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Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values

Secretary of State; previously Democratic Senator (NY)


Appointed by Obama as "team of rivals," like Lincoln

Obama easily fielded questions about how he and his aides could work with Clinton after they had belittled her foreign policy credentials during the primaries. He accused reporters of "having fun" by dredging up anti-Clinton quotes made "in the heat of the campaign."

The Obama team had already shrewdly deflected attention away from the politics of the Clinton appointment--whether, for example, Obama was appointing her to remove a potential source of intraparty opposition--by touting the idea of a "team of rivals." That phrase, taken from the title of Doris Kearns Goodwin's book on Abraham Lincoln's Civil War cabinet, gave a grand historical gloss to the uneasy merger of the Obama and Clinton teams, which everyone knew would be carefully scrutinized for any sign of discord.

As applied to the Obama cabinet, "team of rivals" was mostly a marketing concept for a Clinton appointment that would not go down well with the Obama faithful.

Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 11 , Jun 14, 2012

2005 advice to Sen. Obama: avoid limelight & do homework

In Feb. 2005, Obama sought Hillary's advice. Obama knew that his megawatt status could prove problematic. He wanted Hillary's assistance in navigating the minefield stretched out before him.

Clinton believed that success in the Senate required the sublimation of the ego (or a credible facsimile thereof). And the advice she offered Obama based on that theory was clear and bullet-point concise: Keep your head down. Avoid the limelight. Get on the right committees. Go to hearings. Do your homework. Build up a substantive portfolio. And never forget the care and feeding of the people who sent you here.

Clinton appreciated that Obama had sought her counsel, seemed to see him as a budding protege, wanted to take him under her wing. During that first year together in the Senate, he would approach her often on the floor (something he did with other colleagues only rarely), and she always took time to chat with him quietly, to try to steer him in the right direction.

Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p. 24-25 , Jan 11, 2010

On V.P. prospect: "I've already done that job"

[After Hillary withdrew] only one thing mattered: whether Clinton would be Obama's running mate. Many of Clinton's supporters considered the veep slot Hillary's due.

Clinton's ambivalence at the prospect was deep. If Obama offered her the #2 spot, Hillary DID feel she would have to take it--but mainly to avoid being blamed if she declined and then Obama lost. Hillary found it difficult to muster any enthusiasm for it. "I've already done that job," she said.

Obama's view of the matter was complicated, too. He respected and admired Hillary, but he wondered if she would ever be able to see herself as his subordinate. There was also the issue of the baggage she brought: You can't have three presidents in the White House, Obama told some friends.

Obama indicated he was willing to vet her, but that he was unlikely to pick her. Then, as if to make Clinton feel better, but actually putting the sting in the tail, Obama added, "You didn't run to be vice-president."

Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.261 , Jan 11, 2010

OpEd: Whitewater's crime was scamming the poor and gullible

In Whitewater, homes were offered for "sale," the purchase price to be paid in installments. But if a purchaser defaulted on a single monthly payment, there would be no foreclosure proceeding: The purchaser would automatically lose everything invested in the property--the house, the equity, and all prior payments. The small print of the contract said that if a monthly payment was not made within 30 days, all prior "payments made by the purchaser shall be considered as rent for the use of the premises."

The Clintons always loudly boasted that they didn't put any money into Whitewater, as if that fact proved they had clean hands. But Hillary Clinton created the Whitewater Development Corporation, wrote the fine print, and ran it out of the Rose Law Firm.

Source: Guilty, by Ann Coulter, p.185-186 , Nov 10, 2009

Lives by Wesleyan credo: Do all the good you can

We once asked Ann Lewis, Hillary Clinton's friend and adviser, to describe Clinton's political philosophy. She pointed to the words of John Wesley: "Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can." By that, Lewis sought to explain Clinton's devotion to issues like health care, children's well-being, and education. In New Hampshire that John Wesley credo defined her entire candidacy. She would wrest every opportunity out of every minute of every day until the polls had closed and she could no longer affect the outcome.
Source: The Battle for America 2008, by Balz & Johnson, p.140 , Aug 4, 2009

Confidence and optimism enable us to meet our challenges

We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges. Leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America. This won’t be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don’t fight to put a Democrat in the White House.
Source: Speech at 2008 Democratic National Convention , Aug 27, 2008

Enthusiastic when Rep. Rangel suggested NY Senate race

I was in Chicago, at a 1999 rally supporting the re-election of Senator Carol Moseley-Braun. Hillary Clinton was the big draw, and she was good, as she always is. Afterward, I was telling people how good she was, & someone said that she should be running for senator--from Illinois. They allowed me to believe that Hillary had political ambitions, and I immediately jumped on it.

"I hear that you're interested in running for Senator," I said to her.

