Midlife Women Rock the News

We make history, break records, weather scandal and look damn good, thank you.
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Hillary Clinton, 61

January 7 | Getting emotional at Cafe Espresso; Portsmouth, New Hampshire

"I asked her, ‘How do you stay so together?’ It was an innocent chick question," says Marianne Pernold Young. But then the candidate choked up. "I thought, holy shit, what’d I just do? I turned around, and 20 media guys were in my face, asking my name."

Sarah Palin, 44

September 4 | On the final night of the GOP convention, Saint Paul

"She brought an energy I hadn’t seen before. I was hoping it came through on TV. As the confetti fell, I opened my purse and saved some." — Indiana delegate Brenda Goff

Fiona Shackleton, 52

March 17 | Sir Paul McCartney’s divorce lawyer, whom a furious Heather Mills reportedly doused with water, London

"Her hair looked really wet when she came out of the closed courtroom. Nobody asked about it. The reporters, the guys, didn’t care. But she was elegant; she made it look like a hairstyle." — Sketch artist Priscilla Coleman

Mia Farrow, 63

May 2 | Protesting outside Chinese government offices, Hong Kong

As the Olympic torch made its way through the streets of Hong Kong, Farrow lit her own symbolic flame and called on the Chinese government — a Sudan ally — to help end genocide in Darfur. She also criticized Games sponsors for not pressuring Beijing to do its part. "It’s about fear and greed," she said.

Cynthia Nixon, 42

May 12 | Arriving at the world premiere of Sex and the City: The Movie, London

"It was really a Cinderella moment. I’ve never worn a dress that has received so much attention. I was worried about being able to stand up straight enough to look statuesque enough to pull it off, but it seems like everything worked out in the end."

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, 40

March 27 | With her husband during a state visit, London

Nuclear power topped President Sarkozy’s U.K.-France summit agenda, but it was Bruni-Sarkozy’s Christian Dior coat that made headlines. Wrote British reporter Emma Johnson: "As far away as New Zealand and America, [Bruni-Sarkozy] was being hailed as the first lady of fashion."

Michelle Obama, 44

June 3 | The final primary, when her husband locked up the Democratic nomination for president, Saint Paul

"It’s a great picture. It captures what I love about my wife." — Barack Obama, to NBC’s Brian Williams

Ingrid Betancourt, 46

July 3 | Reuniting with her daughter, Melanie, and her son, Lorenzo, after being held as a hostage for six years; Bogota, Colombia

"What I’m feeling now is something very close to paradise," she told reporters. "It was because of [my children] that I kept up my will to get out of that jungle. The last time I saw Lorenzo, I could carry him around. I’ve told them they’re going to have to put up with me now, because I’m going to be stuck to them like chewing gum."

Madonna, 50

August 26 | Performing during her Sticky & Sweet tour; Nice, France

"F_ _ k you. I’m 50." — Madge on Nightline, facing the milestone birthday in her own inimitable fashion

President Asif Ali Zardari, 53

September 9 | Beneath a portrait of Benazir Bhutto shortly after his swearing-in; Islamabad, Pakistan

A widower carries on his slain wife’s legacy of democracy

"In a way it was a victory for her, but it was also a deep sadness. We felt her very much in the room." — Farah Ispahani, member of Pakistan’s parliament and a girlhood friend of Bhutto

Silda Wall Spitzer, 50

March 10 | With her husband, New York governor Eliot Spitzer, as he apologizes for his "private matter" (he announced his resignation two days later), New York

"She should not have been up there, save possibly to publicly spit in his eye," was a typical blog post. Wall Spitzer stayed mum, but when introduced at a fund-raiser in May, she joked with the crowd: "I hope your spring has been less eventful…."

First Published Mon, 2009-04-06 18:43

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