Is Hugh Rodham At The Debate? Hillary Clinton's Brother Hasn't Been A Political Ally


Historically, Hillary Clinton's family have played varying roles during the election process. We've seen a lot of former president Bill, as well as Chelsea, but Hillary also has two younger brothers, Hugh and Tony Rodham. As the moment, it looks unlikely that Hugh Rodham will be at the first debate.

While Clinton has brought her brothers some fame through her position in politics, it has often been for the wrong reasons. Hugh, or "Hughie" as he's known to friends, first gained a measure of infamy along with another brother, Tony, in 1993, when they tried to get corporate sponsors for inauguration parties. Once the press began picking up on this, they eventually dropped it.

After a successful career as a public defender in Miami, Rodham attempted to become a Florida senator in 1994. He didn't successfully manage to ride his sister's coattails, though, and ended up losing in rather embarrassing fashion. During the rest of Bill Clinton's presidency, the pair of brothers made themselves more and more unpopular, namely by ignoring U.S. foreign policy goals to attempt to make a business deal with an opposition politician in the Republic of Georgia. As Clinton prepared to step down, Rodham took $400,000 in lobbying fees for a presidential pardon — fees that he had to give back when the story surfaced, leaving the First Family enraged.

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

Rodham has lived mostly out of the spotlight since then, with the odd exception of an anti-Obama ad he did for a radio show in 2012 (yes, while Clinton was Secretary of State). He hasn't actively campaigned for his sister this election cycle, although they have met up on the campaign trail.

Between Hugh's questionable business dealings and Tony's marital issues (he was exposed as a part of the 2015 Ashley Madison hack), Hillary Clinton is probably thankful that her brothers have chosen to lay low over the past couple of years, and there's no reason to suspect that anything will change in the upcoming debate. If Hugh does show up, it will undoubtedly only be as moral support, of which Clinton certainly also has plenty of other sources.

One of Donald Trump's favorite issues to zone in on is the various scandals in the Clintons' past, whether or not they were explicitly related to his opponent. In what is sure to be a fiery and tense atmosphere anyway, it is highly unlikely that Clinton would want to introduce another memory of a scandal that Trump could grab onto. No matter how much Hugh loves, respects, and wants to support his sister, he'll probably be doing it from the comfort of his own home.