"What are you talking about?"

"Some people tell me that they were thinking about drafting you here. Well, let me just tell you this: You can be the Senator from Illinois, but the REAL senators are from New York--that's where you should be running from."

And I could tell then, from the awkwardness of th smile on her face, that there was some interest. Hillary turned me over to her chief of staff. "Why don't you let me start filling you in on what's there for her."

"That would be great," she said, enthusiastically. And that's where it began.

Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p.245-6 , Aug 5, 2008

My own crises are nothing compared to what people often face

I’ve lived through some crises and some challenging moments in my life. I am grateful for the support and the prayers of countless Americans. People often ask me, “How do you do it? How do you keep going?” I just have to shake my head in wonderment, because with all of the challenges that I’ve had, they are nothing compared to what I see happening in the lives of Americans every single day. I was honored to be asked to speak at the opening at a center designed to take care of and provide rehabilitation for our brave young men and women who have been injured in war. Those who had lost limbs were trying with great courage to get themselves in without the help of others. Some were in wheelchairs and some were on gurneys. The speaker representing these wounded warriors had had most of his face disfigured by the results of fire from a roadside bomb. The hits I’ve taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin , Feb 21, 2008

Democrats much more in step with America than GOP

Q: Sen. McCain has regularly taken positions that have been not popular with his party. Can you tell us an example of when you stood up against your party?

A: Well, luckily, I agree with my party more than Sen. McCain agrees with his party. You know, I think that the Democratic Party, ever since ‘93, has been a much more focused party on getting results for people. And so, time and time again, I’ve helped shape the policy, I’ve helped advocate for the policy, I’ve helped defend the policy, and I feel very comfortable where I am in the Democratic Party. I want to get more Democrats elected, so I don’t take on my party just for the sake of taking it on. I often try to mold my party and move it so we can agree.

Q: So you think your party’s perfect? You don’t think there’s any point at which your party is out of step with the rest of the country?

A: I think, right now, the Democratic Party is much more in step than the Republicans. Now, back in the ‘90s, we had some problems.

Source: 2008 Politico pre-Potomac Primary interview , Feb 11, 2008

Being the president is much more than being a CEO

Q: Why should you be elected to be CEO of the country?

A: I would say the US government is much more than a business. It is a trust. It is the most complicated organization. But it is not out to make a profit. It is out to help the American people. It is about to stand up for our values & to do what we should at home & around the world to keep faith with who we are as a country. We have a president who basically ran as the CEO, MBA president, and look what we got. I am not too happy about the results.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Los Angeles before Super Tuesday , Jan 31, 2008

Focus on foreign policy and revising executive orders

I will send bipartisan emissaries around the world with a simple message that the era of cowboy diplomacy is over. We’re going to start working together to try and find common ground wherever possible. I will review executive orders, rescind those that undermine the Constitution & betray the rule of law, & issues like not interfering with science. I’ll ask Congress to send me everything that Bush vetoed like stem cell research and begin to prepare my legislative and budget proposals for the Congress.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic Debate , Dec 13, 2007

Owes opportunity for presidency to generations of women

Q: Presidential biographers are always looking at the turning point in a life, the moment where an ordinary person went on the path to the presidency, the decisive moment. What’s the decisive moment in your life?

A: Well, when I was growing up I didn’t think I would run for president, but I could not be standing here without the women’s movement, without generations of women who broke down barriers, the civil rights movement that gave women and people of color the feeling that they were really part of the American dream. So I owe the opportunity that I have here today to many people; some of whom are known to history and many who aren’t. But more personally, I owe it to my mother, who never got a chance to go to college, who had a very difficult childhood, but who gave me a belief that I could do whatever I set my mind to.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week” , Aug 19, 2007

Strong identification with Eleanor Roosevelt

In 1995, Jean Houston [a well-known psychic], caught a glimpse of the large picture of Eleanor Roosevelt in Hillary’s office. Houston, too, was a big fan of the former First Lady, and as a teen had met Eleanor several times. The two formed a strong connection over their shared love of the legendary woman.

On 2/21/93, Hillary mentioned imaginary discussions: “I thought about all the conversations I’ve had in my head with Mrs. Roosevelt this year,” saying she had asked Eleanor questions like, “How did you put up with this?“

To many people, it was fitting that Hillary identified with Eleanor. In April 1995, Jean Houston proposed that Mrs. Clinton ”search further and dig deeper“ for her connections to Mrs. Roosevelt. Houston had Hillary close her eyes, and envision herself in a room with Eleanor, a room where she was free to talk about whatever she wanted.

Pundits ridiculed Hillary; quoting Eleanor was great, but communing with her ”spirit“ was something else entirely.

