How do you think history will remember Hillary Clinton?
She is the first woman to be a major party nominee for President; one of just five Americans in history to lose a Presidential election despite winning the popular vote; had the highest margin of victory in the popular vote of any losing Presidential candidate; more voters cast their ballot for her than every other Presidential candidate in American history – winning or losing – besides Barack Obama. She’s also one of the most prominent Secretaries of State in American history and visited more countries than any other Secretary of State.
Hillary Clinton is also arguably the most influential First Lady in history. She’s the only First Lady to run for office and win elections in her own right. As a U.S. Senator from New York she was popular with her constituents and highly-respected on both sides of the aisle (yes, really) during her time in Congress. As First Lady she was President Clinton’s most valued adviser and political strategist. If not for what she brought to their partnership, it’s doubtful that Bill Clinton could have even won the 1992 election.
And, of course, she has an entire body of work in the first half of her life that was completely unrelated to who she was married to. Hillary was a powerful lawyer, talented political strategist, energetic activist, and a tireless advocate, particularly on behalf of children.
I don’t know for sure what the final judgment of Hillary Clinton’s legacy will be, but she’s undoubtedly one of the most important women in American history and one of the most prominent and influential political figures of the past half-century. Those who suggest that Hillary’s ultimate legacy will be as the person who lost the 2016 election and put Donald Trump in the White House are flat-out wrong. She was the person who stood strong against him in the midst of an unprecedented political storm, no matter what mistakes might have been made by her or her campaign during the 2016 election cycle. Hillary Clinton didn’t elect Donald Trump as the President of the United States; the American people did. Her legacy shouldn’t be tainted by the poor choices of the American electorate and the consequences of those choices. She should be remembered for the path that she blazed for those who followed her in public service.