Clinton campaign insulted by cleavage article

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks about The National Urban League's "Opportunity Compact" during their annual conference in St Louis July 27, 2007. REUTERS/Peter Newcomb

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Insulted by a fashion article about Hillary Clinton’s cleavage, her presidential campaign is trying to use the incident to raise money.

A fund-raising e-mail letter signed by Ann Lewis, a senior Clinton adviser, urges potential donors to “take a stand against this kind of coarseness and pettiness in American culture.”

The Washington Post on July 20 published an article by its fashion writer, Robin Givhan, that noted Clinton wore a black top with a low neckline during an appearance on the Senate floor to talk about the high cost of college education.

“It was startling to see that small acknowledgment of sexuality and femininity peeking out of the conservative -- aesthetically speaking -- environment of Congress,” Givhan wrote.

Lewis wrote: “Would you believe that The Washington Post wrote a 746-word article on Hillary’s cleavage?”

She said it was inappropriate for the news media to be “talking about body parts” and that the 2008 presidential campaign should be focused on the issues.

“Frankly, focusing on women’s bodies instead of their ideas is insulting. It’s insulting to every woman who has ever tried to be taken seriously in a business meeting. It’s insulting to our daughters -- and our sons -- who are constantly pressured by the media to grow up too fast,” Lewis said.