The Corner

Politics & Policy

The New Bad-Luck Curse in Politics

Hailed and renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz took pictures of Chelsea Manning for Vogue in September 2017. Manning is back in jail after refusing to testify before a grand jury about Julian Assange.

Leibovitz photographed Kirsten Gillibrand for Vogue in November 2017. Her presidential campaign has stumbled out of the gate and Gillibrand is at the tail end of a large pack of candidates; earlier this month the New York Times wrote that her campaign is “struggling.”

Leibovitz photographed lawyer Michael Avenatti for Vogue, October 2018. Avenatti now faces charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, embezzlement, 36 additional financial-crime charges, including stealing money from clients.

Leibovitz photographed Beto O’Rourke for Vanity Fair in February 2019. His presidential campaign also stumbled out of the gate, and he’s now considered such a second or third-tier candidate that no one’s looking for opposition research on him anymore.

Sports fans know about Sports Illustrated cover jinx, and NFL fans cringe when their favorite player is on the cover of that year’s hot video game version of the sport, fearing the “Madden Curse.” In light of recent events, if you’ve got big political ambitions, maybe you shouldn’t let Annie Leibovitz take your picture.

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