CONCORD, N.H. – Former President Bill Clinton’s name no longer adorns the Democratic Party’s major fall fundraising dinner in the state that made him “the comeback kid” and launched him on the road to the White House.
The New Hampshire state party announced Tuesday that their annual Kennedy-Clinton Dinner will now be known as the Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner, in honor of the famous first lady who went on to serve as the first U.S. delegate to the United Nations.
"We are proud to honor Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman revered around the world for her bold leadership and tireless efforts to create justice. She dedicated her life to helping all hard-working Americans and all those who needed a champion," state party Chairman Ray Buckley said in a statement.
The change comes amid the rise of the “Me Too” movement, which has drawn attention to examples of powerful men in politics, media and business who have sexually harassed women in the workplace.
That movement has revived longstanding sexual misconduct allegations against the former president. Clinton has sustained political fallout for years over his affair with Monica Lewinsky and allegations of sexual assault by women such as Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey. (Clinton has apologized for his behavior with Lewinsky, but has denied the Broaddrick and Willey allegations.)
President Trump has also faced -- and denied -- allegations of past sexual misconduct, which have grown since the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.
The New Hampshire name change was months in the making.
Last November, hours before the Kennedy-Clinton dinner was held, the chairwoman of the New Hampshire GOP urged her Democratic counterpart to drop Clinton’s name from the dinner.
And at a major Democratic state party meeting a few weeks after the event was held, a small group of vocal activists staged a small protest urging that Clinton’s name be dropped.
While no action was taken at the time, two top state Democratic Party officials predicted there could be a move to change the dinner’s name in the months to come.
That move happened last week, when the party’s state committee voted to strip the names of both Clinton and the late President John F. Kennedy from the dinner. The state party announced the move on Tuesday.
The renaming of the dinner may sting the 42nd president, as New Hampshire is hallowed ground for Bill Clinton. Following claims from former night club singer Gennifer Flowers that she had a 12-year affair with Clinton, his presidential campaign was at its lowest point in early February 1992, when he arrived in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.
But Clinton’s strong second-place finish in New Hampshire boosted his campaign, lifting him toward the Democratic nomination and eventually the presidency.
Clinton headlined the fall fundraising gathering in 2014, when it was known as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. But two years later, the event was renamed the Kennedy-Clinton dinner when the New Hampshire Democratic Party joined other state parties in stripping the names of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from the annual dinner over their histories as slave owners in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Now the dinner’s named after Roosevelt, the wife of four-term President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She also served as first chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.
Buckley noted that New Hampshire is the first state with an all-Democratic and all-female congressional delegation, and added that “the Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner is particularly fitting given our party’s steadfast commitment to electing Democratic women.”