them in little homilies.” —Review by Judith Shulevitz of It Takes a Village, January 29, 1996

“What … could explain the speech Hillary Clinton made at the Democratic National Convention last week? One strenuously modulated sentence after another, delivered with all the enthusiasm and soul of those new Directory Assistance recordings … They shouldn’t insult us by insisting that they’re letting Hillary be Hillary, because the woman onstage last week was someone else entirely.” “Stepford First Wife,” September 9, 1996

“What I found spookiest about Monicagate is our First Lady’s ability to rise to the occasion … I expected her head to explode on the Today show last week … Instead, she was more golden-helmeted, controlled, strategic, pol-like, and mediagenic than ever.” —“The Hillary Mystique,” by Barbara Lippert, February 9, 1998

“Hillary for Senate. It seems, at first blush, ridiculous … ‘Off the record?’ says a Senate Democratic staff person. ‘Not a chance in hell.’ … It’s only a dream, and it’s likely to remain so.” “It Takes a … Carpetbagger,” by Michael Tomasky, January 25, 1999

2000s
“We were doing an event at C. W. Post … And I walked in, and the man who was going to be on the program and his wife — he had  on a Three Stooges tie. Which I’ve never seen! And I mean, all their faces in big relief coming down his chest, you know? And so I go up to the man, and I go [she leans forward, puts her hands right in front of my face, and, à la Curly, starts snapping her fingers and rapping her knuckles] and he looks at me like [laughs, imitates man’s shock] … and I say,  ‘Hi, I want to be your senator!’ ” —Quoted in “Hillary, Frankly,” by Michael Tomasky, April 3, 2000

“It could get much uglier over the next dozen years, when the blue-state Democratic presidential nominees in 2008 (Hillary Clinton) and 2012 (Barack Obama) are trounced.” “People Like Us,” by Kurt Andersen, November 22, 2004

“I meet people all the time who say, ‘I just don’t like Hillary,’ ” says Susan Estrich … “But I’ve learned not to fight with them. I smile and say, ‘Well, you go vote for a pro-life, pro-war, pro-gun, anti-environment conservative. Enjoy yourself.’ ” “The Trouble With Hillary,” by Craig Horowitz, May 29, 2006

“Once Hillary stepped out of her husband’s shadow and found a proper power base of her own — namely, as a United States senator — she rarely faced the accusation of being either too much or too little like her husband. In short order, she managed to define herself in a way that was sui generis … and the uncompromising, humorless ideologue was gone.” —“The First: Female President, Male First Lady, Former President in the White House,” by Jennifer Senior, October 8, 2007

“ ‘If you say anything about the specificity of Hillary being a woman, you’re just doing the knee-jerk feminist stuff, that’s the reaction,’ said one woman … ‘Thinking about race is a serious issue, whereas sexism is just something for dumb feminists to think about.’ ” —“The Feminist Reawakening,” by Amanda Fortini, April 21, 2008

“Albeit temporarily, the loser has more power than the winner. She, not Obama, is in a position to bring the party together or rip the thing to shreds.” “The Fall and Rise of Hillary Clinton,” by John Heilemann, June 23, 2008

2010s
“Clinton, removed from the undertow of partisan combat in her role as secretary of State, has enjoyed soaring approval ratings … ‘If Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama,’ James Carville told a Christian Science Monitor breakfast last year, ‘he’d have two.’ ” “When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable?,” by Jonathan Chait, November 28, 2011

“Some of her close confidants … are far less circumspect than she is. ‘She’s running, but she doesn’t know it yet … It’s just like a force of history … I think she actually believes she has more say in it than she actually does.’ ”“Hillary in Midair,” by Joe Hagan, September 30, 2013

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Was Never Going to Be Easy. But Did It Have to Get This Hard?