Eleanor Roosevelt – Hillary Clinton Progressive Deal
Matthew JAMISON | 08.09.2016 | WORLD / Americas

Eleanor Roosevelt – Hillary Clinton Progressive Deal

For Mrs Clinton her ultimate political hero and role model, both as a person/politician/First Lady has been Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt wife of President Franklin Roosevelt and the longest serving First Lady in American history spanning the 1930s Great Depression, the rise of Nazi Germany and 1940s World War, from 1933 until the death of her husband shortly after his record breaking election to a fourth Presidential term in April 1945, just weeks before witnessing Victory in Europe with the defeat of the Nazis which the Roosevelt administration contributed a great deal to ensuring.

Eleanor Roosevelt redefined the role of First Lady. She was a prominent Democrat spokesperson as a leading social reformer and civil rights activist focused on correcting inequalities and social injustice. Mrs Roosevelt championed a special focus on the rights and liberties of African Americans and many struggling through the Great Depression.

She was a fierce champion of her husband's liberal East Coat patrician Democrat Party policies know as the New Deal and she was the first First Lady to write her own weekly syndicated newspaper column and host her own radio show and the only First Lady and first American to serve as Chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Commission of which she helped draft it's founding principles shortly after WWII as President Truman's delegate to the convention on drafting the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt also played a prominent role supporting her husband as President during World War II as an advocate for a tough military response against Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party and Imperial Japan. She regularly worked as a nurse in hospital camps treating wounded service personnel and visiting troops serving overseas. Like Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt endured a difficult marriage due to her husband's series of affairs including with his White House secretary Lucy Rutherford who was with him in Warm Springs, Georgia when he died. And just like Mrs. Clinton, Eleanor stayed married to FDR and forged her own space and identity, and again just like Hillary, once out of the White House and no longer actively First Lady, Mrs Roosevelt set up shop in New York City. There was even an attempt to get Eleanor to stand for the Senate or run as President Truman's Vice-President.

Hillary Clinton has written of how for her own political and intellectual development and inspiration, Eleanor Roosevelt is her central idol. Just as Eleanor Roosevelt redefined the role of First Lady for the first time using it as a pulpit for social reform, political activism and civic crusading - Mrs Clinton as First Lady 60 years later revived the dormant template and model which Mrs R had pioneered - but had never been followed up on and taken to the next level by any subsequent First Lady. Hillary Clinton became the first First Lady to chair a major administration Cabinet level task force on National Healthcare Reform between 1993-94. She was also the first First Lady to be a political candidate for office in her own right doing what Mrs Roosevelt passed up, running for the United States Senate from New York in her husband Bill's last year of his Presidency 1999-2000.

Mrs Clinton wrote in her White House memoir "Living History" published in the summer of 2003 that when her healthcare effort failed and she slipped into a mild depression it was communing, conducting imaginary conversations, with her adored and revered First Lady idol Eleanor Roosevelt. So, we can see who will be Mrs Clinton's guiding star in the White House. When Hillary is confronted with difficult challenges and uncertainty, even adversity, she will ask herself: "What would Eleanor do?" Now as leader of her party and 2016 Democrat nominee for President, Mrs Clinton is running on one of the most progressive Democratic platforms since the days of the Roosevelt's New Deal.

The Obama-Clinton Era will come to be seen by political historians as when the Democratic Party returned to the roots of the New Deal for the 21st century. Big Government is now back in vogue and acceptable complimented by big visionary liberal ideas and principles that government can be a force for good in the life of the people, not as the Republican Party views the role of government as overwhelmingly negative and hostile to all projects and programmes that emerge from the public sector. Indeed, if Mrs Clinton succeeds in November and becomes the first female President of the United States she will also have pulled of a victory not seen since the days of FDR and Harry Truman. The only time the Democrats have won more than two Presidential terms in a row was under FDR and Harry Truman.