For the past year, American voters have been inundated with information and opinion about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It can be daunting to sift through it all; and sometimes it’s worth clearing your mind and taking a fresh look at these two candidates. Let’s start with their own words, circa 1997.


This Medium post from David Nexon is revealing:

As Senator Ted Kennedy’s health care staff director, I had a front-row seat to the decades-long battle he fought to give every American access to quality, affordable health care. But Senator Kennedy didn’t wage this fight alone. Hillary Clinton was there when it counted. As Senator Kennedy said, “The children’s health program wouldn’t be in existence today if we didn’t have Hillary pushing for it from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.”

It got me thinking: Hillary’s role in securing health coverage for millions of children is enough of a legacy for several lifetimes. She could have stopped there and justifiably said her life’s purpose was fulfilled. As we well know, she was just getting started: In the decades since, she has championed women’s and children’s causes across the globe and continued to fight for their future — and ours.

Nexon’s piece prompted me to do some research into CHIP and I came across a 1997 Hillary op-ed in the New York Times. For the sake of comparison, I searched for Donald’s writing during the same time period and discovered that his book, The Art of the Comeback, was published in 1997.

So let’s contrast their words:

HILLARY:

The historic balanced budget bill that the President is set to sign today offers hope that as many as five million uninsured boys and girls will receive the health care they need, from checkups to antibiotics to complicated surgery. The bipartisan legislation could move the United States closer to shedding its status as the only Western industrialized nation that does not provide basic health benefits to all children.

DONALD:

The [1997 Miss Universe] pageant in Miami Beach, my first as owner, was a huge success. We’d sold out the house; it was a mob scene. From my position offstage, I was able to glance up to the greenroom occasionally. I could just see Alicia Machado, the current Miss Universe, sitting there plumply.

HILLARY:

While $24 billion in Federal aid over five years should be a significant incentive, dollars alone may not induce participation across the board. That’s why our most urgent task is to educate citizens, especially parents, about what is at stake, and to encourage state officials to join the program and assure adequate benefits for all children.

DONALD:

God, what problems I had with this woman. First, she wins. Second, she gains 50 pounds. Third, I urge the committee not to fire her. Fourth, I go to the gym with her, in a show of support. Final act: She trashes me in The Washington Post — after I stood by her the entire time. What’s wrong with this picture?

HILLARY:

Now we have a chance to build on these achievements in the most profound way yet: by giving millions of children access to the health care they deserve and by offering them genuine hope for a healthy future. It’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.

DONALD:

Anyway, the best part about the evening was the knowledge that next year, she would no longer be Miss Universe.

Does America really need to know anything more about these two candidates to make a decision?