Hillary Clinton's Campaign Nixed Airing a Video About Her Mom at the DNC Last Minute

Screengrab via The Daily Beast.
Screengrab via The Daily Beast.

Dorothy Rodham was born on the same day that the 19th amendment—which, as a reminder, guaranteed women the right to vote—was ratified by the United States. She died in 2011, before she could see her daughter successfully run her second presidential campaign. Her story was meant to be shown to Hillary’s supporters, but it didn’t make the cut.


Dorothy Rodham had a tough road, abandoned by her parents at age eight, then sent to work at age 14. The video connects Dorothy’s feminist awakening to her daughter’s rejection after writing to NASA about wanting to be an astronaut, and from there they go into Hillary’s other feminist inspirations. That includes Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart, Margaret Chase Smith, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Sally Ride, Maya Angelou, Delores Huerta, Geraldine Ferraro, and even a picture of her conversing with Mother Teresa.

The Daily Beast has the exclusive footage for now, which features lots of adorable photos of Hillary and Dorothy together, like this one:

Screengrab via The Daily Beast.
Screengrab via The Daily Beast.

And guess who pops up to narrate? Meryl Streep.

So, why were Meryl and Dorothy cut? In place of the video, Streep did get in there to introduce Alicia Keys, who maybe plays better with young audiences than a documentary about a mom. The Daily Beast reports that sources close to the campaign repeated rumors that the video was seen as too “soft or too feminist a vision of the woman who would become the first female commander in chief.” A spokesman for the campaign officially told them:

“There were a number of options how to celebrate the historic moment last night... Ultimately we chose the best option for the amount of space available in the program.”

It is a heartwarming video, one that gets a little lost as it tries to include every type of woman the copywriters could think of, with Streep reciting, “Tonight we say thank you to all the women who would not take no for an answer: You dreamers and schemers, you rabble rousers and hell raisers, you petticoat abolitionists, you chain-smoking pants wearing exhibitionists, you educators, agitators and aviators, you risk-takers, you rule breakers, you unlikely heroes...” And, etc.

To hear the full litany of all the types who got Hillary Clinton this far, including her mom, go here.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin



Yeah, because female achievement is still too radical and aggressive for the mainstream audience. One day at a time. And until then...