Everyone assumes they know all there is to know about Hillary Clinton. The right hates her because she is a free thinking woman. They continually call her a liar because that is what they do to try and neutralize their opponents. Some on the left have picked up on this, but the left also thinks she is “cozy with Wall St.” and “in bed with Monsanto,” (which I think is sexist) and a “hawk.” How much truth these characterizations of her contain is debatable. There is information to the contrary, and ultimately, to the extent that there may be some truth in these handy Facebook memes, it is not the whole truth. She is not just one way. She doesn’t fit neatly into a political box.
She is also the person who put the phrase “vast right wing conspiracy” into the media. She should get some respect from the left for that much. Her defiance of convention and advice when she decided to go to China and deliver her historic speech on behalf of the world’s women when she was first lady is another example of many, of her independent and multi-faceted character.
The person who can stand up to the bullying Republicans so elegantly and effectively as she does in this 2009 exchange (see video below), is also part of who Hillary Clinton is. When I first saw this video is when I realized Hillary Clinton was much more than the caricature the media – mainstream, left and right – have portrayed her to be. In response to a Republican congressman’s question that sounded more like an accusation of the Obama administration’s intentions and policies regarding “right to life,” she said,
“You are entitled to advocate, and everyone who agrees with you should be free to do so anywhere in the world.
And so are we.
We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health. We are an administration that will protect the rights of women – including their rights to reproductive health care.”
If you know Hillary Clinton only as a liar or a hawk or in bed with Monsanto, watch the rest of her answer that leaves the congressman speechless and gets a round of applause at the end. Check out her Beijing speech. You may not only realize you’ve been wrong about her, you may be inspired.