When he ran for president in 1992 Bill Clinton promised the nation that they would “get two for the price of one.” With a job approval rating of 66 percent at the end of his second term, most would agree he kept his guarantee. Today speculations are circulating among almost every media outlet that Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, former U.S. Senator and former First Lady, will be running for the 2016 presidential election. A proposed barrier to her candidacy is the amount of wealth that “Billary,” an amalgamation of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s names, have accumulated since leaving office. Since leaving office, it is estimated that Bill Clinton has earned over $125 million. Hillary Clinton’s estimated net worth is more than $20 million. Despite entering the White House in 1993 as ,what Bill Clinton claims, the first family with the lowest net worth, the Clinton’s have done well. Some experts believe this makes Hillary unable to connect with the average working class American. Here are a few reasons why “Biillary” Clinton’s, both Bill and Hillary, wealth may not matter in the 2016 presidential election.
Just as the term “Billary” suggest many voters will see them as a package deal, it is hard to separate Hillary Clinton from her husband’s presidency. She was the only First Lady to have an office in the West Wing. She was one of the most active First Ladies in history. Twelve years before the Affordable Care Act was passed Hillary headed a task force for Health Care Reform. She testified before congress bringing national attention to the health care crisis many average Americans face. Then in 1997 she initiated the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Through this program millions of the working class children received health care coverage.
Another hallmark of the “Billary” presidency is America experienced its longest peacetime and economic expansion period, and this is another reason why Hillary Clinton’s wealth may not matter when it is time for the election. During her time as First Lady the first balanced budget was signed since 1969. This was reflected in other forms of every day American life. Unemployment experienced a 40-year low at 5 percent. More than 20 million jobs had been created during Bill Clinton’s terms as president. Construction jobs, a blue collar field, experienced the fastest growth. Inflation was at it is lowest since the 1960’s.
A hot button issue Americans are likely going to want to talk about during the 2016 election is the widening wage gap and lack of wage growth. During the Clinton presidency wages grew faster and longer than any other presidency. Wages grew faster than the rate of inflation for four consecutive years. America had not seen that type of wage growth since the 1970s. Hillary has always been an advocate for gender wage equality. She worked with major corporations to develop more family friendly work environments, and during the Clinton presidency the Family and Medical Leave Act was passed. At the time that required the employers to provide unpaid leave for the birth of a child.
In 2008, when Hillary Clinton was sworn in as U.S. Secretary of State, she had an approval rating of 65 percent from the public. Just one year earlier she had earned over $10 million for the book Living History. Hillary Clinton has a track record of not only doing well for herself, but also doing well by the American people. This is why the “Billary’s” wealth may not matter if Hillary Clinton does decide to run in the 2016 presidential election.
By Ashley Poag