While in Iowa last week, Hillary Clinton took yet another stab at relating to the voters by recalling her grandparents’ immigrant pasts.
“All my grandparents, you know, came over here,” she explained. This family history dovetails nicely with her evolving positions on immigration reform. Evidently, this isn’t the first time she’s said this either. Her immigrant roots explain Hillary Rodham Clinton and how she became the woman she is today.
The only problem is that it isn’t exactly true. Actually, only one of her grandparents, Hugh Rodham, Sr., was born abroad and immigrated to the United States as a child. The Clinton campaign attempted to correct this error by explaining that as Clinton grew up “[h]er grandparents always spoke about the immigrant experience and, as a result she has always thought of them as immigrants.”
Hmm . . . good thing they didn’t always talk about being King and Queen of England or she might be even more confident today of her claim to a top job. Then again, if that were the case, she’d be Great Britain’s issue to deal with instead of ours.
Not long ago, another Democrat and champion of the left, Senator Elizabeth Warren, asserted for quite some time that she was of Native American descent. She was so sure of this “fact” that she evidently checked off the Native American box in several job applications with top law schools (my alma mater included). Later, she allegedly learned that this wasn’t necessarily true. Like Clinton, she blamed her mistake on the loose lips of some family members. As she described it in her book, “As a kid, I had learned about my Native American background the same way every kid learns about who they are: from family.”
So with respect to both Clinton and Warren, we should not blame them for their misstatements. Errors in describing their family trees are obviously someone else’s fault. It just feels so messy when you think about it because the people they’re throwing under the bus here for being teller of tall tales are members of their own family.
We could just call these flawed recollections of two Democrat women a mere coincidence if not for a recent revelation about another prominent Democrat, actor Ben Affleck.
Evidently, Mr. Affleck became uneasy during the production of a piece about his family tree on the PBS show Finding Your Roots when he discovered that one of his ancestors was a slave owner.
Now if he’d appeared on the show with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and learned of this fact with the appropriate amount of shock and horror that you’d expect, that would be one thing. Instead, he simply worked behind the scenes to scrub his slave owning ancestor from the record books.
In this case, Affleck took the opposite approach of Clinton and Warren. Rather than invent relatives he didn’t have in order to look good, he conveniently cut the limb off the family tree that he found embarrassing.
Contrast all of this with some of the more prominent Republicans on the scene today. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio need not make up an immigrant connection because they each have a parent or parents who are indeed immigrants. Former Governor Jeb Bush’s wife is from Mexico.
When you’re asking the American public to trust you with their vote, it’s so much easier when you don’t say things that call your integrity into question. In the Republicans’ case, doing so would certainly be fatal. Given the media’s love affair with Democrats, by contrast, they simply make their mission a little tougher when they tell such tall tales.
Wouldn’t it be easier if they were just honest in the first place?
Imagine what George Washington, ancestor of us all, would do. Not related, you say? Well it depends if you choose to use the Democrat or Republican version of Ancestry.com. In Republican world, you’re right. Washington has no direct descendants. But in the Democrat’s genealogical world, you’re covered.
Don’t believe it? Just ask Hillary.
George Washington was the Father of our Country after all.