Contrary to stump speeches, only one of Hillary’s grandparents was an immigrant.
Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed reports that Hillary’s often-told story about all her grandparents being immigrants is 3/4 false. Only one was.
Speaking in Iowa Wednesday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that all her grandparents had immigrated to the United States, a story that conflicts with public census and other records related to her maternal and paternal grandparents.
The story of her grandmother specifically immigrating is one Clinton has told before. Clinton’s sole foreign-born grandparent, Hugh Rodham Sr., immigrated as a child.”
Extensive public records support Kaczynski’s findings.
Here’s a Buzzfeed video file of Hillary recently telling the story.
There’s also a Youtube video linked by Buzzfeed.
The campaign’s explanation when caught by Buzzfeed?
Wait for it. Wait some more. Here we go: Family Lore.
“Her grandparents always spoke about the immigrant experience and, as a result she has always thought of them as immigrants,” a Clinton spokesman told BuzzFeed News. “As has been correctly pointed out, while her grandfather was an immigrant, it appears that Hillary’s grandmother was born shortly after her parents and siblings arrived in the U.S. in the early 1880s.”
Family lore? Where have I heard that before?
Ed Morrissey points out that while the 3/4 lie is not in itself fatal to Hillary’s campaign, it fits a pattern that is forming the damaging public perception that Hillary is untrustworthy:
Had Hillary noted that she descended from immigrants in the sense that she wouldn’t qualify for the Mayflower society, she’d have been on firm ground. Had she just used her grandfather to speak to the immigrant experience, there would have been no problem. Instead, she exaggerated for effect, making a claim that was easily checked and refuted, all for the sake of scoring a gauzy point in an otherwise forgettable event.
As lies go, this is somewhere between the Tuzla dash and the bombed-out Belfast hotel that wasn’t. The problem for Hillary is that it fits a pattern, and that pattern’s emerging very early in a campaign that has to run for another 18 months. Every time Hillary campaigns, she begins to fantasize about her history and experience in a way that reminds voters about the Clintons and their lack of credibility. Last year, she blew up her book tour by trying to claim that she and Bill left the White House “dead broke,” even though they owned two expensive houses, Hillary had already been elected to the Senate, and both she and Bill immediately began lucrative speaking tours and got huge book advances.
Re-imagining grandparents as immigrants all by itself wouldn’t necessarily be fatal to any candidate, let alone Hillary Clinton, who’s already stretching credulity to the breaking point by running as a populist while locking up all of the establishment backers in the Democratic Party. The problem for Democrats is that it’s not all by itself, and the fabulism problem will only get worse the longer Hillary talks.
Just like the staged coffee shop photo-op, there is very little to Hillary’s campaign that is not packaged and contrived.
How long can that hold up?
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