Living in the Philadelphia media market, watching television means enduring the battle of the political ads. I’ve found Hillary’s latest ad very interesting. In it, she says how America’s success is measured by the success of its children, and all the wonderful things she will do for them when she is president. For the ancient Romans, Hillary would be the ‘Bona Dea’ – the goddess providing good things to children and families. Today, however, I think Hillary may aspire to be the next Eva Perón, who, although she died in 1952, retains the title of ‘The Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina.’
Although she was only 33 years old at her death, Eva Perón’s accomplishments far outshine Hillary’s decades-long public career. Most notably, Eva, or ‘Evita’ as she styled herself, was the major force behind women’s suffrage and equal rights in her country.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who served two terms as Argentina’s president (ending in 2015), said: “Women of my generation owe [Evita] a debt: When we came of age during the dark [military] dictatorship of the 1970s, we had her example of passion and combativeness to get us through.”
Sixty years from now, will American women in politics speak of Hillary is such glowing terms? Naturally, Hillary would love to be so immortalized. However, if she wins on Election Day, I predict her legacy will be a combination of how she rode her husband’s coattails to the Senate and the Presidency, had an administration constantly beset by scandal, and improved the lives of Americans not one iota.
A major indicator is how she, Bill, and Chelsea have managed the Clinton Foundation. Like Evita and her charitable foundation, the funding was based on shakedowns from powerful business and foreign interests. But Evita was much more sophisticated politically.
Evita used her foundation money to help ordinary people, particularly the poor – so they would remain committed to husband Juan Perón’s presidency and political party.
The main function of the Clinton Foundation seems to be to enrich the Clinton family and provide employment to Bill Clinton’s top advisers. What a wasted opportunity: imagine Hillary going from town to town in swing-states cutting ribbons on ‘Clinton Day Care Centers’ or ‘Clinton Children’s Clinics’. Evita would have approved.
As the 2016 Election Day draws near, I wonder how Hillary plans to execute all her wonderful promises, such as transforming K-12 education? Where will the money come from? Not from cuts to the military, as defense types see her as pro-military. And what, precisely, is in her resumé to demonstrate she can execute these promises?
Here’s a note for those business and financial big-wigs who are supporting Hillary: she’s going to meddle in the day-to-day operations of your firms. Will your campaign contributions will keep Hillary’s regulators from your door? With Democrat populist Senator Elizabeth Warren yapping at Hillary’s heels, if Madam President has to throw your business under the bus to shut Warren up, she’ll do it.
Hillary says she’s for equal pay for women. Translation: her administration will comb through a business’ hiring and pay records, and woe betide those who haven’t promoted women fast enough to suit her auditors. Or have hired enough women (hey, Wall Street – why do stock exchange floor traders seem to be all male?).
Plus she’ll be pushing for onsite daycare subsidized by employers or subsidized daycare vouchers. Call it the Europeanization of the American workplace.
That’s just on the labor side. Imagine what her environmental regulations will do.
For decades, Hillary has been thinking about how to make America better – starting with her ‘politics of meaning’ concept in 1993.
She may yearn to be the Evita of the United States, with a legacy that marches through the decades. But that’s an unlikely prospect, as she lacks Evita’s street-smarts and charisma.
Meanwhile Americans have become used to seeing women competently running large multinational corporations (e.g., Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico – with $63 billion in 2015 revenue.
Thus if Hillary makes it to the White House, it will be notable, but not as notable as President Obama’s achievement as the nation’s first African-American president.
Indeed, history may shrug at a President Hillary Clinton, especially if she fumbles and lasts only one term. No Evita is she.