Recent attacks from the right wing on the success of Bill and Hillary Clinton since leaving the White House are absurd. If Republicans are looking for someone who is out of touch and does not reflect middle-class values at heart, they only need to look in the mirror.
These assaults from the right on the success of the Clintons only show how far removed from reality the Republican Party has become. Americans know the Clintons are a great success story. Neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton were born into substantial wealth, yet they have lived the American dream and dedicated their lives to ensuring that others can do the same.
As Hillary Clinton herself said, "All one has to do is look at my record going back to my time in college and law school to know not only where my heart is, but where my efforts have been." So let's look at the facts.
- Throughout her Senate career, Hillary Clinton was a strong proponent of policies that would help middle-class families throughout America. She fought to increase the minimum wage, cosponsoring the Fair Minimum Wage Act and introducing the Standing with Minimum Wage Earners Act.
- Hillary Clinton was also an early fighter for equal pay for equal work. She introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2005 and 2007 to prevent employer retaliation against workers claiming wage discrimination. She was also a cosponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would become the first law signed by President Obama.
- Hillary Clinton's work advocating for out-of-work Americans was "a case study of how legislative objectives can trump ideology," according to the New York Times. She worked across the aisle "to help deliver added unemployment benefits to millions of Americans" and repeatedly cosponsored legislation to extend unemployment benefits for Americans out of work, including during the 2008 financial crisis.
- Going back to her time in Arkansas, Hillary Clinton worked to expand access to early childhood education for low-income families, helping to give future generations the opportunity to move into the middle class. Going even further back, Hillary's first job out of law school was working for the Children's Defense Fund, whose mission is to "ensure a level playing field for all children."
These are just four examples from Hillary Clinton's record, but I think the point is clear. She has dedicated her entire life to working for middle class families. Hillary continues to fight for them today, with the Too Small to Fail Initiative, and will continue to fight long into the future.
Yes, the Clintons have been rewarded for their hard work. But they have given back so much, from charitable donations, to policies that help low-income families, to the hope and leadership they've shown millions of Americans. Bill is still the man from a place called Hope, and Hillary is still the eager and capable college student looking to make a difference in the world.
The right wing's agenda is transparent; Republicans don't have a strong record helping the middle class so they've turned to baseless attacks. They will likely continue these attacks through 2016, should Hillary decide to run. I say let them. Her record will speak for itself.