Many in the liberal media were overjoyed Tuesday night when Hillary Clinton became the first woman to clinch the presidential nomination for a major political party. The wall-to-wall coverage that followed her victory speech made it appear as if the mainstream media had closely coordinated with Mrs. Clinton’s press team to ensure that viewers couldn’t miss the pro-women talking points focusing on her gender and the presidency.
“We are all standing under a glass ceiling right now,” Mrs. Clinton joked at one point. “But don’t worry, we’re not smashing this one.”
I felt like I was watching a National Organization for Women rally.
As a mother of five daughters, I wish that I could get excited about Hillary Clinton’s historic moment, but she is a poor example and the wrong messenger for women seeking empowerment and better lives for themselves and their families. Instead, Mrs. Clinton is the epitome of the Democratic establishment, a career politician out of touch with the concerns of everyday American women.
There was one bit of history the commentators forgot to mention: Mrs. Clinton is the first presumptive presidential nominee ever who is also being investigated by the FBI on suspicion of compromising the nation’s security with her private email server and cavalier handling of classified information.
Mrs. Clinton talked Tuesday night about the women at Seneca Falls who fought for women’s rights, but notably failed to embrace the spirit of these early feminists who were pro-life and fought for women and their children.
Compare her oft-stated radical pro-abortion views with those of pioneer feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who once wrote, “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we wish.”
Despite her claims as a trailblazer for her gender, Mrs. Clinton has ridden the coattails of her husband and spent much of her career destroying women tied to her husband’s sexual escapades. She tweeted last year that “every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported,” but obviously that sentiment did not apply back in the 1990s when she dismissed Monica Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon” and helped discredit and destroy the reputations of other women such as Gennifer Flowers and Kathleen Willey. Ms. Willey, who was sexually harassed by President Clinton, stated that Hillary used “moblike tactics” to silence her.
Younger female voters are clearly unimpressed by Mrs. Clinton’s establishment credentials and have resisted voting for her on the basis of gender solidarity alone. An overwhelming number of millennial women supported Bernie Sanders in the primary contests, and it remains to be seen if Mrs. Clinton can win them over given her record and her role in covering up her husband’s dalliances.
The hypocrisy extends even to the family’s Clinton Foundation, which accepted tens of millions of dollars from nations with disturbing records on women’s rights, gender discrimination and violence against women and children such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Algeria.
Even setting aside her checkered record in the Senate and the State Department, it is Mrs. Clinton’s flagrant contradictions on women’s issues that expose her true character. While many women may see through the double talk, this won’t stop her from branding herself as a champion of women. But Donald Trump and other Republicans now have an opportunity to remind voters of her real track record of criticizing women, assisting in destroying their reputations and turning a blind eye to Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct — all for the sake of political power.
One “I am woman/Hear me roar” speech may play well with her allies in the media, but women need to look beyond her rhetoric and the snazzy ads. If they do, they’ll quickly realize that the Hillary Clinton who bashed women and called them bimbos in the 1990s is the real Hillary Clinton running for the White House in 2016.
• Mercedes Schlapp is a Fox News contributor and co-founder of Alexandria-based Cove Strategies, a governmental and public relations firm, where she develops and implements media strategy for nonprofit organizations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.