Hillary Clinton: A History of Hypocrisy?

By  | 

Hillary Clinton currently leads the Democratic polls for the presidential nomination. Although still early, Clinton appears confident and poised, and there is no denying that she is one of the strongest Democratic candidates. However recently there has been a lot of coverage focused on her remarks. For example last Tuesday, the Democratic candidate made a very controversial remark in an all-black church in Florissant, MO. Her comments are currently receiving significant backlash and add to the repertoire of outlandish and uneducated claims she has made in recent years. So, does Hillary Clinton need to watch what she says?

Let’s start with the incident in the Florissant church, where Clinton stated, ““All Lives Matter.” While the statement was made in the context of an anecdote Clinton was sharing about her mother, some observers seemed to disregard that notion and interpreted the comment as racist. The phrase “All Lives Matter” has been controversially used in contrast to the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” which gained particular popularity after the  shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, just a few miles south of where the service was taking place. As a result, many were outraged that Clinton would use such a loaded phrase.

Hillary Clinton has attempted to be a much more empathetic and relatable candidate than during the 2008 primaries, and has sought to address racial issues in a more direct manner. But the middle of a presidential campaign is not a smart time for Clinton to try and compare her white mother and a black community that has recently faced an unspeakable tragedy.

The tweets and statements she made Friday morning when same-sex marriage was legalized also provide an example of Clinton’s hypocrisy. Have her supporters forgotten her original stance on the issue? In 2004 Hillary Clinton stated the following: “I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman.” In 1996, she stood next to Bill Clinton as he signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which essentially made same-sex marriage at the federal level illegal. It doesn’t really matter whether or not she’s in favor of same-sex marriage, but rather her consistent habit of talking her way out of an issue and the hypocrisy she illustrates.

Not only are some of her recent comments questionable, but actions taken by her in the past also pose a threat to her run for the presidency, as the same recurring theme of hypocrisy ensues. Hillary Clinton’s claims about her “humble financial roots,” illustrate another attempt to relate to the average American, however her comments and actions create an absolute double standard. Clinton has repeatedly stressed that she and Bill Clinton were “dead broke,” when they left the White House. But in 2000, months before leaving the presidential palace, the Clintons bought a seven bedroom home in Washington D.C.’s Embassy Row neighborhood for 2.85 million dollars. They paid $855,000 in cash and were approved for the remainder in a loan–that’s a far cry from “dead broke.”

Today, the Clintons’ combined net worth has risen to a staggering $55 million and their Clinton Global Initiative Foundation is valued at a humble $98.2 billion. Clinton’s campaign insiders have been quoted saying that Hillary will raise an “insane amount of money,” and furthermore will “dwarf anything seen in the history of presidential politics;” clearly something that the average American wouldn’t be able to do.

Although Clinton is making attempts to renew her image and make herself more approachable and relatable, Tuesday’s comment only added fuel to the fire and further pushed the notion of her being a humble candidate further from many voters’ minds. It is likely that her comment was not intentionally racist by nature, however it may have cost her a large group of voters. Moreover, Friday’s statements clearly indicate that her actions and words are not consistent, and it’s only a matter of time before people start to notice the recurring theme of hypocrisy associated with her political campaign.

Symon Rowlands
Symon Rowlands is a member of the University of Miami Class of 2016 and was a Law Street Media Fellow during the Summer of 2015. Symon now blogs for Law Street, focusing mostly on politics. Contact Symon at staff@LawStreetMedia.com.



Send this to friend