Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Up until this point we have examined Donald J. Trump, the potential Republican Candidate. It was hard, if not impossible, to find anything positive about him. In fact the probability is that if he weren’t extremely wealthy, with a string of highly paid lawyers, he’d be in jail for his semi-legal and illegal actions. Interestingly, everything he has accused Hillary Clinton of doing he has done or is doing.
It is now time to look at the perspective Democratic Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is difficult to find anyone more hated by the Republicans, especially those in Congress, than Hillary Clinton. This apparently goes back to when her husband, Bill Clinton was President of the United States. When he first attained that position in 1993, Bill Clinton announced that the country was getting a bonus, his wife, Hillary, who would head up a task force to develop a plan for Universal Health Care for everyone in the United States.
The Republicans fought the plan presented by the Task Force like they were fighting a rapidly spreading disease. There were all sort of dire predictions about what it would do to our society in a negative fashion if free universal health care came into existence. Finally one of them came up with a simple slogan that defeated it: “There has to be a better way.” Of course the better way was no plan at all. It was successfully defeated by the Republicans and essentially forgotten by the general public.
1993 seemed to be the year the antagonism against Hillary Clinton began. She was initially denounced that year and the antagonism has grown and continued through to the present, 2016, for 23 years.
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is an American politician. She was the 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. From 2001 to 2009 she served as a U.S. Senator from New York. She is the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, and was First Lady of the United States during his presidency from 1993 to 2001. In 2008 she attempted to run for the presidency and lost in the primary elections to Barack Obama. Since 2015 she has been the leading Democratic candidate for the Presidency. In 2016 she is the presumptive Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States having achieved more than the required number of state delegates and caucus votes needed to become the Democratic candidate. She will be nominated officially as the Democratic candidate in late July of 2016 at the National Democratic Convention.
Hillary Rodham Clinton was born in 1947 in the Chicago area. She was raised as a Methodist. Her parents were Republicans. In 1964, as a teenager she volunteered to work for the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, in his bid for the presidency. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in political science. As a college student she supported Eugene McCarthy and Martin Luther King. She had changed political parties and become more liberal.
Hillary Rodham got her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1973. She worked as a congressional legal aid for a short time, then moved to Arkansas to marry Bill Clinton in 1973. She co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families in 1977 and became the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978. As First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1993, she led a task force that reformed the Arkansas public school system, mandating teacher testing and state standards for curriculum and classroom size. She also became a full partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979. In addition Hillary was on the board of directors of several large corporations, like Wal-Mart.
After her husband was elected to the Presidency of the United States, as First Lady, she led the Clinton health care plan in 1993, which never reached Congress. She played a leading role in advocating the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the adoptions and Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act. After Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton is regarded as the most empowered wife in American history. Among the causes she has supported women’s rights has been one of her major ones. She has stated in speeches around the world that women’s rights are human rights.
Hillary was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy. Actually the Clintons had lost their late 1970s investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation. First Lady Clinton was the subject of several investigations by the United States Office of the Independent Council, by committees of the U.S. Congress, and the press. No charges were ever brought against her.
William Jefferson Clinton, shortly before he became president, said that in electing him the country would “get two for the price of one,” referring to the principle role his wife would play. In August of that year, 1992, there was an article in the “American Spectator,” a conservative Republican publication, referring to “The Lady Macbeth of Little Rock.” Hillary Clinton’s past ideological and ethical record came under attack at that time. This seems to be the beginning of the long hate affair the Republicans have had with her. At least twenty articles in major publications at that time compared her with Lady Macbeth.
It seems that since William Jefferson Clinton first ran for the Presidency of the United States leaders in the Republican Party have been out to get him. And when that proved impossible they went after his wife. The antagonism has lingered on since that point and Republican vehemence has increased over the years and is now focused upon the presumptive candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton.
In point of fact there were many investigation of Hillary Clinton over many of the things she did both before and after Bill Clinton became Governor as well as during his presidency and beyond. In no case were charges ever brought against her. It was a case of the Republicans continually fishing for something, anything under which they could possibly indite her. In the end there was never any evidence that she had acted illegally. It would seem that to the many Republicans involved in these investigations that had they been in the Clintons’ place they would have been totally dishonest. They could not imagine Hillary not being like them, basically dishonest.
In addition her marriage to the president was subject to extreme stress during the Lewinsky scandal and the attempted impeachment of the president. Initially she stated that the charges were the result of a “right-wing conspiracy.” She characterized the Lewinsky charges as the latest in a long, organized, collaborative series of charges by Bill Clinton’s political enemies. After the evidence of President Clinton’s encounter became incontrovertible, she issued a public statement confirming her commitment to their marriage. But she was privately reported to be furious with him.
