Hillary Clinton may have a very tiny ally in her corner for the 2016 election — her infant granddaughter, Charlotte.
Clinton on Monday pulled out the grandmother card with a simple tweet
following a day of intense arguments between Republican hopefuls over the childhood vaccination issue, reports Politico
And with that statement and the catchy new hashtag, Clinton reached millions of followers, with more than 32,000 re-tweeting it and making her grandmother tweet her most shared since 2014, when she teased Fox during the Super Bowl.
Backers are saying the tweet may be putting a new spin on her likely 2016 candidacy, as well as a look at how she'll control attacks on her age, reports Politico. Further, backers said it shows she plans to use her family, including her only grandchild, as part of her campaign message.
"It does tap into something that is potentially really powerful for her in terms of how she connects, and how she communicates," Chris Lehane, a Democrat strategist and alum of President Bill Clinton's White House, told Politico. "When she offers a theory of government and connects it to her biography, in particular being a mom and a grandma, and talking about intergenerational equity issues and the possibility to do right by your kids — the combination there is a really, really powerful way to communicate."
This isn't the first time Clinton's referred to her new status as a grandmother in a political statement, as she's cited the child, whose parents are former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, in several public appearances already as her inspiration.
"When you have this little baby, you spend a lot of time just staring at her. You really resolve, as her parents and grandparents … [to] do whatever we can to make sure she has the opportunities she deserves to have," Clinton said told a New Hampshire audience in November.
But Republican critics were quick to criticize her tweet and her new hashtag as ringing artificial, including Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol
, who tweeted:
Clinton herself has remained largely silent on her plans for 2016, with Democrat sources
now saying she may not announce her candidacy until July. Further, she very rarely tweets, so when she does, her backers and opponents both see them as clues to her strategy.
"She's demonstrating extreme caution both in how she is engaging on issues and in the way she frames them," said Tim Miller of the Republican opposition research firm America Rising. "An 11 p.m. tweet that reverses her previous position on the issue and reads like it was crafted by committee doesn't exactly scream 'authenticity.'"
Miller was referring to a statement Clinton made back in 2008 about being committed to finding the reasons for autism, including taking a look at childhood vaccinations.
At the time, while responding to a questionnaire from an autism advocacy group, Clinton wrote: "We don't know what, if any, kind of link there is between vaccines and autism — but we should find out," reports Mother Jones
However, she does have a history of supporting vaccination efforts, spearheading the Childhood Immunization Initiative and the Vaccines for Children program in 1993.
She has also been a strong voice for families dealing with autism, Mother Jones points out, including calling in 2007 for $700 million a year for funding education and research.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.