Hillary Clinton Hashtag #HillarySoQualified Goes Viral, Which Is Bad News For Her

Hillary Clinton supporter Kim Frederick was “livid.” As she told the Washington Post, Frederick was angry about the attacks on Mrs. Clinton, the current Democratic front-runner for president, from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

In a speech carried by CNN, Sanders responded to a claim that Clinton had allegedly declared him to be “unqualified” to be president.

“[Hillary Clinton] has been saying lately that she thinks I am quote-unquote not qualified to be president. Let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton, I don’t believe that she is qualified if she is through her super PAC taking tens of millions of dollars in special-interest money. I don’t think you are qualified if you get $15 million through Wall Street for your super PAC.”

As Frederick told the Post, she responded with a tweet supporting Clinton with the hashtag #HillarySoQualified. It quickly went viral.

At first, the hashtag worked in Clinton’s favor, as supporters tweeted favorably.

But as the Post reported, it quickly backfired against Clinton, as Sanders supporters began using it against her.

“Every grievance, real or imagined, anyone ever had against the candidate, it seemed, could be sarcastically aired under this big tent. By early Thursday, more than 90,000 tweets, many of them decidedly Clinton-unfriendly, had gone out under the #HillarySoQualified banner.”

The #HillarySoQualified frenzy is reflective of a negative turn in the campaign and a far cry from the first Democratic debate last year when Sanders defended Hillary Clinton.

But now, the distance between Clinton and Sanders could not be greater. Chuck Todd of NBC News noted the contrast from the 2008 primaries: While Hillary Clinton’s race against Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries got testy, neither candidate ever claimed that the other was “unqualified.”

Hillary Clinton challenged by Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton challenged by Bernie Sanders and his strong support from young people [Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images]

But as Todd also discovered, there are two ironies to the current controversy. First, Clinton never said that Bernie Sanders was “unqualified” to be president. The closest she came was when she was asked about it by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC.

“Well, let me put it this way, Joe. I think that what he has been saying about the core issue in his whole campaign doesn’t seem to be rooted in an understanding of either the law or the practical ways you get something done. And I will leave it to voters to decide who of us can do the job that the country needs, who can do all aspects of the job, both on the economic domestic issues and on national security and foreign policy.”

Second, Todd noted that the reasons Sanders gave for Hillary Clinton allegedly being “unqualified,” including having a Super PAC and taking campaign money from Wall Street, “would also disqualify President Obama.”

The #HillarySoQualified hashtag comes on the heels of Sanders’ victory over Clinton in the Wisconsin primary. Their next contest is April 19 in New York, which Clinton represented in the U.S. Senate from 2001-08, and where Sanders grew up.

Real Clear Politics records only two recent polls for New York. Clinton leads in both by 10 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

What do you think? Is Hillary Clinton qualified to be president? And what about Bernie Sanders?

[Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images]

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