In a recent Facebook post brought to our attention by a reader, the following conversation between Hillary Clinton and Mother Teresa is recounted:
“Why do you think we haven’t had a woman as president yet?” First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton asked her guest over their lunch at the White House in 1995.
The little woman sitting at table with Mrs. Clinton did not hesitate in her reply.
“Because she has probably been aborted,” said Mother Teresa.
For those who vilify Clinton and canonize Teresa, it’s almost too perfect. Here’s their least favorite presidential candidate since the one currently in office being told what’s what by a woman who, to many believers, is the unimpeachable face of morality and goodness. Only...the thing is...I don’t believe that particular exchange ever happened.
The story appears to have been lifted from this piece published Wednesday on Crisis Magazine’s website. (I’m sorry, what is Crisis Magazine?) And though it includes verifiable quotes and facts about Teresa’s 1994 visit to the White House, its lede exchange—the one the Archdiocese of Omaha copied and pasted onto their Facebook feed—is never sourced. When searched, it appears to exist nowhere else on the internet.
Mother Teresa hated abortion. She talked about hating abortion all the time—even calling it “the greatest destroyer of peace today” during that same visit. But no part of me that believes Clinton and Teresa talked about potential female presidents being aborted while eating lunch together 20 years ago. The accompanying photo isn’t even from a lunch meeting—it’s from the dedication of the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children, which Clinton championed. And even if they had eaten lunch together that day, conversation very likely wouldn’t have drifted from the subject at hand to the prospects of the United States having an female president.
There’s just something about the tone of the exchange that feels off. It’s too cinematic. It’s too...sultry, and can easily be imagined having been conducted inside a smoky room illuminated by a dim, yellow-tinted light source. In my mind, Sharon Stone is Hillary Clinton and Lauren Bacall, may she rest in peace, is Mother Teresa.
“Why do you think we haven’t had a woman as president yet?” Clinton asks after taking a sip from her martini. She swirls the single olive around the glass while awaiting her guest’s reply.
“Because she has probably been aborted,” Teresa says with a subtle curl of her lip before reaching across the table and grabbing Clinton’s glass. She finishes it one long, slow swig.
“I didn’t think you drank,” says Clinton, feigning surprise.
“You live the life I live—you see the things I see—day in and day out? If you can get through that without a stiff one every now and then, you’re more of a saint than I am.”
“Last time I checked...you’re not.”
“I think I’ve got a better shot at it than you, Rodham.”
“Fair. But the fact that I’ve been robbed of my drink isn’t helping your case.”
“Well then it looks like someone needs to order two more.”
Hillary smiles. They don’t see eye to eye (in more ways than one), but there’s something about Teresa. There’s just something about her.
“Bill,” Hillary screams. “Two more. Extra dirty this time.”
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via screengrab.