1992 Election / 2016 Election / Hillary Clinton

Remembering the Dawn of the Hillary Haters

Remembering the Dawn of the Hillary Haters

It was February 16, 1992 – the Sunday before the crucial New Hampshire primary that would save the Clinton campaign.  The final debate had just concluded and Hillary Clinton came to an after-party with several bus loads of volunteers (mostly students) before they boarded their red-eye buses back to Washington.  I vividly remember standing in a circle of mostly women who were captivated as they spoke with Arkansas’ First Lady.

I had just spent the last forty-eight (48) hours with several of these women, all of whom were bright, idealistic and committed. Their excitement over seeing a woman political role model was evident as they spoke.  I was on the opposite end of the circle from Hillary and noticed two male reporters walking behind and past her.  As they did, one of them turned to the other and said in a stage whisper, “you’re right, she is ugly.”  I was fuming and can only imagine how those closest to the reporters felt.

Jump forward to summer 1993 in Mobile, Alabama.  I am there on business and working out at the YMCA which pipes in the local morning drive time show.  The local disc jockeys are tearing into the First Lady something fierce.  I was taken aback, President Clinton had only been in office a little over six months and I could not imagine what triggered such venom.  Then it occurred to me — there was nothing.

From the beginning the rules have been different for Hillary.  She wowed audiences as she campaigned for her husband, with some asking, as future Ambassador to Holland Cynthia Schneider did before a packed fundraiser, whether she herself would someday make a run.  She was not Pat Nixon, Nancy Reagan or Barbara Bush who upheld the image of a political wife that was trapped in the days of black and white television.  This was the famous “Year of the Woman” and Dan Quayle’s battle with Murphy Brown and Hillary was breaking the mold — and for that she has paid a price.

The media has always and continues to apply a different standard to Hillary.  Look at the frenzy over her private email use, as had been done by her Republican predecessors Colin Powell and Condi Rice, with Time Magazine’s cover story hit piece “The Clinton Way.”

Throughout it all she has persevered.  During her last run, on the eve of her victory in New Hampshire, she teared up as she explained

It’s about our country. It’s about our kids’ future. It’s about all of us together. Some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some difficult odds. We do it, each one of us, against difficult odds. We do it because we care about our country.

The most accomplished woman in American politics has decided to run for President again.  This time we have the benefit of eight years of Republican Obamanoia that only seems to be escalating and Republicans are seething at the thought of facing their hated rival.

Despite what is certain to be an ugly campaign, many are excited about her entry into the race since one thing has always been true about Hillary – she’s ready for the fight.