CNN: Hillary Broke the Mold as First Lady

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In a segment filled with reporters and pundits who had never heard of Nancy Reagan, CNN said Friday that Hillary Clinton faced “scrutiny uncommon for a president’s spouse” when her husband won the White House in 1992. Playing off Bill Clinton’s dramatic encounter with Black Lives Matter protesters last week (and hyping their own Race for the White House series), The Lead’s Jake Tapper said that Hillary “changed the rule book for first ladies.”

Correspondent Tom Foreman agreed. “She absolutely opened the door for a lot of first ladies to do a lot of different things,” he said. “But it was a bumpy ride, Jake.”

This segued into a pre-produced piece that advertised their upcoming special, beginning with the first allegations of infidelity that plagued Bill Clinton throughout both his campaign and his presidency.

“Aside from the candidate,” Foreman said in voice-over, “no one felt the heat more than his wife.”

We’re supposed to view Hillary as this long-suffering, heroic woman because she is married to a philanderer. This is why she “changed the rule book”?

Well, the panel was making a point tangential to that one. They claimed that Americans were turned off by Hillary’s first national television exposure. They played the clip of the happy couple defending themselves in a 60 Minutes interview, arguing that Hillary made a bad first impression when she made her “I’m not some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette” comment. And from there, the voters wouldn’t let her do what she wanted to do.

“Hillary Clinton played an active role in her husband’s bid to unseat the first President Bush,” Foreman said, “and she wanted a say in White House policy. But after the win, that spurred scrutiny uncommon for a president’s spouse – over her ties to the legal profession, a real estate deal – even the suicide of a family friend.”

So…reading between the lines here…the message seems to boil down to this: Because the media and the American people were so sexist in 1992, Hillary Clinton was unable to be her husband’s co-president like she wanted to?

This has been mostly forgotten to history, but Bill Clinton just barely won the 1992 elections. Without Ross Perot in the mix, he would have probably lost to Bush. The man himself was seen as a barely-legitimate president by millions of Americans. And then his wife – a woman who did not get a single vote – wants to put her grubby hands on the wheel?

It didn’t have anything to do with Hillary’s “Tammy Wynette” moment. It was principle. America elected Bill, not Hillary. That’s not too hard to figure out, is it?

Well, when you’re pushing her as this unique, amazing, overqualified-to-be-president figure, you have to ignore some of the inconvenient facts.