The Democratic National Convention, which ended July 28, tried to portray Hillary Clinton’s nomination as a triumph for women in America.
Germany has Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain has Prime Minister Theresa May. Democrats say that now it is America’s turn for a female leader. Perhaps it is, but that person should not be Hillary Clinton.
Clinton’s convention speech July 28 gave few reasons to support her in November. She emphasized the economy, but provided no new policies that would improve it. Raising taxes and subsidizing alternative energy have not increased economic growth or created jobs over the past eight years. Providing free college tuition would subsidize middle- and upper-class kids who attend college and widen the growing deficit.
Clinton misstated the number of jobs that were created in President Obama’s term. She claimed that 15 million private-sector jobs were created. But from January 2009 through June 2016, the economy created fewer than 11 million private-sector jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Years of 2% GDP growth have reduced labor force participation rates to 1978 levels, before the decade that millions of women moved into the labor force. Young people are disproportionately affected, with their employment rate at a historic low. Unfortunately, at a historic high, according to a Pew Research Center study, is the rate at which young people are living with their parents instead of in their own homes.
Millions of Americans believe that they are worse off today than they were eight years ago. Hillary Clinton had an opportunity to speak to the American people at the convention and say how she would do things differently from Obama. She offered not one criticism of his failed administration, and not one idea that the Obama administration has not already tried.
For American women, if the past eight years have been good times, then Clinton is your candidate. If, on the other hand, you believe that you could be doing better, then Clinton is not your candidate.
In her speech, Clinton touted her decades of public service. She claimed responsibility for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a program passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
Series of disasters
But Hillary Clinton failed to mention an unending series of disasters that has followed her public career. She didn’t mention the missing Rose Law Firm billing records that were “accidently” found in the White House five days after the statute of limitations for prosecution expired. Nor did Clinton mention Whitewater, the White House travel office, and the death of Vince Foster, whose office her staff cleared out before the police could examine it.
Clinton talked about her happy marriage, but not her role in defending her husband after he lied about affairs with Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers and Juanita Broaddrick. Neither did she talk about placing trusted aide Betsey Wright at a desk near the Oval Office to control President Clinton’s “bimbo eruptions.” Recall that it was Hillary Clinton who said that every victim of sexual assault has the right to be believed.
Clinton did not say that her husband has been disbarred, nor that he handed out a string of pardons as he was leaving the White House.
Secretary of state blunders
Clinton’s record as secretary of state was so underwhelming that her press secretary could not think of a single accomplishment. In her convention speech, Clinton boasted that she traveled to more than 100 countries. What she omitted to say was that the results of her travels were not that America became stronger, but that other countries, such as China and Russia, became stronger. She failed to mention that during her tenure as secretary that the governments of some of those countries donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, which used the funds to pay friends. Donors received quick approval of deals by the State Department, including sales of uranium assets to the Russians.
Clinton failed to mention that she is the first presidential candidate of a major party to be under criminal investigation by the federal government, and that the Clinton Foundation is so suspect that it is still under investigation. She did not say that the head of the FBI failed to say that she had done no wrong, but said that no prosecutor would bring charges. Many Americans whose last name is not Clinton have been charged for lesser violations, even though they might have had no intent to do wrong. One example is Vice President Dick Cheney’s then-aide Scooter Libby, whose special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, knew all the time that former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage had revealed covert CIA officer Valerie Plame’s name to the press.
Clinton’s primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, won many state primaries with far less funding. Clinton won, in part, because of superdelegates, a scheme by the Democratic Party to ensure that she would win the nomination no matter how poorly she fared with the public.
Borderline criminal activity
It is impossible to look at Clinton’s record and see anything but a trail of disappointment and underachievement and, at times, borderline criminal activity. Does anyone really believe that she made almost $100,000 from a one-time trade in cattle futures in 1978-1979 just by reading the Wall Street Journal, as she claimed in 1994?
Throughout her career, Hillary Clinton has represented that she was the right person for the job and that she would achieve greatness. She achieved those positions not due to her own merit but because she was married to Bill Clinton, governor of Arkansas and then president of the United States.
In contrast, practically no one knows the names of the spouses of Angela Merkel or Theresa May. A win for Hillary would not be a victory for women, but a message that you can only get to the top by marriage and connections. Is that the best America can do?
Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a columnist for MarketWatch. Her most recent book, co-written with Jared Meyer, is “Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young.” She is an unpaid adviser to Donald Trump.
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