While her husband was still President of the United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in 1998, announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate. Hillary Clinton was urged to run for his seat. The Clintons bought a home in Chappaqua, New York in 1999. She became the first, First Lady to run for the Senate.
After eight years in office her husband left the presidency. They moved to New York and Hillary Clinton was elected to the United States Senate. After the September 11th 2001 terrorist attack upon the Twin Towers she voted for and supported military intervention in Afghanistan. Also assuming that President George W. Bush was telling the truth she voted for and initially supported the Iraq Resolution. Subsequently she objected to the Bush Administration’s conduct in the Iraq War and to most of Bush’s domestic policies.
She served on five Senate committees: Committee on Budget (2001-2002), Committee on Armed Services (2003-2009), Committee on Environment and Public Works (2001-2009), Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (2001-2009), and Special Committee on Aging. She was also a member of the Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe (2001-2009).
Following the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City Clinton helped obtain funding for the recovery efforts. She was instrumental in obtaining $2.1 billion in funding. She strongly supported U.S. military action in Afghanistan. Her position was that it was a chance to combat terrorism and improve the lives of Afghan women who suffered under the Taliban government. She worked stringently at her job as Senator.
In 2007 Hillary Clinton was reelected for a second term. At this time she opposed Bush’s Iraq surge which passed along party lines. She supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program in the financial crisis of 2007-2008, supporting a bailout of $700 billion for the financial institutions.
In 2008 Hillary Rodham Clinton was also involved in her own Presidential Campaign. On January 20, 2007 she announced on her website the formation of a presidential exploratory committee for the Election of 2008. No woman had ever before been nominated for that position. She came close but in the primary elections lost to Barack Obama, who became the presumptive nominee.
President-elect Obama offered Hillary Clinton the position of being his Secretary of State. She was initially reluctant to accept the position but changed her mind. On December 1, President-elect Obama formally announced that Hillary Clinton would be his nominee for Secretary of State. Clinton stated that she did not want to leave the Senate, but that the new position represented a “difficult and exciting adventure.” On January 21, 2009 she was confirmed in the full Senate by a vote of 94-2. She became the first former First Lady to serve in the President’s Cabinet.
As First Lady she had visited 79 countries; as Secretary of State she visited well over 100. Initially she contacted a number of world leaders and indicated that the United States would change direction. She announced the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Developmental Review. This established specific objectives for the State Department’s diplomatic missions abroad. It was modeled after a similar process in the Defense Department that she was familiar with from her time in the Senate Armed Services Committee. The plan also sought to institutionalize goals of empowering women throughout the world.
Clinton and Obama developed a good working relationship without any power struggles. She was a team player and a defender of the administration. Both Obama and Clinton approached foreign policy on a similar basis; the President trusted her actions and she totally supported him.
Secretary Clinton was among the group that argued for the raid into Pakistan to get bin Laden. In a speech before the United Nations Human Rights Council she advocated for gay rights and legal protections of gays. She also stated that the 21st Century would be “America’s Pacific century.” This was part of the Obama’s administration pivot to Asia.
For the four years she served as Secretary of State Clinton was a very busy lady. She viewed “smart power” as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values. By combining military hard power with diplomacy and U.S. soft power capacities in global economics, development aid, technology, creativity, and human rights advocacy the United States could lead other nations in maintaining peace and stability.
She greatly extended the State Department’s use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, to get the message out and to help empower people. In the Mideast turmoil, Clinton saw an opportunity to advance one of the central themes of the tenure, the empowerment and welfare of women and girls worldwide. She viewed women’s rights as critical for U.S. security interests because it was a link between the level of violence against women and the gender inequality within the state, and instability to international security within that particular country.
Clinton visited 112 countries during her tenure, making her the most widely traveled Secretary of State in the history of the nation. Time Magazine wrote: “Clinton’s endurance is legendary.”
On September 11, 2012, the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya was attacked resulting in the death of the ambassador and three other American officials. The news of this incident originally was splotchy and several reports were issued before accurate information was released. Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, took responsibility for what happened. The Republicans, particularly in the House of Representatives, blamed her for not anticipating the incident. They have held approximately four separate hearing on the Benghazi attack, all focused upon the Secretary of State, all essentially fishing expeditions looking to find her guilty of something. After the initial hearing the others have turned up nothing new. The results of the last hearing, in which Hillary Clinton testified for eight consecutive hours, presented its non-results in June of 2016. Nothing new came out even though its Republican chairman indicated in his report that it was an important investigation. No doubt it was important to the Republicans because Hillary Clinton was campaigning in the Presidential Primaries at the time.
