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-  2019 

Hillary Through TIME: The (Un)Making of the First Woman President

DOI: 10.1177/0002764217711801

Keywords: Hillary Clinton,media,political rhetoric,visual rhetoric,TIME Magazine

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This essay critically examines Hillary Clinton’s (Hillary) TIME Magazine coverage, from the first cover image as a First Lady in 1992, to the most recent cover as a 2016 presidential hopeful, and each of the focal images throughout TIME’s 20-year coverage. Drawing from political and visual rhetoric as a primary lens, the analysis of each cover will investigate two primary texts: Hillary’s image as coded by a social semiotic approach and the editorial reporting of TIME’s senior writers. Each of Hillary’s cover appearances and corresponding articles are then rhetorically analyzed with a focus on how her mediated image is perpetuated as a threat to political hegemony. Through these themes, we argue that the reporting and image construction of Hillary reinforces normative and status quo-journalism, and ultimately celebrates Hillary as a diplomat, senator, and wife, while disciplining her candidate image as a threat to the American presidency. After a thoughtful dialogue about each cover and the broader implications for political women as executive leaders, this article ultimately advances an argument for a new epistemological and ideological understanding of reporting for political women


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