Vogue’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president is another first in a season of firsts because, as the editors write, “Vogue has no history of political endorsements.” It makes sense, given that Vogue’s in the fashion game. But then, Vogue’s never been exclusively fashion, as we are reminded: “Vogue has enthusiastically covered Hillary Clinton’s career, her rise from Yale law student to governor’s wife to First Lady to senator to Secretary of State. She has been profiled by the magazine six times.”
Missing from the endorsement, other than one non-critical, statement-of-fact mention, is Donald Trump. Vogue instead focuses on a list of Clinton’s accomplishments, while also acknowledging what is beyond her power:” Can Clinton unify a deeply divided America? Heal the wounds of this unbearably fraught political season? Our divisions are real, and it will take more than one intensely qualified leader to heal them.”
But there is a different symbolism that would be at work in a Clinton presidency:
And yet two words give us hope: Madam President. Women won the vote in 1920. It has taken nearly a century to bring us to the brink of a woman leading our country for the first time. Let’s put this election behind us and become the America we want to be: optimistic, forward-looking, and modern.
The prospect of a female president is one of the reasons women’s magazines have been more political than usual this cycle, but coverage of politics has been building up in many for longer than this too-long cycle. And the combination of an audience that is female and skews young gives those magazines a chance to shape political coverage for a new generation.