When Hillary Rodham Clinton abruptly canceled plans to sit for Vogue fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz last week, it caused ripples of speculation. After all, she had appeared on the December 1998 cover -- the first first lady to do so -- dressed in a gown by Oscar de la Renta.
Of course, this time it's different. The New York senator is the Democratic front-runner in a presidential campaign that's historic for bringing up questions about gender equality.
But male candidates have had no problem appearing on the covers of men's style magazines. Fellow Democratic contender Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina appeared on the cover of July/August Men's Vogue, and Clinton's closest rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, seems to be working on racking up the men's mag version of the Triple Crown, gracing the cover of the September/October Men's Vogue and the September GQ (paging Esquire . . . ).
Presidents and candidates have graced the covers of men's style mags going back to John F. Kennedy, who posed in the Oval Office for the March 1962 issue of GQ. (Later, his brother Bobby notoriously derided GQ as a "fag rag.") Candidates Bill Clinton and Al Gore appeared on the November 1992 GQ cover and went on to win the election.