Hillary Clinton compared Donald Trump to Richard Nixon in a fiery commencement speech at her alma mater Wellesley College on Friday.
The former First Lady and presidential candidate talked about her mistrust in authority in the midst of the Vietnam War when she was graduated in 1969. Clinton recalled she and other students “were furious about the past presidential election of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice, after firing the person running the investigation into him at the Department of Justice.”
The parallel was clear: President Trump recently fired FBI Director James Comey, who was conducting an investigation into ex-national security advisor Michael Flynn.
“Let’s call it what it is, it’s a con. They don’t even try to hide it,” Clinton said of the Trump administration. “They attempt to control reality. Not just our laws and our rights and our budgets, but our thoughts and beliefs.”
It took Clinton several months after she lost the election to return to the public spotlight. But recently, she’s been making more and more public appearances, and it’s clear from this commencement address that she is ready to fight the current administration. Clinton also took shots at Trump’s budget proposal, calling it “an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us — the youngest, the oldest, the poorest, and hard working people who need a little help to gain or hang on to a decent, middle-class life.”
She spoke about her experiences after losing the presidential election, and how she coped with the unexpected loss. “You may have heard that things didn’t exactly go the way I planned,” she joked. “But you know what? I’m doing okay.”
If there’s one thing Clinton loves to talk about, it’s her grandchildren, and this commencement address was no exception. “I’ve gotten to spend time with my family, especially my amazing grandchildren. I was going to give the entire commencement speech about them, but was talked out of it,” she said. “Long walks in the woods, organizing my closets… I won’t lie, chardonnay helped, too,” she said. (That last comment got a huge cheer from the crowd).
But Clinton said what helped most of all was remembering “who I am, where I come from and what I believe.”
Off that point, Clinton recently rolled out “Onward Together,” a jump-off from her campaign. The new organization’s mission is to “advance progressive values and work to build a brighter future for generations to come.”
She ended her address with a reference back to the speech she gave 48 years ago as a graduating student. “When I graduated and made that speech, I did say–and some of you might have pictures of that day with this on it– the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible. That was true then, it’s truer today.”