Hillary and FMLA

More

Dana Goldstein notes the collapse of Hillary Clinton's argument that she played some kind of key role in passing the Family and Medical Leave Act:

Seriously though, a bigger story supposedly "uncovered" in the First Lady papers is that Hillary never held or attended any meetings on the Family Medical Leave Act, which was the first piece of legislation President Bill Clinton signed, 10 days after entering office. Having just written a piece about the FMLA for the upcoming print issue of the Prospect, I can tell you that anyone familiar with the law should have already realized Hillary's very limited involvement. The non-profit organization the National Partnership for Women and Families originally drafted the bill, which was then championed in the House by former Colorado Congresswoman Pat Schroeder and in the Senate by Chris Dodd and Ted Kennedy. These three were at work trying to pass the FMLA from the late-1980s on, while the Clintons were in Arkansas and running a national campaign.

Beyond that, my understanding is that the law actually passed before Bill Clinton was elected:

The bill reached its final form in 1991, passing both houses of Congress only to be vetoed by Bush, who said the bill would tie the hands of businesses. An attempt to override the veto failed, but Congress re-introduced and passed the bin without any major changes in 1992, at the height of the presidential campaign, knowing Bush would veto the bill again and leave himself open to charges that he was "anti-family."

When Clinton won, the law passed again, and he signed it. Given that history, it's just inconceivable that Hillary could have played a large role. Ezra Klein wonders if Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd are supporting Barack Obama in part out of spite because they don't like Clinton claiming credit for their legislative achievements. I don't think you need spite to factor into it -- the essence of the case for Hillary, according to HIllary, is her experience so of course people in a position ot know how tenuous her claims to experience are don't find the case for Hillary all that compelling.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In