President Donald Trump teased a “very, very important” pardon this week, sparking speculation among his detractors that could be planning an inappropriate order.
Instead, he issued a posthumous pardon for famed feminist icon Susan B. Anthony during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“A full and complete pardon”
Anthony was arrested in 1872 for casting a ballot in Rochester, New York, at a time when the state law prohibited women from voting.
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women’s suffrage, the president issued his pardon.
“She was guilty for voting, and we are going to be signing a full and complete pardon, and I think that’s really fantastic,” he said. “She deserves it.”
Trump’s critics have previously denounced his use of pardon power, arguing he has abused it to benefit his allies and his own political fortunes.
As might be expected, his latest move also attracted backlash from those who felt the pardon was motivated by Trump’s effort to appeal to suburban women ahead of November’s election.
“To honor the many brave women”
The president has frequently cited this demographic in recent statements and tweets, declaring that he has done more for women than “just about any president” in the nation’s history and swearing to protect the “suburban housewife” from what he described as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s destructive policies.
“As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of women’s voting rights, we should build a BEAUTIFUL STATUE in Washington D.C. to honor the many brave women who made this possible for our GREAT COUNTRY,” he tweeted. “Congress should send me H.R.473 ASAP and make this happen! It will INSPIRE all women to continue being bold and brave in achieving their DREAMS!”
To be sure, the Trump campaign is conducting outreach to women voters — as any smart candidate would.
Explaining why he believes his policies would benefit them more than his opponent’s platform is precisely what the president and his team should be doing with less than three months until Election Day.
As the Democratic Party has shown throughout his first term, however, they will not pass up any opportunity to criticize this administration.