Different late-night host, same joke. Well played, Jimmy Fallon.
But on Monday, the host doubled down on the sexism that is inherent by mocking Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits. He took it one step further suggesting that Chelsea Clinton’s baby’s wardrobe will be filled with hand-me-downs — the baby’s mother’s if it is a girl, grandma’s if it is a boy.
“I want to say congrats to Chelsea Clinton. Last week she announced that she is expecting her first child,” Fallon said, setting up the joke. “That’s great. That’s great for her. If it is a girl, it will get some of Chelsea’s old hands-me-downs.”
“And if it is a boy,” he continued, “it will get some of Hillary’s.”
When the audience groaned collectively, Fallon said, “It wasn’t that hard of a joke.”
The pantsuit jokes are past their prime, moldy oldies from another era. But where were the complaints when Geraldine Ferraro was rocking a pantsuit back in the ’80s? While sharing the stage with Walter Mondale, the pioneer of Beltway chic got the sexism, but not the sartorial snark. That came later, when Clinton apparently made the gaffe of wearing conservative, yet age-appropriate (isn’t that what all the fashion magazines advise?) pantsuits. Holy fashion crime, Batman.
Clinton doesn’t stick to the black-on-black suit, like many policy wonks. Her team reads the magazines: She adds a “pop of color” with accessories, wears jewel tones to complement her skin tone and knows what fabrics work best for her body.
If women cared enough to take advice from a fashionisto like Fallon, it might be interesting to hear his thoughts on what an accomplished stateswoman should wear. Because when Clinton shares a stage with her colleagues, they all wear the pants. In the White House, the State Department, and yes, even the Senate.
Hillary Clinton speaks to a group of Latino journalists in Chicago in 1996/ | Sun-Times files
The then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal in 2012. | AP
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., appeared at a campaign stop at The McConnell Center in Dover, New Hampshire, after coming off a third place finish in the 2008 Iowa caucus. | Joe Raedle~Getty Images
Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton address the California Democratic Convention in San Diego in 2007. | AP
Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., gives thumbs up at a fundraising luncheon in 2007. | AP
Rev. Al Sharpton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., meet on Capitol Hill in 2007. | AP Photo
U.S. Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton appears on the BBC current affairs programme “Breakfast with Frost” in 2003. | AP
Sen. Hillary Clinton addresses the audience at the 2001 “VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards” in 2001. | AP
President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton wave to the crowd after the president finished speaking at the Democratic National Convention in 2000. | AP Photo/)
Senatorial candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congressman Rick Lazio attend Mass of Installation for Archbishop Edward Egan St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York in 2000. | AP
While running for U.S. Senate in 2000, candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to students at Roslyn High School in Roslyn, N.Y. | AP
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague at the North Atlantic Council at NATO headquarters in Brussels in 2012. | Reuters
Christina Aguilera, (left) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Yum! Chairman and CEO David Novak pose for a photo at the George McGovern Leadership Award Ceremony where they were honored for their world hunger relief efforts at the U.S. State Department in Washington in 2012. | AP
Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sir Elton John attend The Human Rights Campaign, The Global Equity Fund and The Elton John AIDS Foundation event in Washington D.C. in 2012. | Michael Kovac~Getty Images
Chelsea Clinton, speaks to the audience as she co-hosts “Girls: A No Ceilings Conversation,” with her mother, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in New York this month. The daughter of former president Bill Clinton and the former Secretary of State announced at the event that she is pregnant with her first child at the Clinton Foundation event. | AP
Margaret Koch, exhibition designer for the “First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image” exhibition, tells about the pantsuit worn by former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton as she campaigned for the U.S. Senate, The 2006 exhibit was staged at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis. | AP