When Senator Bernie Sanders won the Wisconsin primary, Hillary Clinton tweeted her congratulations and thanked her campaign volunteers. She did the same thing on her Facebook.
Sanders’ campaign manager , Jeff Weaver, however, had some peculiar words about the frontrunner when interviewed on CNN, telling voters and operatives:
Don’t destroy the Democratic Party to satisfy the secretary’s ambitions to become president of the United States.
Of all the contrasts he could draw about Secretary Clinton, he chose to use her “ambition.” Not the issues, not her dealings in her private life (such as the Wall Street transcript debacle), and not her campaign rhetoric – but her ambition to be President of the United States.
I would expect a Republican to invoke a woman’s ambition when discrediting her, but it came as a huge surprise that a “Democrat” would do so.
And the notion that her “ambition” is going to destroy the party is almost laughable (Clinton literally laughed it off when responding).
Bottom line, equating her ambition to destroying an entire political party is something that would never be said to any man in Clinton’s position. It’s sexist.
Since ambition (in the sense of women having it) is often looked at in a negative way, let’s just go through a list of some of the good her “ambition” has done:
- In 1973, her “ambition” led her to help children and low income families get the legal representation they deserve and are entitled to.
- Her “ambition” in law led her to serve as an attorney, litigator, and legal researcher with organizations such as the Yale Child Study Center, the Children’s Defense Fund, Carnegie Council on Children, Arkansas Advocates For Children and Families, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and so forth. Childcare and children and family’s rights, a pillar of democratic thinking. Her “ambition” never destroyed any of those institutions.
- In 1974, her “ambition” led her to help take down President Nixon in the Watergate Scandal. That was certainly a win for the Democrats.
- In 1993, her “ambition” led to a highly publicized push for more affordable, more robust healthcare system, which led the way to a new national debate about how we treat our citizens. Her “ambition” didn’t destroy it, GOP obstruction did.
- In 1995, her “ambition” to help women and young girls allowed for all eyes to be on China with her revolutionary “Women’s Rights” speech – a speech that didn’t destroy U.S. credibility, but strengthened it.
- In 1997, her “ambition” helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was not “destroyed” but still stands tall today.
- In 2002, her “ambition” secured $21 billion to rebuild the World Trade Center site and spearheaded investigations into first responder health.
Clinton’s “ambitions” saw her on the campaign trails in 2014, the year Democrats lost the Senate due to low voter turnout. From Senate candidates Alison Lundergan Grimes, Jeanne Shaheen and Kay Hagen to Gov. candidates Pat Quinn, Charlie Crist, Martha Coakley, Clinton campaigned, fundraised and pushed harder than ever. Her “ambition” didn’t ruin it, Democratic voter empathy did.
In 2016, Clinton’s “ambition” secured (so far) over $20 million for state Democratic candidates to take back the Senate and gain seats in the House. Sanders has raised zero and has made no indication that he will raise any in the near future. Hillary’s kind of “ambition” is not destroying the Democratic Party, it’s helping it. The money speaks for itself.
Clinton’s 9.1 million votes, the most of any candidate in this election thus far, shows that the people like, trust and admire a woman who has ambition and takes the responsibility of the presidency seriously.
For over forty years, Clinton’s “ambition” has built up Democrats, state by state, on the federal and international level. Her tireless activism for Democratic causes and candidates has certainly not destroyed the party, and her ambition to become president won’t destroy it either.
Ambition is not a dirty word.
Ambition is not something to hide.
Ambition is not something to be ashamed of having.
Ambition is not destructive (if for the right reasons). And Clinton has the right reasons.
If Weaver has an issue with Clinton, he should stick to the issues, not her “ambition.”
Featured image via Wikipedia