The Most Searched Question About Hillary Clinton

July 28th 2016

Over the course of the first three days of the Democratic National Convention, supporters of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton have placed her human side at center stage in speeches ripe with personal anecdotes and sentimental appeals.

As anticipation builds in the hours before Clinton's Thursday evening speech, many questions remain about how the candidate will describe her campaign platform and address delegates and voters.

But the question that's piqued the most curiosity about Clinton has very little to do with any of that, according to Google data on trending search queries.

In fact, the most popular query is one you'd be more likely to encounter in US Weekly: "What will Hillary wear tonight?"

Google Trends Search DataTwitter/GoogleTrends - twitter.com

The surge of interest in Clinton's wardrobe seems — yet again — to illustrate of the way sexism has colored how she is characterized in the public eye and even reported on by journalists.

fashion policeTwitter/Leonard Wilson - twitter.com

We've heard countless complaints from male reporters about Clinton's voice and how much (or little) she smiles. We even watched her sadly pine over a piece of cake to avoid being shamed for indulging her sweet tooth.

At a December Democratic primary debate hosted by ABC, moderators asked Clinton to address the role of a president's spouse, yet failed to include questions about climate change or women's reproductive health.

On the other hand, former President Bill Clinton's wardrobe also attracted a fair amount of commentary after he took the convention stage on Tuesday.

In Quartz, reporter Jenni Avins wrote:

"Here’s what we do know: Clinton’s suit was navy blue, and he wore a tonal cobalt tie in a shade similar to the Christian Siriano dress Michelle Obama wore the night before. (Some noted then that the dress matched the stage’s background. Clinton’s tie did too!) The suit had three buttons, a notch lapel, and full-cut trousers that broke substantially over his shiny black dress shoes. One might have even called it a 'pantsuit.'"

Avins interpreted Bill Clinton's look — which included his wedding ring — as an embrace of his prospective new gig as first man, playing a supporting role rather than starring in the show.

It's also worth mentioning that Clinton is hardly the first woman whose clothing choice at a political appearance has captured viewers' interest.

As Avins points out, numerous dresses worn by First Lady Michelle Obama have quickly sold out after she donned them at public appearances during her husband's presidency. But there is a difference between how a candidate and their spouse is typically treated, and Michelle Obama — while an accomplished lawyer and powerful advocate on a variety of issues — usually isn't asked the type of policy-based questions launched at candidates and politicians in office.

It's unfortunate that despite Clinton's vast body of accomplishments and political experience, many people are most interested in whether she'll end up on a best or worst dressed list.

Share your opinion

Do politicians' fashion choices matter to you?

Yes 9%No 91%