Liz Peek

Hillary Clinton’s bitter Wellesley commencement address a missed opportunity

Liz | 05/30 at 07:41 AM

As a Wellesley graduate, I was shocked and dismayed by Hillary Clinton’s commencement address. Actually, that is #FakeNews. I was neither shocked nor dismayed by Mrs. Clinton’s speech (but I did graduate from Wellesley – with honors!) It was exactly the kind of self-pitying, leaden and all-about-me performance that I would have expected from the entitled former Democrat candidate and now sore loser.

Also, it revealed this: Hillary hasn’t learned a thing. As her friend Mike Bloomberg recently told an audience of Harvard Business School grads – Hillary lost the election because she had absolutely no message. She still doesn’t.

In addition, she is utterly lacking in self-awareness. She spoke at length about what she sees as a “full-fledged assault on truth and reason,” telling the graduating seniors that “the future of America, indeed the future of the world, depends on brave, thoughtful people like you insisting on truth and integrity right now every day.” This, from a woman who ran for our nation’s highest office while distrusted by nearly two-thirds of the country, with good reason.

As long as Mrs. Clinton and her loyalists blame James Comey, Vladimir Putin, sexism and the alt-right for her loss, Democrats will never rebuild their bridges to the working class Americans who elected Donald Trump.

In her remarks, Hillary criticized “people” – aka Trump followers, presumably – on social media for “sowing division at a time when we desperately need unity,” and then proceeded to give a highly partisan and divisive speech.

Did she ever consider that there might be families in the audience who voted for her opponent? That they might not enjoy her taking veiled potshots at President Trump, and that this was their daughters’ day too?

Echoing the liberal media, Hillary went after President Trump through innuendo and clichés, talking about the dangers of fomenting fear and of “alternative facts.” Good thing there was no Q&A; someone might have wanted further clarification of how she came under sniper fire in Bosnia, or how a video caused the Benghazi attack or how the Monica Lewinsky scandal stemmed from a “vast right-wing conspiracy” and not Bill Clinton’s unruly libido.

Hillary trod dangerous pathways as she remarked, “when people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society.” She is correct, of course, but a cursory review of her multiple dodges and lies about her mishandling of classified information and efforts to destroy evidence reveals a woman who fully earned her low trustworthiness ratings from Americans.

The election is over, but Hillary cannot let it go. This is good news for Republicans. As long as Mrs. Clinton and her loyalists blame James Comey, Vladimir Putin, sexism and the alt-right for her loss, Democrats will never rebuild their bridges to the working class Americans who elected Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton missed an opportunity at Wellesley. She could have delivered a message of unity, and helped our anxious country begin to heal. Her followers need to see her putting country above politics; they need to see her as she briefly appeared at the inauguration, supporting the peaceful and legitimate transfer of power. Apparently, that is just too heavy a lift for Mrs. Clinton. She is happier nursing her wounds, and continuing to inflict them on the country.

The former First Lady could also have talked about the dramatic changes taking place in our economy, and how women are thriving as entrepreneurs. She could have talked about the founders of Rent the Runway, or Sarah Blakely, who created Spanx, or Essie Weingarten, who bet her life’s savings on a new idea and created a nail polish empire sold to L’Oreal in 2010. These women are inspirational; they didn’t shatter glass ceilings, they ignored them. It is true we need women in politics, and running NGOs, but we also need women making money and boosting the economy. That’s where the funding for free college tuition and refugee services comes from – a lesson Hillary may never have learned.

The New York Times tells us that the students cheered Mrs. Clinton “thunderously.” Of course they did. They have been weaned on courses like “Love and Intimacy” in the Women’s and Gender Studies department or “Changing Gender Constructions in the Modern Middle East” in the History Department.  There’s nothing wrong with those studies, unless they crowd out learning how the progressive policies of Bernie Sanders and Mrs. Clinton have failed in France, for instance, leading to a stagnant economy with few opportunities for progress. Or how capitalism has delivered billions from poverty, including in Communist China, where the growth miracle of recent decades was facilitated by policies that encouraged entrepreneurship and private enterprise.

Hillary Clinton missed some history lessons too, apparently. She alluded to Nixon’s presidency which “would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice.” That isn’t true, of course; Nixon resigned from office. It was her husband Bill who was impeached. Amazing she would get that wrong, in delivering what was sure to be a much-reviewed address. Maybe a little too much of that Chardonnay, Mrs. Clinton?

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