At the conclusion of the first Congressional investigation of Benghazi, on November of 2014, the House Intelligence Committee concluded in their report that there had been no wrongdoing in the administration’s response to the attack. That did not stop at least three other House investigations of Hillary Clinton and Benghazi.
What I find fascinating is the fact that atrocities have occurred under many different Secretaries of State. We even have one case where the country was misled under the leadership of President George W. Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, over a needless war in Iraq where thousands of Americans have host their lives and billions of dollars were wasted. There is also President Ronald Reagan’s illegal actions toward the end of his second term in the Iran-Contra Affair. None of these have been investigated by any Standing Committee of Congress but millions have been spent trying to blame the Benghazi attack upon Hillary Clinton by Republicans in the House of Representatives.
What I find even more fascinating is the fact that prior to the attack the penny-pinching Republican dominated House of Representatives reduced funding for protection of embassies. For some reason that fact has never been mentioned in any of the hearings.
What we have here is a prime example of “Get Hillary”; a prime example of using government funds to politically embarrass or possibly indite Hillary Clinton. The Republican whip in the House, Kevin McCarthy, a close relative of Charley McCarthy, credited the Hearings as lowering Clinton’s pole ratings, meaning they were political moves.
A controversy arose from March 2015, when it was revealed by the State Department’s inspector general that Clinton had used personal email accounts on a non-governmental maintained server, instead of email accounts maintained by the Federal government servers, when conducting official business during her tenure as Secretary of State. Some officials, members of Congress, and other political opponents, contended that the use of private messaging, a private server, and the deletion of nearly 32,000 emails that she deemed private violated State Department protocols and procedures, and Federal laws and regulations governing recordkeeping requirements.
According to Clinton nothing she sent out dealt with the categories of confidential or secret. But nearly 2,100 emails were retroactively marked classified, 65 were later marked secret and more than 20 contained top secret information. James Comey, the FBI Director, had the FBI both investigate Clinton’s emails and reported to a standing committee in Congress. He commented upon the number she sent that were confidential and stated that while she made a mistake there were no grounds upon which to indite her. The Republican’s in the Committee were very unhappy; some seemed to be at the point of tears. The Committee will hear from the Attorney General next.
The problem I have with this investigation is that the two prior Secretaries of State, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell both used private email servers as well as the official government server. Why weren’t they also investigated? Is it because they’re both Republicans and also not running for office? Sometimes I wonder about the current Republican Investigating Standing Committees. Do they do anything that isn’t for show?
Much has been said about the Clinton Foundation as a nefarious entity that the Clinton’s own for their own uses. The Clinton Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that was established by former President Bill Clinton in 2001 with the stated mission to “strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global independence.” Currently it employs and houses at least 2,000 people at different areas of the world in order to do this. Through 2016 the Foundation had raised two billion U.S. dollars from U.S. Corporations, foreign governments and corporations, political donors, and other groups and individuals. The Foundation has received praise from philanthropic experts, has had support from both Democrats and Republicans, the Obama administration and the George W. Bush administration.
When Hillary Clinton left the State Department she, for the first time in thirty years, became a private citizen. She and her daughter joined her husband in the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation in 2013. They backed causes on early childhood development and a $600 million initiative to encourage the enrollment of girls in secondary schools worldwide led by former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. She also worked on a College Project with Bill and Melinda Gates to study data on the progress of women and girls around the world. The Clinton’s Foundation has accepted donations from many sources and used the money for numerous causes that have helped enhance the position of women and others worldwide.
It should also be mentions that the Clinton, both Bill and Hillary, are paid substantially by assorted organizations to make oral presentations. They have earned quite a bit of money in this fashion.
On April 12, 2015, Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the presidency of the United States. She had a campaign organized, which included a large donor base, experienced operators, functioning political action committees, and infrastructure that could operate in all fifty states.
Her focus included raising middle class incomes, establishing universal preschool, initially making college more affordable and later advocating free education to youths from any family earning under $125,000 a year, and improving Affordable Health Care.
It would seem that the 2016 choice for president is an extremely liberal Hillary Rodham Clinton or an erratic, blustering, essentially dishonest businessman who never kept his word in business, Donald J. Trump. Trump has made impossible promises that could not even be fulfilled with an overwhelming majority of Republicans in both Houses of Congress. Among other things, like a multibillion dollar wall between Mexico and the United States, Trump is promising economic nationalism in a world where most large corporation are multinational. He would take the country back to the 1930s. That period ended in World War II.
There is a cottage industry in the United States, books and articles demeaning Hillary Clinton. The Republican Hate Clinton Stance has today grown into an industry. It’s rather sad and too much, I suspect, to fight with endless lawsuits.
The question remains: Who would you better trust to be the next president of the United States? Would it be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?