New Hampshire Dems drop Bill Clinton’s name from annual gala
New Hampshire Democrats announced Tuesday they’ve dropped former President Bill Clinton’s name from their annual fall gala.
Their big fundraiser will now be called the “Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner,” in honor of the former first lady and diplomat.
For the past two years, the event had been called the “Kennedy-Clinton Dinner” to recognize former President John F. Kennedy and Clinton.
State party chairman Raymond Buckley insisted there was no particular reason for the name change.
“We are proud to honor Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman revered around the world for her bold leadership and tireless efforts to create justice,” according to a statement by Buckley. “She dedicated her life to helping all hard-working Americans and all those who needed a champion.”
The state party executive committee voted for the “Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner” over three over nominees – the “Victory Dinner,” the “Unity Dinner” and the “Democracy for All” dinner.
The name change has come as Clinton feels more heat from #MeToo activists over his 1990s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a one-time Clinton protege and potential 2020 president candidate, stunned party insiders earlier this year when he said Clinton should have stepped down when the intern tryst became known.
New Hampshire played a key role in Clinton’s election in 1992. Clinton finished a strong second in the Granite State primary and labeled himself “The Comeback Kid,” launching him to eventual victory.
The state party’s move also removes the name of the 35th president from the dinner. While JFK’s name isn’t associated with workplace sexual harassment, Jack’s philandering has been known for decades.
Terry Shumaker, a Granite State Democrat who served as a US Ambassador in the Clinton administration, was disappointed by the name change – but said it really doesn’t matter.
“But in the greater scheme of things I think President Clinton would agree with me that it is more important we elect Democrats in the fall given who is in the White House versus which figures from the past we name a political dinner after,” he told the Boston Globe.
The first year of the dinner was in 1991 when it was called the “Jefferson-Jackson Dinner,” after Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, early founders of what would become the Democratic Party.
When party activists complained that both men were slave owners, it was changed two years ago to the “Kennedy-Clinton Dinner.”
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