If anyone was going to get Hillary Clinton to ‘whip’ and ‘nae nae’ in a solid blue pantsuit on national television, it was going to be Ellen DeGeneres.
Your reaction probably went like so:
- You watched in disbelief
- You began laughing the way you would at your dad for trying to properly execute the term “on fleek” in a sentence.
- Then promptly shared the video with your friends.
But when the joke was over it most likely didn’t sway your opinion one way or another of the former Secretary of State, who has made every effort to hit the ‘millennial voter’ jackpot.
But is it working?
In an interview with Refinery29, Adrienne Kimmell, executive director of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation said, “For young women, electing a woman president is not only about the status of being the ‘first.’ It’s about being in touch with their lives.”
However, ‘being in touch’ requires more than just a Snapchat in today’s political landscape. It requires evidence of trustworthiness.
As Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman said on MSNBC’s Hardball last week, “Without excusing anything that Hillary may have done about the emails themselves—this whole story plays into what everybody finds somewhat objectionable about politics itself, the state of politics today, and what people know about Hillary Clinton. As Hillary Clinton said herself ‘You know I’ve been around for a long time, I’ve faced a lot of these controversies before.’ There’s probably nobody under the age of 25 who doesn’t have a firm opinion about Hillary Clinton one way or another. And one of the things about Hillary—that like the Clintons—they play it by their own rules a little bit, that they cut some corners here and there, that there’s a sort of inside game and what could be more symbolically inside than secret emails?”
Fineman, who is neither a millennial nor a woman, expressed his view that the email controversy is more about putting Hillary back in a pool of politicians you can’t trust. Perhaps making some women say, “Yes I want a woman president, but not Hillary.”
And even after Clinton’s appearance on the Ellen Show (and apologizing for the emails on ABC News), recent polls are showing that she is behind Bernie Sanders.
According to the CBS/YouGov poll of 646 people likely to participate in the Iowa caucus, she trails behind Bernie Sanders– 43 percent to 33 percent.
In New Hampshire a recent poll of 548 Democratic primary voters, Sanders widens the gap at 52 percent to 30 percent.
What Hillary does have working for her is a historical rhetoric advocating for women’s rights dating back long before she entered the 2016 campaign.
She’s spoken up about the wage-gap, women’s education, women’s right to health, and violence against women, as it relates both to American women and women worldwide.
Perhaps more memorable than her “what difference does it make?” moment, is this quote, which lives at the forefront of many supporters’ minds and Instagram accounts.
Things like this leave some millennial women to feel that while she may not be the best woman, she is the best option.
According to the aforementioned Refinery29 study, Hillary Clinton is the favorite among Elizabeth Warren, Carly Fiorina, Sarah Palin, other, and herself.
Whether or not millennial women see her as not just ‘the best female option,’ but the best overall option is still to be determined. How she rectifies the reemerging controversies of her past along with her voting record will decide if she moves back into her old House or have time to practice her dance moves in retirement.