Love her or hate her, no one can question the ambition of Hillary Clinton.
The woman set her sights very high and despite the accusations of corruption, and the e-mail scandal, she almost made it to the highest political office in the land.
Two attempts at being president, and no wins. At least she can say she made it to the White House as First Lady. How many others have tried, and tried again to never make it?
Actually, Hillary can be considered the Henry Clay of our time. That one ambitious candidate that can’t quite win the big one.
Henry Clay was a prominent lawyer and politician from Kentucky who ran for the presidency in 1824, 1832, and again in 1844. He also attempted to win his party’s nomination in 1836 and 1840.
There are some parallels between Clay and Clinton. They may be a tough stretch but they’re interesting. Clay’s first attempt at the White House ended in what Andrew Jackson called the “Corrupt Bargain.’’ Clay came in fourth in the balloting between four candidates with Jackson and John Quincy Adams as the top candidates. Neither Jackson nor Adams held a majority to with the election, so the House of Representatives had to vote on a winner. Jackson and Clay were political rivals, so Clay used his influence in the House to help John Quincy Adams defeat Jackson in 1824. And Adams rewarded Clay as his Secretary of State.
Clinton, if you remember, was given the same role after President Obama won the 2008 election.
In the election of 1832, Clay campaigned to renew the charter of the Bank of the United States, which was our first central bank. Clinton has ties to some of the big banks of Wall Street – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Chase & Co. — which arguably have ties to the Federal Reserve. These banks have donated to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s presidential campaigns.
That’s where the parallels stop, however.
Henry Clay is known as one of the greatest statesmen of his time, and history has judged him positively. He was known as a compromiser, helping to keep the country together with the Missouri Compromise in 1821 and the Compromise of 1850. In both compromises he laid out a series of provisions that kept the U.S. from breaking up between free and slave states.
Clinton, in contrast, didn’t spend enough time in the senate and didn’t face the dire issues that Clay faced. And with such a short time in office, she didn’t come up with significant legislation. How do you think history will judge Hillary Clinton?