You know the old saying: You can fly the candidate into Tuzla with her daughter under a hail of non-existent sniper fire, but you can’t take the Tuzla out of the candidate. Perhaps sensing that she needs a resumé enhancement, Hillary Clinton returned to fabulism on the campaign trail eight years after the Tuzla Dash, telling Iowans that all of her grandparents came to the US as immigrants. As BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski painstakingly details, she’s only 25% correct. Kaczynski picked up on this part of her stump speech about just plain folks working, emphasis mine:
We are turning down people who really want to work. I mean they are here to work And a lot of them now have children who are American citizens, and they are doing the best they can to try to make a good life for themselves and their families. And you know, I think if we were to just go around this room, there are a lot of immigrant stories. All my grandparents, you know, came over here and you know my grandfather went to work in lace mill in Scranton, Pennsylvania and worked there until he retired at 65. He started there when he was a teenager and just kept going. So I sit here and I think well you’re talking about the second, third generation. That’s me, that’s you. And we are saying to all these other people who want the same dreams and the same aspirations and the willingness to work hard just like our families did that no, we’re not going to make it easy for you, we’re not going to make it legal for you. And I just think that’s such a short term, unfortunate outcome for us and well as for them.
I’d bet there would be a lot of immigrant stories, and … this would be one of the less-honest ones. Only one of Hillary’s grandparents emigrated to the US; the other three were born in America. Kaczynski produces detailed census records and a draft card to make his case, but it’s not exactly a state secret:
All of the Clinton’s grandparents were born in the United States, “with the exception of Hugh,” Megan Smolenyak, the article’s researcher said. Smolenyak noted seven of Clinton’s eight great-grandparents were immigrants
Donnie Radcliffe, the Washington Post reporter who chronicled first ladies and wrote a biography of Hillary Clinton tells a similar ancestry, tracing only Hugh Rodham Sr. as foreign-born.