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Petty attacks on Hillary just won't matter

By Burns Strider
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 0511 GMT (1311 HKT)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years.
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Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Photos: Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Photos: Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Burns Strider says Republican attacks on the Clintons' wealth won't stick
  • That's in contrast to Hillary's lifelong work championing the middle class, he says
  • Strider: Her record should deflate any smoke-and-mirrors attack by the right wing

Editor's note: Burns Strider is senior adviser to Correct The Record and the executive vice president of American Bridge. He is the founder and principal of Eleison Group, a political consulting firm focused on faith and values. Strider served as senior adviser and director of faith outreach to Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for president. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- There has been a lot of talk by the right wing recently about the success of Hillary and Bill Clinton since they left the White House.

Republicans are denouncing her personal wealth. They're attacking someone for achieving the American Dream. They're upset that Bill Clinton is buying American-made watches, manufactured in Detroit, to give to his friends.

But here's the thing about these petty attacks: bottom line, that dog just won't hunt. Americans know it because they know the Clintons. We all know Hillary Clinton never stops looking to the future and never stops putting people first.

Opinion: It's about opportunity, stupid: Why Clinton's comments matter

It doesn't take much to see these attacks for what they are. Republicans are emphasizing the financial success of the Clintons to diminish Hillary Clinton's greatest strengths -- particularly her lifelong record fighting for working people and middle-class families. Republicans want us to think, somehow, that Hillary Clinton has not been fighting for all of us for the past four decades. We know better.

Burns Strider
Burns Strider

Hillary Clinton's entire being -- her lifetime history -- reflects her commitment to ensuring that the ability to get ahead should be determined by hard work, ambition and goals, not by circumstances. In the '70s, Hillary took her first job at the Children's Defense Fund to advocate for better education and health for children. She worked to expand health care in rural Arkansas, where it was not readily available to all.

In the '80s, Hillary co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and helped found Arkansas' first rape hotline.

In the '90s, Hillary helped create the State Children's Health Insurance Program and she helped expand Head Start for low-income working families and provide after-school opportunities for older children.

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In the early 2000s, Hillary led the charge in the Senate for equal pay for equal work; she fought to expand health care for National Guard members and reservists; she secured funding for 9/11 first responders.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton tirelessly engaged in diplomacy abroad in an effort to bring jobs to the United States.

That's four decades' worth of work on behalf of the American people -- a record that should deflate any smoke and mirrors attack by the right wing.

Yes, the Clintons have become financially successful -- and they've used their success to do even more good. Between 2000 and 2007 alone, the Clintons donated over $10 million to charity. Hillary Clinton has, on multiple occasions, raised more money for charity in one night than most people do in a lifetime.

While the right wing remains focused on making sure the top 1% of income earners can keep their Bush tax cuts, Hillary Clinton continues her work today to make sure that other people get the chance to live the American Dream that she has experienced.

Working hard, reaching for the stars, and then giving back are profoundly American values. The Clintons embody this in all that they do, and Republican attempts to distract from that don't even cut butter.

Americans know -- hands down -- that Hillary Clinton will continue looking to the future, fighting for the middle class, and putting first the lives of all Americans.

How Hillary Clinton flubbed the wealth question

Opinion: It's about opportunity, stupid: Why Clinton's comments matter

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