Students Experience Mixed Reactions Following Hillary Clinton’s UC Davis Speech

BY LAUREN JOHNSTON

Hillary Clinton signs copies of her new book, “What Happened.” (John Lamparski/WireImage). 

On Oct. 9, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at UC Davis as part of her new book tour, “What Happened.” Almost a year post-election, Clinton continues to be one of the most polarizing political figures of our time. In June, only 41 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the former Democratic front-runner, similar to her pre-election approval rating. Unlike most defeated candidates, Clinton’s ratings have shown no increase since the election.

After her speech, Davis Political Review asked Davis students how they felt about Clinton. Interviewees rated her on a scale from one to ten, one being absolute dislike and ten being absolute approval. We asked them to rationalize their rating, to describe their post-election views about her, and to comment on whether or not she has been judged too harshly. We provided anonymity for our interviewees in an effort to encourage more people to respond. Here’s what some of our fellow students had to say:

Interviewee 1:

Rating: 8. She does most things right, although she kind of stole Bernie’s spot and set this country into ruins. She’s done some shady [stuff], but not enough to make her a bad politician.

Post-election views: Have not changed. She’s not as powerful. I wish she didn’t get Bernie’s spot; I didn’t care until she lost.

Was she judged too harshly: Yes.

Interviewee 2:

Rating: 5. She is a politician playing a politician’s game, pretty dishonest. She will say whatever she needs to say to get elected, but she will not run the country into the ground.

Post-election views: Have not changed. I feel bad for her; there is a disproportionate amount of hate for her based off what she deserves. I just want her to go away.

Was she judged too harshly: Yes, she was.

Interviewee 3:

Rating: 10. Yes, I love Hillary Clinton. I was a huge supporter during the election and continue to be even after. I’m a fan…because I believe she is an amazing role model for women everywhere. She has had a very successful career and I admire that she has and continues to be a strong advocate for women. She encourages women and all people to pursue their dreams despite the challenges that may set them back.”

Post-election views: “Have not changed. I loved her then and still love her now.”

Was she judged too harshly: “Yes, I think that Hillary Clinton faced so much scrutiny, especially during the election that would not have occurred if she was not a female candidate. The comments about her dress, how she looks, etc. have never been mentioned about a male presidential candidate, but because she is a woman people believe they can treat her differently. For women in leadership positions, it seems to be so much harder to earn the same respect as men. When a woman like Hillary acts confident, people dislike her. But, when a male exerts confidence, he becomes more likeable. It doesn’t and will never make sense to me, but this was a common theme throughout the whole election. Hillary was judged more harshly than she should have been and being a female candidate, I believe, was one of the causes that led people to make those judgments.”

Interviewee 4:

Rating: “6.5. I don’t hate her, but I don’t love her. She doesn’t know how to connect with people. I feel bad for her because she dedicated so much of her life to this. I liked her because she was the first female candidate, but not really her as a person.”

Post-election views: “I’m not her biggest fan. I don’t like that she started a book tour. It kind of feels like it was her last effort to make more money based off of what happened.”

Was she judged too harshly: “I do believe she was judged more harshly. They judged her for every little thing when she was running against Trump, who was not only disrespectful, but also completely unqualified. I believe our country still can’t accept having a female president and that she had that against her from the start.”

Interviewee 5:

Rating: “5. Political parties in the US have drifted away from what they were intended to do. Clinton was a spearhead proponent of a lot of corruption and overlooking some of the wrongs that are happening in government. I don’t like the fact you have to back Hillary or face a Republican world, but I’m not a fan of her in general.”

Post-election views: “Have not changed.”

Was she judged too harshly: “Yes, she was judged too harshly.”

Clinton’s full speech at Davis can be viewed here.  

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