Bill Clinton Accidentally Invents Hillary’s Next Big Hashtag
Yes, America, it’s already a thing.
Tonight, as he addressed the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton told the country it had to decide which narrative to believe about his wife, Hillary Clinton: the cartoon version or the real one. “Good for you,” he told the delegates, “because earlier today, you nominated the real one.”
And just like that, a hashtag was born.
— Kevin J. Rogers (@RogersWrites) July 27, 2016
The task of vouching for a candidate’s character has traditionally fallen to the would-be first lady. Last week, Melania Trump attempted (with questionable success) to do the same for Donald Trump. But tonight, as Hillary Clinton officially became the first woman to be a major political party’s presidential nominee, it was up to the would-be First Husband to do the same.
And boy, did Bubba lay it on thick. In his wide-ranging and largely ad-libbed speech, President Clinton spun the tale of his decades-long relationship with his wife—from the day they met in 1971 at Yale Law School to the first time he visited her childhood home in Park Ridge, Illinois, to the day he asked her to marry him … and she finally accepted. “The third time was the charm,” the former president told a crowd that sat rapt and silent for perhaps the first time this week.
He described the woman he married as “insatiably curious,” “a natural leader,” and “the best darn change-maker I’ve ever met in my entire life.” But critically, with each anecdote (and, whoa boy, were there anecdotes!) he aimed to undermine the reputation that has dogged Clinton throughout her political career—a politician who is inauthentic, calculating, and self-motivated. Clinton called that depiction of his wife “a cartoon.”
“One is real. One is made up,” Clinton said of the difference between the Hillary he described and the one that is often portrayed. “The real one calls you when you’re sick, when your kid’s in trouble or when there’s a death in the family.”
It was this idea, #TheRealOne, that caught fire online, not because the Clinton campaign had the hashtag locked and loaded, but because for Clinton’s supporters, it’s the perfect encapsulation of the point they’ve been trying to make all year about their candidate.
— Ana Gasteyer (@AnaGasteyer) July 27, 2016
Gorgeous, epic, from the heart. #TheRealOne
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) July 27, 2016
— kaui hart hemmings (@kauihemmings) July 27, 2016
Not only does the hashtag attempt to rehabilitate Clinton’s public persona, it’s a knock on Trump, whose authenticity is also often questioned.
— Suchit Gupta (@suchitgupta60) July 27, 2016
Not bad for a president who came to power when hashtags were still called pound signs. Not bad for a candidate’s spouse, either. And oh yeah, I guess his outfit was nice, too.
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