RALEIGH, N.C. — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two wealthy one-percenters who inhabit parallel bubbles of New York privilege.
For Trump, the gross display of wealth is his gold-encrusted calling card. For Clinton, her Hamptons friends and multi-mansion lifestyle (she closed on a third house in Chappaqua for $1.16 million last month to widen her compound), have been a political liability as she struggles to credibly champion working-class voters.
But on the debate stage Monday and on the campaign trail in North Carolina on Tuesday, Clinton made a strategic shift to show her privilege as different from his: The Clintons came from nothing and lived the American dream; Trump, she said, was just born that way.
“Bill and I have been blessed,” Clinton said at a community college gymnasium here in Raleigh, speaking to a crowd of about 1,400 supporters, where she touted her plans for paid family leave and debt-free college. “We didn’t come from millionaire families. My husband’s father died before he was born.”
Clinton, who has made her own parents’ stories central to her campaign this cycle, rarely mentions William Jefferson Blythe, the traveling Arkansas salesman, killed in a car accident, who was Bill Clinton’s biological father, or Roger Clinton, the alcoholic stepfather who helped to raise him.
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