Skip to main content

Commentary: Clinton changes her tune on sexism

  • Story Highlights
  • Photo posted on Facebook shows Obama speechwriter groping Clinton likeness
  • Clinton spokesman takes good-natured tack on incident
  • Campbell Brown asks, is the the Hillary Clinton who took on sexism?
  • Brown: Would it be OK if it were another woman's likeness?
  • Next Article in Politics »
By Campbell Brown
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Friday night's broadcast.

Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, left, in a photo posted on Facebook and on the Washington Post Web site.

(CNN) -- Sexism or just good-natured fun between new best friends? You decide. We found this photo posted on The Washington Post's Web site. Take a good look.

The guy on the left ... the one cupping Hillary Clinton's breast on this cardboard cutout, that would be President-elect Obama's chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau. He struck this rather intriguing pose at a party, and then, bummer for him, the photo got posted by a pal on Facebook.

Jon, I'm not even going to go after you for this, because it is just too easy. It is shooting fish in a barrel. My 1-month-old kid could look at this picture of you and say, if he could talk yet, "what a total idiot move."

So, I'm not even going to bother. You know how incredibly stupid that was.

This is what I am struck by: Sen. Clinton's response.

'No bias, no bull'
Get the latest on the day's main events on "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull"
8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday on CNN

Jon Favreau has, apparently, "reached out to Sen. Clinton to offer an apology." No surprise there, but according to The Post, it doesn't seem like that was even necessary.

A Clinton spokesman described the photo as an example of just good-natured fun between former rival camps. The Post quotes Sen. Clinton's adviser Philippe Reines as saying, quote, "Sen. Clinton is pleased to learn of Jon's obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application."

No harm, no foul -- apparently. Video Watch Campbell Brown's commentary »

I'm sorry, but this is the same woman who, during the campaign, pointed to example after example of sexism directed at her saying that, quote, "It's been deeply offensive to millions of women"?

Is this the same woman who pointed out the references to her cleavage or her cackle, the comments by certain pundits and the media?

The same woman who concluded, quote, "the remnants of sexism are alive and well" after someone at a rally shouted out "iron my shirt"?

She made a point of calling people out during the campaign, and for that, she became a hero to millions of women. But now, the campaign is over.

She is joining Team Obama, and, apparently, this photo of her likeness being groped by another key member of Obama's team doesn't bother her a bit. Just good-natured fun, or so her spokesman says.

Really, Sen. Clinton? Boy, have you changed your tune. You really think this photo is OK?

Put another woman in that photo, just an average woman who supported you during the campaign. Have it be her image being degraded by a colleague of hers. Would you be OK with that?


You drove an important conversation about issues just like this during the campaign.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Campbell Brown.

All About Hillary ClintonBarack Obama

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print