Hil­lary Clin­ton:

Hil­lary or Don­ald? She’s a pa­tient fighter, he’s a mouthy new­comer, yet both have the sup­port of the Amer­i­can peo­ple. With the all-im­por­tant pres­i­den­tial de­bates herald­ing the fi­nal out­come of this long drawn out po­lit­i­cal fight, Wendyl Nis­sen looks at th

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

on the home straight in the pres­i­den­tial race

When the United States goes to the polls on Novem­ber 8 to de­cide who will be their new Pres­i­dent, Hil­lary Clin­ton could be ex­cused for hav­ing a very strong cup of tea and a long lie down while the votes are counted.

Be­cause un­like her op­po­nent

Don­ald Trump, who is a new­comer to the rigours of pol­i­tics, it has been a very long haul for Mrs Clin­ton. Ev­ery­thing she has done in her adult life has been di­rected to this mo­ment. She used her time as First Lady to cam­paign for ex­panded health in­sur­ance and women’s rights while sup­port­ing her hus­band, Pres­i­dent

Bill Clin­ton. She po­si­tioned herself at the cen­tre of the Demo­cratic Party as the sen­a­tor in New York State from 2000, and then there was her failed bid in 2008 to be the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, stand­ing aside to let Barack Obama go on to win the elec­tion.

When she lost to Obama it was not just a dis­ap­point­ment, it was the shat­ter­ing of a life­long dream. Obama named her as his Sec­re­tary of State in an at­tempt to heal the rift within the Demo­cratic Party af­ter the bruis­ing cam­paign, and so Hil­lary set­tled in for eight years of pa­tiently wait­ing and tire­lessly work­ing to get back to where she is to­day, on the brink of be­com­ing Pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica.

Yet no one could an­tic­i­pate just how un­usual her cam­paign trail would be this time around. That the emer­gence of the Repub­li­can Party can­di­date Don­ald Trump would take the whole show to a new level of dirty pol­i­tics with his con­tro­ver­sial and of­fen­sive views, which have brought charges of misog­yny, racism and in­ac­cu­racy. As me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions started fact-check­ing his state­ments, it soon be­came ap­par­ent that the self-styled bil­lion­aire and en­tre­pre­neur was sim­ply mak­ing things up a lot of the time.

Yet his pop­u­lar­ity has given him good rat­ings in the polls, at times putting him neck-and-neck with Hil­lary, which has forced her to alter her tra­di­tional po­lit­i­cal cam­paign­ing model to en­com­pass deal­ing with the tele­vi­sion rat­ings-win­ning for­mula of trivia and abuse. At the first of the three pres­i­den­tial de­bates, which Hil­lary Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump par­tic­i­pated in on Septem­ber 26, it be­came very clear that this was like no other de­bate the United States had ever seen be­fore. De­scribed as “the most watched – and cer­tainly the weird­est and wildest – pres­i­den­tial de­bate in Amer­i­can his­tory”, the two can­di­dates nee­dled each other, some­times very close to the bone.

Hil­lary re­mained calm and col­lected dur­ing the 90-minute de­bate, clearly keen to show that her op­po­nent didn’t have the tem­per­a­ment to do the job. When Don­ald sug­gested that Hil­lary might not have the stamina to be Pres­i­dent, she hit back with one of the more mem­o­rable quotes of the en­counter: “As soon as he trav­els to 112 coun­tries and ne­go­ti­ates a peace deal, a cease­fire, a re­lease of dis­si­dents, an open­ing of new op­por­tu­ni­ties in na­tions around the world, or even spends 11 hours tes­ti­fy­ing in front of a con­gres­sional com­mit­tee, he can talk to me about stamina.”

She hit him hard when she said: “This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs. And some­one who has said preg­nancy is an in­con­ve­nience to em­ploy­ers, who has said women don’t de­serve equal pay un­less they do as good a job as men. “And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty con­test. He loves beauty con­tests, sup­port­ing them and hang­ing around them, and he called this woman

Hil­lary worked tire­lessly to get back to where she is to­day, on the brink of be­com­ing Pres­i­dent.

‘Miss Piggy’. Then he called her

‘Miss House­keep­ing’, be­cause she was Latino. Don­ald, she has a name. Her name is Ali­cia Machado.”

And fi­nally there was a sec­tion on race re­la­tions. Don­ald boasted of his trav­els to speak to African-Amer­i­can vot­ers, telling Hil­lary: “You’ve seen me, I’ve been all over the place. You de­cided to stay home and that’s okay.” But Hil­lary re­sponded: “I think Don­ald just crit­i­cised me for pre­par­ing for this de­bate. And yes, I did. And you know what else I pre­pared for? I pre­pared to be Pres­i­dent. And I think that’s a good thing.”

