|Whitman the Warrior Goddess by Rich Pedroncelli/AP|
Her choices walk the fine sartorial line that women running for office must navigate. During the Republican primary, Whitman projected her feminine side, but general elections apparently call for sterner stuff. Her clothes were neither frilly nor masculine, and while informal and assertive they stayed within boundaries of taste that only a few powerful women can cross.
|Ruining the leather biker's jacket for all time|
When Whitman stepped from behind her podium, as in the picture above by Rich Pedroncelli for Associated Press, her commanding height (she's 6-feet tall) was obvious, even tree-like, which isn't bad politically if the tree is an oak rather than a willow.
If the picture tells us anything about Whitman's wardrobe choice, it is that she she wore them like a suit of armor. She certainly needed it during the debate on Saturday, in which she fended off flak about her hiring of an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper.
Men have an advantage here, since their suits and ties are essentially protective. (The tie is a modern adaptation of the cravat, which had its origins in 16th-century military attire.) If Brown was a bit colorless, he could afford to be.