ow does Hillary Clinton top a popularity-solidifying month in which she responded good-naturedly to an internet meme and uncharacteristically partied down in South America, ingratiating herself with a gaga liberal press and young Dems? By "out-charming a charming actor," says Noreen Malone at New York. Jason Segel, star of The Five-Year Engagement, appeared on Jimmy Fallon's talk show last Thursday, and recounted Clinton's unexpected reaction to his joking suggestion that she co-star in his next film: She wrote him a witty rejection letter, the sort of move that's delighting progressives. Here, four highlights from what liberals have adoringly labeled Hillary Clinton's "coolness offensive":
1. Her "Dear Jason" letter
It all started when Segel quipped to Us Weekly that he'd like to work with Clinton on a sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which is not actually in development), saying, "I just feel like she would be good at comedy." As Segel related on Fallon's show, Clinton sent him an unsolicited letter declining his offer: "As you can imagine, I am a little occupied at the moment, but perhaps someday I can help you forget Sarah Marshall ... again. My only condition is that there be Muppets involved, and that is non-negotiable." The letter dazzled Sarah Anne Hughes at The Washington Post: "Can the Secretary of State get any hipper?" It shows "increasing savvy from a political figure not known for her pop culture acumen," gushes Melissa Locker at TIME.
2. "Swillary" Clinton
A leaked photograph of the Secretary of State sipping cerveza and dancing while at a summit in Colombia cemented the image that "Hillary Clinton is pretty cool," says Meenal Vamburkar at Mediaite. The day after President Obama left the Summit of the Americas, Clinton drank at a salsa bar and "danced with a posse of her female aides," according to Reuters. The New York Post, which ran the story under the headline "Swillary," wrote that "Clinton quickly proved she's just a regular gal," while the U.K.'s Telegraph was less amused, arguing that the Secretary of State's behavior was "becoming an embarrassment."
3. She wears her sunglasses at night
When a photo of Clinton on board a military aircraft, checking her cellphone, and wearing sunglasses went viral, two D.C. PR professionals created a Tumblr called "Texts From Hillary." The meme juxtaposed the photo of Clinton with that of other famous people texting, accompanied by pithy captions. (A lounging President Obama: "Hey Hil, Whatchu doing?" Clinton: "Running the world.") The droll Tumblr solidified that "Clinton is back and super bad," enthuses Helen A.S. Popkin at MSNBC. People who wear sunglasses indoors often look hungover or resemble vampires. Clinton looked "cooler than your brain could possibly comprehend."
4. She's in on the joke
After "Texts From Hillary" took off, the Secretary of State actually contributed her own idea for a post on the site: "ROFL @ ur tumblr! g2g — scrunch time. ttyl?…" She autographed a copy of her submission, thanking the Tumblr's creators "for the many LOLZ." The episode represents a marked transition in Clinton's image, says Benjy Sarlin at Talking Points Memo. During the 2008 campaign, she "was parodied as drab and calculated, especially compared with young and vigorous Barack Obama and winking and fresh-faced Sarah Palin. Now, she’s fueling internet jokes based on her own brand of badass cool."
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