By Sheila R. Cherry
Birds of a Feather Pinned Together?!
Washington fashion often becomes trademark symbolism: Barbara Bush’s tri-strand of oversized pearls; Pat Nixon’s “good Republican cloth coat”; even Washington Mayor Anthony Williams’ bow ties.
The items are not unique to be sure, until they become signature statements for their famous wearers. Such is the case of the brooch that has been gracing Democrat power suits from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Ask for it by its official name, the “Liberty Eagle,” and most local jewelers need a description. Ask for it as the “Hillary pin” and they quote prices and availability.
The golden bird, perched defiantly atop a pearlescent sphere, was crafted by Georgetown jeweler Ann Hand, wife of former Johnson administration protocol chief Lloyd Hand. Former Clinton White House communications director Ann Lewis was quoted in a February 1998 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explaining that during the 1996 presidential campaign, the pin “became a symbol for women who were supporting the president.” Local sellers say most purchasers now consider it a solidarity statement supporting first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The first lady wore it as she assailed a “vast right-wing conspiracy” on the Today show in 1998. One adorned the suit of presidential secretary Betty Currie as she testified before a grand jury during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
The first lady reportedly wears the $75 faux version. In gold, with a pearl and ruby eyes, the pin sells for $5,500. Now the sorority pin of Democratic power brokers has alighted on a Republican. Poised prominently on the shoulder of an ebullient Cindy McCain — as she celebrated the recent victory of her husband, Arizona Sen. John McCain, in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary — was the Hillary pin.
Asked why Cindy McCain wore the pin, a McCain spokesman replied, “I will get back to you.” But then never did.
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX FRI FEB 04, 2000 13:58:22 ET XXXXX
MCCAIN WIFE WEARS 'HILLARY PIN'
The wife of GOP presidental hopeful John McCain stunned campaign watchers by wearing the famed "Hillary pin" as she celebrated victory in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, INSIGHT magazine is reporting.
The brooch, which has been gracing Democrat power suits from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to Betty Currie, was poised prominently on the shoulder of an ebullient Cindy McCain on Tuesday night, reports the magazine's Sheila Cherry.
Former Clinton White House communications director Ann Lewis was quoted in the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL in 1998 explaining how the pin -- golden bird, perched defiantly atop a pearlescent sphere -- "became a symbol for women who were supporting the president."
"Local sellers say most purchasers now consider it a solidarity statement supporting first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton," who wore it as she assailed a "vast right-wing conspiracy" on NBC's TODAY show in 1998.
Asked why Cindy McCain wore the pin, a McCain spokesman replied: "I will get back to you."
But they never did, reports the mag.
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