Hillary Clinton has received a lot of warranted negative publicity recently for having some trouble getting through a New York Subway turnstile. The desperate attempt at conveying herself as authentic and relatable demonstrated the complete opposite. “I love it because it’s so convenient, it’s just the best way to get around,” Ms. Clinton told ABC News in a subway car.
Aside from Ms. Clinton’s trouble with the turnstile, it is illegal to campaign on New York City’s subway cars. Ms. Clinton only rode two stops, and has been transported by Secret Service Chauffeurs for over the past two decades, giving no other reason for Ms. Clinton riding the subway other than for the media attention on the subway while President of the Borough of the Bronx, Ruben Diaz Jr, introduced her to riders as the next President of the United States. Saturday Night Live took advantage of the event in a spoof which was trending on social media the day after it aired. Her use of the subway for a photo op as she panders New Yorkers for their votes preceding the primary on April 19th, is one of many attempts which have backfired on Ms. Clinton throughout the 2016 Democratic Primaries.
In December, Hillary Clinton’s campaign published an article entitled, “7 Ways Hillary Clinton is Just Like Your Abuela,” an obvious ploy to lure Latino voters. Shortly after, the hashtag, #NotMyAbuela started trending on social media in response as users accused Ms. Clinton of ‘hispandering’ for votes as they criticized her record on immigration, failed trade policies, and war. In March 2016 at the Democratic debate held in Miami, Florida, Ms. Clinton denied allegations she is guilty of ‘hispandering,’ while shortly after the question she used the word, “basta,” in response to a debate question, despite not being fluent in Spanish at all, and in another response she mentioned New York Congresswoman Velasquez for no reason other than to pander for Latino votes.
On the Ellen Show in September 2015, Hillary Clinton cringingly tried to demonstrate to Ellen Degeneres and her audience the ‘Nae Nae’ dance. In contrast, her opponent Senator Bernie Sanders will openly admit he doesn’t listen to Rap music, but can manage to have a genuine conversation over lunch with Rapper Killer Mike. Despite allegations Bernie Sanders has been unable to earn the votes from black communities, he has not stooped to exploiting opportunistic situations for publicity as Hillary Clinton does.
Most recently, she crashed Black Girls Rock!, an annual show aired on BET to honor black women and girls in business, activism, and entertainment, but Ms. Clinton stole the show for her own political gain. “Clinton’s appearance last night was a typical, yet no less distasteful demonstration of her willingness to invade spaces constructed exclusively for Black people, spaces painstakingly carved out because we are silenced, ignored and exploited when we try to co-exist socially with White people not unlike the former First Lady, whenever those spaces provide an opportunity for her to win favor and votes,” wrote LaSha in an article for Ebony Magazine.
Ms. Clinton has been heavily criticized throughout the Democratic Primaries for pandering to progressive voters by adopting several of Bernie Sanders’ lines and stances on issues, such as her flip-flop to opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, a pact she helped push negotiations through during her service as Secretary of State. Comedian and writer for the New Yorker, Andy Borowitz, made Hillary Clinton’spandering the subject of a satirical article in the beginning of the Democratic Primaries in April 2015, titled, “Hillary Expected to Adopt All of Sanders’ Positions By Noon.”
Saturday Night Live also spoofed Hillary Clinton’s overt use of appealing parts of Bernie Sanders’ campaign to try to win over young voters, who overwhelmingly support Bernie Sanders. She has made other efforts to try to court young voters, from watching the first Republican debate with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, to paying Katy Perry to perform at campaign rallies. In Iowa, Ms. Clinton once told a young voter, ““I want to be as good a president as Beyoncé is a performer.” These efforts have come off more condescending than appealing to youth.
Ms. Clinton’s failures in garnering much support from younger voters has manifested in visible frustrations on the campaign trail. She recently alleged young voters don’t do their own research in an interview with MSNBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd after a Greenpeace activist confronted her about donations Ms. Clinton has received from the oil industry throughout her political career. She was also called out for pandering to progressives in New York after she appeared at a rally in New York with Governor Andrew Cuomo in celebration of the introduction of legislation to enact a statewide $15 minimum wage, when Ms. Clinton only supports raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour.
Hillary Clinton’s long and well documented record of pandering for votes rather than listening to voters was a significant reason why she lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic Primaries. In 2016, voters, especially young voters, are catching on to Ms. Clinton’s flawed attempts to appear authentic and down-to-Earth. Ms. Clinton’s reputation as dishonest and untrustworthy partially stems from her efforts to say or do anything for political expediency.