Hillary Rodham Clinton, you're no Franklin Delano Roosevelt

In her political life, Hillary Clinton has made a show of “standing by her man” (in college, the radical Saul Alinsky and in crisis, her husband, Bill). For her June 13 public rally formally announcing her presidential run, she has a new man she is standing by. But as with the others, she falls far short of possessing his political skills.

Hillary’s new man is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Her announcement event will be at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan.

FDR is a progressive deity. He expanded big government’s role in the economy, inveighed against Wall Street, banks and the wealthy, hiked taxes on multimillionaires, tried to pack the Supreme Court with liberal justices, led the nation during a world war, and, according to Wikipedia, “His program for relief, recovery and reform, known as the New Deal” built a coalition “that united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans, and rural white Southerners.”

The problem with Hillary Clinton’s Roosevelt worship is that she aspires to their power without possessing any of their political prowess.

These are all dreams of Hillary Clinton, who admires not just FDR but also his wife, Eleanor, whom Hillary often quotes, particularly Mrs. Roosevelt’s observation that women in politics need “to develop skin as tough as rhinoceros hide."

Clinton has said, "I think we just need to get back into that can-do, problem-solving spirit that the Roosevelts exemplified."

The problem with Hillary Clinton’s Roosevelt worship is that she aspires to their power without possessing any of their political prowess.

Both Roosevelts were eloquent, inspiring public speakers. Clinton, on the other hand, is prone to making patently inauthentic, pandering and inept remarks that only compound suspicions about her trustworthiness, sincerity and judgment.

For example, in her April 12 video announcing her presidential bid she said, “I'm running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”

Contrast this with the screaming incongruity of what The New York Times reported: “Mrs. Clinton has come under criticism for delivering speeches to Wall Street banks at more than $200,000 each, roughly four times the median annual household income in the United States, and for comments she made about her family’s financial situation, including a lament about being “dead broke” after leaving the White House. And she must convince a middle class that feels frustrated and left behind that she understands its struggles, even as she relies heavily on the financial industry and corporate interests to fund her candidacy.”

And add to that a recent CNN/ORC International poll which found that, “A growing number of people say [Hillary Clinton] is not honest and trustworthy (57%, up from 49% in March), less than half feel she cares about people like them (47%, down from 53% last July) and more now feel she does not inspire confidence (50%, up from 42% last March).”

While he had his harsh (and justified) critics, public trust and affection for FDR was such that he was elected president an unprecedented four times.

Further contrast Clinton’s public record against FDR’s four freedoms, highlighted in his 1941 State of the Union address:

While FDR, called for “freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world,” Clinton advocates changing the Constitution’s free speech First Amendment because, she says, 'We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment.” Of course, she wants to do that after she finishes milking every unaccountable stratagem to raise and spend as much as $1.7-billion on her own presidential campaign.

FDR’s second freedom was “freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.” But Clinton has sharply criticized freedom of religion assertions, including the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.

FDR’s third freedom was “freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.”

But Clinton has become so captive to the protectionism of unions and leftists in the Democratic Party that she has failed to endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation agreement that—as secretary of state—she strongly favored, saying it “sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade.” Even President Obama has insisted that the TPP will boost jobs and the economy and he added, “Let’s just do it.”

FDR’s fourth freedom was “freedom from fear"—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.” But Clinton’s lack of effectiveness as secretary of state fomented fear, not freedom, in crisis spots around the world including: her dithering as Iran built up its nuclear capacity (while threatening Israel with annihilation); her fecklessness in the Benghazi, Libya attack that killed four Americans; her mishandling of the “reset” with Russia; and her mischaracterization of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad as a “reformer.”

Susan Glasser, editor of Politico magazine, has written, "Certainly, even many of her most ardent defenders recognize Hillary Clinton had no single accomplishment at the State Department to her name, no indelible peace sealed with her handshake, no war averted, no nuclear crisis defused."

On June 13, when Hillary Clinton attempts to portray her record and her policy proposals as in the Roosevelt tradition, it will likely be transparently self-serving and inauthentic—rhetoric without reality. It will very likely alienate rather than affiliate Clinton from demonstrating that she truly cares about people rather than power because, in the words of her hero FDR, “Self interest is the enemy of all true affection.”