67-year-old Merkel stepped down from her role on Wednesday, bringing to an end her 16-year tenure as Germany’s political leader. She will be succeeded by Olaf Scholz as chancellor, a member of the left-leaning Social Democratic Party.
Clinton paid her tributes to Merkel’s reign on Wednesday but numerous people noticed that that the former Democratic presidential candidate appeared to have taken a pop at her old rival, Trump.
The former first lady wrote: “After a decade and a half in power, Angela Merkel passes on the chancellorship of Germany today. She led Europe through difficult times with steadiness and bravery, and for four long years, she was the leader of the free world. Thank you, Angela.”
Keen observers noticed that the final sentence of Clinton’s tweet was perhaps a dig at Trump as Merkel was in charge for much longer than fours years and “leader of the free world” is a term more commonly associated with the US president, due to that person leading the world’s largest economy.
Numerous replies to Clinton’s tweet noticed the shade that the 74-year-old was throwing on the 45th POTUS.
Hillary. Correct as usual. Merkel WAS effectively ”leader of the free world” for four long years. Guess which years. https://t.co/gCcyLmJlOt
— Maggie Klaus 🏄♀️ (@Maggie Klaus 🏄♀️)
As Fox News notes, Clinton is hardly the first person to refer to Merkel as leader of the free world. In 2017, CNN anchor Jake Tapper, while criticising Trump at an SXSW event in Texas, said: “It’s a difficult environment when the commander in chief of the country, I’d say, Leader of the Free World, but I think that’s Angela Merkel now, [he] hears anything he doesn’t like and calls it, ‘fake news.’”
A 2016 Washington Post report also said; “Merkel ‘became leader of the free world’” during Trump’s time in the White House.
Clinton’s tweet came on the same day that she revealed what would have been her victory speech if she had won the 2016 presidential election. “We will not be defined only by our differences,” an emotional Clinton said in the Masterclass clip which was released by The Today Show. “We will not be an us-versus-them country. The American dream is big enough for everyone. Through a long, hard campaign, we were challenged to choose between two very different visions for America.”