What’s given season 4 of Scandal a much-needed edge is its spot-on reflection of real life American democracy. First lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) has been dragged through a whirlwind of BS since her husband (Tony Goldwyn) was elected president. In spite of Fitz’s constant betrayal, she’s kept a level head — convinced that a political future of her own would one day make living in the shadows of Olivia Pope worth it.
(For more reasons than the obvious) Mellie’s story bears a striking resemblance to Hillary Clinton — one of the baddest First Ladies ever. Since history could soon be made — on and off-screen — let’s take a look at what makes them both fit to rule the world.
They refuse domestic roles
Neither Mellie nor Hillary show much interest in throwing tea parties or appearing on daytime talk shows. They’d much rather be weighing in on policy and rolling up their sleeves on issues with real impact. Though Mellie plays her part to satisfy the media and pacify Fitz’s’ insecurities, she’s getting her ducks in a row for when its her turn to shine. Hillary devoted her time in office in a very similar way, only way less secretive.
They’ve made tremendous sacrifices
Both Mellie and Hillary had promising careers pre-Oval Office. Throughout the show, Mellie boasts about being partner at a firm while Yale grad Hillary maintained a solid career before and directly after her time in the White House. While occupying the role of First Lady, both women made big time sacrifices, buried some dark secrets, and put their personal aspirations on pause to attend dinners and kiss babies. It’s a thankless job, but Mellie and Hillary have expertly discovered ways to maximize their influence and (indirectly) make shit happen.
They proudly overstep their boundaries
Let’s face it: Fitz is an awful President. The man can’t even decide what tie to wear without a meeting of the minds. Mellie, on the other hand, is decisive, strategic, and swerves away from any obstacle in her way. She can talk china patterns as effortlessly and well-informed as she can foreign policy, and has all the natural born qualities that would make her a much better leader than her husband. We see those same qualities in Hillary, who next to Eleanor Roosevelt, is considered the most empowering First Lady in history. Unlike Fitz, former President Bill Clinton made it clear that Hillary was his right-hand — letting the voting public know that they’d be getting a “two-for-one” deal with him in office. If memory serves, “Billary” did have a nice ring to it!
They’ve found true purpose
Being subjected to humiliation for a scandalous affair you didn’t even have can’t possibly be easy. But Mellie and Hillary made the decision to be better, not bitter, and forged ahead with a new purpose. Now that they’ve survived the aftermath of their husbands’ widely publicized sex scandals, Mellie and Hillary can ditch the traditionally sexist roles of First Lady and start making contributions equal to their talent.
[Photo Credit: ABC, Ryan J. Williams/VH1]