Fol­low­ing the de­bate, Don­ald was widely ac­cused of “man­ter­rupt­ing” Hil­lary with his fre­quent at­tempts to talk over her. Shout­ing, talk­ing over, bull­doz­ing and “mansplain­ing” (when a man ex­plains some­thing to a woman in a pa­tro­n­is­ing or con­de­scend­ing man­ner) are Don­ald’s trade­marks. Ac­cord­ing to vox.com, he interrupted Hil­lary 51 times – whereas she interrupted him just 17 times.

Dur­ing the de­bate it be­came clear that both had skele­tons in their clos­ets. Hil­lary has worked hard to de­flect the scan­dal around the news that she may have breached fed­eral rules dur­ing her time as Sec­re­tary of State by us­ing a pri­vate email ac­count for of­fi­cial busi­ness, in­clud­ing po­ten­tial sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion, and re­fus­ing to re­lease emails she deleted. Don­ald, mean­while, will not re­lease in­for­ma­tion about his tax pay­ment sta­tus, and Hil­lary homed in on this.

“You’ve got to ask your­self,” she said, “why won’t he re­lease his tax re­turns? And I think there may be a cou­ple of rea­sons. First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is.

“Sec­ond, maybe he’s not as char­i­ta­ble as he claims to be.

“Third, we don’t know all of his busi­ness deal­ings but we have been told, through in­ves­tiga­tive re­port­ing, that he owes about $650 mil­lion to Wall Street and for­eign banks.

“Or maybe he doesn’t want the Amer­i­can peo­ple, all of you watch­ing tonight, to know that he’s paid noth­ing in fed­eral taxes be­cause the only years that any­body has ever seen were a cou­ple of years when he had to turn them over to state au­thor­i­ties when he was try­ing to get a casino li­cence and they showed he didn’t pay any fed­eral in­come tax…”

At which point, Mr Trump in­ter­jected: “That makes me smart.”

But one topic that didn’t rear its head to shame Hil­lary was that of her hus­band Bill’s af­fairs – no­tably his re­la­tion­ship with White House in­tern Mon­ica Lewin­sky, which came to light in 1998.

Trump said af­ter the de­bate that he didn’t pur­sue a line of crit­i­cism he could have, out of re­spect for Hil­lary Clin­ton’s daugh­ter, Chelsea.“I’m re­ally happy I was able to hold back on the in­dis­cre­tions in re­spect to Bill Clin­ton. Be­cause I have a lot of re­spect for Chelsea Clin­ton,” he told CNN.

At 36, Chelsea Clin­ton, who was at that first de­bate sup­port­ing her mother, has been a big part of

Hil­lary’s cam­paign, and gave birth to her sec­ond child just months ago in June. In 2008 she hit the road for weeks at a time to sup­port her mother on the cam­paign trail and this time she has also been front and cen­tre.

She lives in New York with her hus­band Marc Mezvin­sky and their chil­dren Char­lotte and Ai­dan. She has three univer­sity de­grees, one book to her name, and a sec­ond com­ing out next year. She plays a high-pro­file role as vice chair of the fam­ily’s global phil­an­thropic foun­da­tion. She also teaches, writes, gives speeches, and sits on cor­po­rate and non-profit boards.

Come Novem­ber, should Chelsea once again be­come the First Daugh­ter, she will be in for a life of even closer scru­tiny than she had to en­dure as a teenager dur­ing her fa­ther’s term in of­fice, be­fore the age of so­cial me­dia. Her re­la­tion­ship with Hil­lary is very close and she said ear­lier this year that the next Pres­i­dent must be “a dreamer and a doer and, I would also ar­gue, a fighter. And I don’t know any­one who com­bines that more ef­fec­tively and pow­er­fully than my mom.”

Chelsea has seen first­hand, from a very young age, ex­actly how hard her mother has had to work to get to where she is now. There have been dis­ap­point­ments, sac­ri­fices made, and a lot of hard work. But as Hil­lary proved in that first de­bate, she is def­i­nitely a fighter – and one who won’t give up.

Don­ald Trump and Hil­lary Clin­ton will de­bate again on Oc­to­ber 9 and fi­nally on Oc­to­ber 19.

LEFT: Hil­lary Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump at the pres­i­den­tial de­bate on Septem­ber 26. Hil­lary was interrupted by Don­ald 51 times, com­pared to her 17 in­ter­jec­tions.

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