Hillary Clinton Is One Of The Greatest Americans Ever
Who is Hillary Rodham Clinton, really? The image of Hillary Clinton has been lost in a hodgepodge of words like cold, calculating, and dishonest. She’s become polarizing. Without question, Mrs.Clinton has lived a rocky political life, but if that life was mined and used as a storyline for Netflix’s House of Cards we would be hooked from the opening credits to the series finale.
Her entertaining life isn’t what makes her one of the greatest Americans we’ve ever seen. It’s her continuous service to the United States that solidifies her status. In every iteration of her political career, she’s tried to place herself on the right side of human history. She has embodied the ideals of an American life.
From her time as a student at Wellesley College and Yale, her stint as a revolutionary First Lady, her 8-years as a New York Senator, her 4-years as Secretary of State and the winning of a Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton has lived an iconic public life as a political servant.
And it’s a life the likes of which I’m sure we’ll never see again...
Hillary Clinton is rare. For as long as I have been alive, her name has been a part of American media and politics — that alone is amazing. Not just for a woman, but for anyone. Her womanhood isn’t the reason why I think she fits the bill as a great American (no pun intended, I promise). But I don’t think we’ll see anything like her again. I don’t say that to disparage any woman seeking to follow in her footsteps. I say that because there aren’t many human beings who have dedicated themselves to public service like her.
The life of Mrs.Clinton resembles a ship at sea during a violent storm. At the bare minimum, the S.S Rodham Clinton’s only goal is to survive the storm. Steer the ship. Yet, what Hillary Clinton has done was weather the storm of sexist criticism, conspiracies, and gendered expectations while using a harpoon to fight the tides.
She would stab the waters if she could.
Her willingness to fight may not be the smartest move, but we have to respect her tenacity.
Bill Clinton was sworn in is as the 42nd President of the United States on Wednesday, January 20, 1993. The ceremony took place on the West Front of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Present with him was his wife: a lawyer named Hillary Rodham Clinton. By the time she left her practice as a lawyer, Hillary was making more than $200,000 a year, six times more than the $35,000 her husband made as governor.
Her polarized existence stems from here, as a career woman to whom “First Lady” became a job to be placed on her resumé, and she executed the responsibilities of the First Lady in a revolutionary fashion.
The role of the First Lady is composed of two things: individual ambition and permission from the President. Outside of that, there are no true guidelines. The Constitution does not mention the First Lady. A presidential candidate’s wife’s name does not appear on the ballot paper and she is not sworn in to office.
During the campaign, though, it were as if Hillary was Bill Clinton’s running-mate and not Al Gore.
She moved as he moved. Not only did she move, she gained attention in the media. The media cared about what this woman had to say. Not only did they care about her words, they cared about her image.
Her tenure as First Lady revolved around image softening. Strategists wanted her to appear warm. They wanted to highlight her sense of humor. The public wanted to see her be a more rounded person, not just a career woman. Her detractors demanded her image to represent that of a mother, a daughter, a friend, a member of a church.
In her own words, however, she would describe herself as a wife, a mother and an activist. “I don’t think feminism, as I understand the definition, implies the rejection of maternal values, nurturing children, caring about the men in your life,” Hillary Clinton said. “That is just nonsense to me.”
The S.S. Rodham Clinton charged into the eye of a stormy debate. The role of women in society and politics and the image of feminism were hot topics. At the time, the then 44-year-old lawyer grappled with negative and positive responses placed onto her husband because of her.
She appeared conscious of two extremes, moved by being a role model to women, but also disappointed by the resistance to a First Lady engaged in policy making.
Hillary Clinton’s life represents the 20th century changes that have taken place in women’s lives and marriages. Since her time as First Lady, she has been a poster-child for the disruption of feminine expectations. Unfortunately, though, when it comes to women, people can only stomach a teaspoon of disruption at a time.
The Clinton White House was different as a result of that disruption. There was never a First Lady as powerful and authoritative as Hillary. Their staff feared her as much as Bill, and she was trusted by her Husband to tackle health-care reform.
In 1993, Clinton attempted to spearhead the creation of universal health insurance known as “Hillarycare.” However, Clinton struggled to get lawmakers to agree with her expansive plan, which ultimately failed.
Regardless, no other First Lady has ever held such responsibility and authority. She tried to accomplish that responsibility and many others with dedication and earnestness.
Alleged infidelity by her husband aside, the Clinton marriage and White House has always represented a professional partnership of like minds.
While campaigning for her husband in January 1992, she learned of Gennifer Flowers. Flowers had released tapes of phone calls with Bill Clinton to back up her claim to an affair with him.
The most resonate image of Mrs. Clinton from that campaign was a “60 Minutes” interview. In the interview, she told the country she was not blindly supporting her husband out of wifely duty. “I’m not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette,” she said.
Confronting your partner’s unfaithfulness is difficult under most pretenses. For Mrs. Clinton, it happened in the most public manner, unraveling during a a presidency and a 24/7 news cycle, and later in impeachment proceedings that shook the nation.
Outwardly, she remained defiant, ready to stab the waters in the storm to defend her husband and their union. The storm consisted of a progression of women and well-funded conservative operatives who accused Mr. Clinton of behavior unbecoming the nation’s leader.
Years later, Mrs. Clinton would say she had thought her husband had conquered his weakness in the late 1980s. The comment came in an interview with Talk magazine in 1999, after the Monica Lewinsky scandal nearly brought down his presidency.
Still, she withstood the public scrutiny and decided to carve out her own political path.
Clinton won a seat for New York Senate on November 7, 2000. Capturing a Senate seat in New York made her mark on America enter into different territory. History was made. It was the first time a First Lady has ever sought and won elective office. By winning, Hillary Clinton continued to redefine the role of First Lady.
She kicked open a path. The message Hillary continues to send with her resumé is that women are entitled to the same kind of independence as men. In this land, the pursuit of individual goals are valuable.
The day she won, President Clinton — who wiped tears from his eyes — was right by her. After winning, she said: “I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you, New York. Thank you for opening up your minds and your hearts — for seeing the possibility of what we could do together for our children and our future here in this state.”
The victory represented a political rebirth for her. She needed to reclaim her name from the clutches of polarization and stand separate from her husband’s shadow.
Hillary Clinton is the only First Lady who attempted to realize their own ambitions through politics. Over night, thanks to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the role of First Lady was broadened.
She is the first woman to have been elected senator from New York, a turn in an improbable, wrenching public life that has both captivated and polarized much of the nation for decades. It was just the beginning of her own political prominence.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s legacy was solidified.
Let me be clear. I do not pity Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is not my goal to impose fair judgement onto the legacy of a privileged white woman. Her name has been polarized, but her life is an example of first world problems.
No one asked her to jump into the arena and remain to weather these storms. From a certain point of view, it could be textbook narcissism that keeps Hillary Clinton wanting to advance her career and remain in the public eye.
When I say that she is one of the greatest Americans who has ever lived, I mean so in the positive and negative feelings that being successful in America holds.
I’m sure there is a truck driver in Delaware who is a better person than Hillary Clinton, but because he hasn’t accomplished the things America deems valuable, he is not considered to be great.
American standards of excellence are what makes Hillary Clinton great. By the standards of America, Hillary Clinton fits the bill of greatness. It’s a complex idea to separate American ideals from who we are as people. These ideals blend into our psyche and mask themselves as personality. If Hillary Clinton is judged for being cold, calculating, and dishonest then we should judge America for creating her that way.
Hillary Clinton is one of the greatest Americans who has ever lived and we can’t take away her accomplishments.
She deserves her flowers while she can still smell them.