Don’t know if you caught the little back and forth between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama earlier in the week on the topic of foreign policy experience. It was actually fairly interesting in a “no we will not, not ever, actually talk about anything of substance, but will quibble over ridiculous shit, like we’re slapping a colorful shuttlecock over an invisible net made of human suffering” kind of way. Hillary took Obama to task for intimating that his years spent in Indonesia as a child somehow correlated to “knowing the world.” It’s a valid point I suppose, though I wouldn’t say Obama was really trying to ride it. When asked about her own foreign experience Hillary characterized it as “Unique” and went on…

“...including the eight years in the White House where I was very actively involved in issues both here at home and around the world. I traveled to—I think, I don‘t know, maybe 80, 82 countries. I went a lot of places that the president or vice president or secretary of state couldn‘t go or couldn‘t get there yet.”

Obama responded as follows:

“I think the fact of the matter is that Senator Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn‘t work out, in which case she says she has nothing to do with it.  There is no doubt that Bill Clinton had faith in her and consulted with her on issues, in the same way that I would consult with Michelle if there were issues. On the other hand, I don‘t think Michelle would claim she is the best qualified person to be a United States Senator by virtue of me talking to her on occasion about the work I‘ve done.”

This touched on something that I’d been thinking all along, which is, what exactly does the work of a First Lady qualify you for? Today, as if sensing this question lingering over a doubtful electorate, the Clinton campaign released a pamphlet which seeks to address exactly this question and to presumably bolster her claim of a superior experience in foreign affairs…

First let me say that visually I love what the Clinton campaign has done with this pamphlet. The colors are rich, the illustrations are well done and endearingly retro, and the use of die-cut is just fantastic. Have a look:











Wow! Impressive from a visual standpoint, especially coming out of a modern day political campaign. As a designer and lover of printed ephemera I’m well pleased. Now as to the question of whether this pamphlet actually wins me over with its message… uh…

This pamphlet was based on the piece Tales Told by a Traveler created in 190? for lecturer Frank R. Roberson, housed in the University of Iowa Libraries, Special Collections Department.

11.27. filed under: design. op-ed. politics. 1