I confess: I love people's old photographs of themselves.
I love it when my friends pass them around, and I love it when Hillary Clinton passes them around, on Instagram, Facebook, television ads, whatever.
Politico has put together a gallery of vintage Hillary photos culled from her social-media and other postings.
Follow Hillary Clinton’s Instagram feed, and you’ll see her as a toddler in Park Ridge, Illinois, riding a tricycle. On Facebook, you’ll meet her as an almost unrecognizable young Arkansas mother with brown hair, big glasses and loafers, spotting her daughter on a pony ride; on the website Medium, she stares out at you, just another earnest face in a crowd posing for a 1965 high school class picture. In the first television ads of the campaign, she is seemingly from another era, pictured in grainy black and white, about 10 years old with a half-smile on her face, hair pulled back in a pollyanna, holding her mother’s hand.
The nostalgic pictures are designed to present her as an average person — rather than a global brand — and to neutralize the negative image Clinton can sometimes project as the untrustworthy political insider campaigning in a rich lady's uniform of bold-colored pantsuits and a helmet of blonde hair.
And the photos are fabulous! There's one of cute Baby Hillary grinning charmingly from ear to ear along with her dad, her little bro, and her mom wearing that terrific perm-style 1950s hairdo. Hmm, the 1950s–six decades ago. No wonder that photo is ever so slightly blurry: mass-consumption cameras just couldn't focus so well back then. That one of high-school Hillary: Every girl wore her hair in one of those flips back then. It went with owning all the Beatles albums. 1965! What was that–fifty years ago? My, how time flies!
And that one of her in the hat along with her then-brand-new Arkansas gov-hub Bill–mmm, what a hunk and a half he was! Even in one of those silly 1970s suits with the lapels that looked like slices of pizza. Bill even looked cute in the photo of him with the hippie beard at Yale Law School. Hippies! Whatever happened to them?
And here's one of Hillary wearing a dress! She looks nice. When was the last time Hillary wore a dress? Can you remember? 1998, maybe? That was sixteen years ago.
That's the problem with nostalgia. It reminds you of how distant the past actually is. It reminds you that you were once young, but now you're old. Is that really what Hillary wants to remind people of 24/7 as she seeks to become the president of the United States?