03/14/2008 02:16 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Reading The Pictures: Old Ferraro CW: Glass Ceiling Hero . New CW: Trouble From The Beginning

July 23, 1984


Sep. 3, 1984

The problem started with a refusal to release her taxes.

Deriving financial benefit from her husband's real estate business but failing to disclose it put Ferraro on the wrong side of House of Representative rules. There was also the issue of a loan from the family to her campaign in violation of FEC rules. Everything got addressed, but these questions following Ferraro's Vice Presidential nomination cast her in a terribly awkward light, and raised early questions about her legitimacy as a number two.

What comes through, in retrospect, is how personally combative Ferraro is. In light of her unapologetic racist comments directed at Obama, motivated by an apparent blind loyalty to Hillary, the second cover (as if, suddenly, the embodiment of Ferraro's character problems) supersedes the tarnished frame of the "Historic" first.

In spite of the headline, there is an ambiguity to the gesture because of the slightly relaxed thumb and the fact the hand is turned out rather than in. Still -- paired with the impression we're getting an earful -- it remains a clenched fist.

For more leading -- and misleading -- political pictures, visit

Ferraro Is Unapologetic for Remarks and Ends Her Role in Clinton Campaign (NYT)
Four TIME Ferraro Covers (TIME)
Show and Tell (Sep. 03, 1984 - TIME)

(image 1: July '84 issue: Diana Walker. image 2: Sep. 3, 1984 issue: Ted Thai)