AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Hillary Clinton is the latest high-profile woman to defend Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who received backlash after footage of her singing and dancing was leaked earlier this month.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted a photo of her dancing in Colombia, borrowing a related quote from the late Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, that reads: “Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”
In 1988, Richards gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention while serving as state treasurer of Texas — a speech seen as a defining moment and launching point for her career.
Richards’ remarks were related to women empowerment — noting Barbara Jordan also made a keynote address at the DNC, making Richards the only other woman to make the keynote speech in 160 years.
“But if you give us the chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels,” Richards said at the DNC.
The quote became famous and symbolic of women empowerment. Clinton ended her tweet with a nod to Finland’s 36-year-old prime minister, telling Marin to “keep dancing.”
Prime Minister Marin has defended herself, saying she was “disappointed” the video of her dancing and singing became public. She told a Finnish newspaper she was not using drugs other than alcohol.
“I have not used drugs myself or anything other than alcohol. I’ve danced, sung and partied and done perfectly legal things. I have also not been in a situation where I would know that others are doing it that way,” Marin said, according to the Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper.
Marin became Finland’s youngest prime minister ever in December 2019 and said she spends her leisure time doing what other young friends her age do. In a tearful speech to her Social Democratic Party last week, the Finnish leader pleaded with the public to judge her by her work and not her social habits.
“I am also human,” Marin said according to Finnish media. “I do my job. I learn from this … but I want to believe that people look at the work we do, not what we do in our free time,” she reportedly said.
Finland is considered to be a strong nation in the European Union in terms of its gender equity, ranking consistently high in the EU’s gender equality index.
Many have criticized Marin, calling the partying video “poor judgement” on her part. At the same time, the video has resonated with women worldwide — posting videos with the hashtag, #solidaritywithsanna.