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.149-153 , Jul 18, 2007

1963: called Saul Alinsky “great seducer” of young minds

Hillary’s church youth minister, Don Jones, took his group to meet the legendary radical and social activist Saul Alinsky. Born in 1909, the often profane, crude, and always irreverent Chicagoan was dedicated to ripping down the “power structure” throughout capitalist America, and he devoted much of his life to organizing demonstrations. Alinsky penned Reveille for Radicals, the 1946 bible of the protest movement, establishing him as “the father of community organizing.”

Hillary would later describe Alinsky as a “great seducer” of young minds. In truth, Jones’s goal in introducing his acolytes to Alinsky could not have been all that religious, since Alinsky was a well-known and committed agnostic Jew. Hillary was among those taken in, so intrigued and impressed by Alinsky that she would later write her college thesis on his strategies.

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p. 18 , Jul 18, 2007

DC home, “Whitehaven”, became center of “Hillaryland”

Some senators live a spartan life in Washington, occupying small, rented apartments, sometimes with roommates. Hillary decided to go the other route. In many ways, her Washington home would become Hillaryland’s most important venue, where money could be raised at night & loyalists could gather over weekends for brainstorming sessions.

To buy a house, she needed a few million dollars. She & Bill had already stretched by paying $1.7 million for a home in Chappaqua. Bill was poised to make lots of money. But in early 2001, the couple was still saddled with significant legal debts of more than $5 million.

In January, 2001, Hillary signed a book contract to tell her story. She was paid an advance of $8 million. Two weeks later, Hillary and Bill paid $2,850,000 to buy a colonial in northwest Washington. The house is named Whitehaven.

In 2006, Whitehaven served as a presidential campaign salon. Immediately after her reelection as senator, Hillary hosted political leaders from NH and IA in her home.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p.220-221 , Jun 8, 2007

1974: Studied Nixon’s White House for impeachment committee

In the 1974 Nixon investigation, Hillary was tasked with putting together an internal memo that laid out the organization of Nixon’s White House. Hillary spent hours listening to the subpoenaed tapes received from the Watergate grand jury. As she did, she got an intimate view of a president practicing the dark art of Washington politics, doing whatever necessary to maintain power. She was particularly astonished when she heard what the lawyers called the “tape of tapes,”-- Nixon listening to the sound of his voice on his own tapes, justifying his recorded comments in an attempt to rewrite history. “It was extraordinary to listen to Nixon’s rehearsal for his own cover-up,” Hillary said later.

They presented proposed articles of impeachment on July 19, 1974, and the House Judiciary Committee approved three of the articles, citing abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and contempt of Congress. Nixon resigned less than a month later.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p. 52 , Jun 8, 2007

Despite critics, fervent believer in public service

The notion of Hillary and Bill Clinton as power-hungry acquisitors with little interest in the public weal save some sort of left-leaning ideology, however, has always been at odds with the facts. Even before they met, each believed fervently in the concept of public service, even the humble nobility of it. The principles that they believed in upon Bill’s election as governor are indicated by the programs he proposed, and the words he (and Hillary) spoke and wrote, especially in his inaugural address: “For as long as I can remember,” he proclaimed, “I have believed passionately in the cause of equal opportunity... I have loved the land, air, and water of Arkansas... I have wished to ease the burdens of life for those who, through no fault of their own, are weak or needy.” Bill, more than Hillary at first, believed also that his message needed to be informed by advanced models of economic development and fewer restraints on investment capital than traditional liberals had advocated.
Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.145-146 , Jun 5, 2007

Prefers role as knowledgeable expert to role of visionary

Few work harder than Hillary Clinton, and few are more determined to learn every detail about an issue. Hillary throws herself at each task, studying the issues until she has a command of all the facts and figures and can discuss them. Her goal is not to understand a problem or policy but to become an expert. Hillary excels at learning, has a curious mind, and unlike most politicians, enjoys the details. She appears more in her element the more intricate or mundane the information gets.

Hillary is always well informed; there is no question about this. However, Hillary has no vision--so she compensates by knowing the facts. She is a learner, a plodder, a regurgitator, and a follower. Someone else has to take the information and turn it into action or ideas for the future. So, she falls back into the role in which she can compete with the best of them--consummate student.

Source: The Extreme Makeover, by Bay Buchanan, p. 13-15 , May 14, 2007

Biggest mistakes: mishandling healthcare; believing in WMDs

Q What is the most significant political or professional mistake you have made in the past four years?

A: Well, I don’t have enough time to tell you all the mistakes I’ve made in the last many years. Certainly, the mistakes I made around health care were deeply troubling to me and interfered with our ability to get our message out. And, you know, believing the president when he said he would go to the United Nations and put inspectors into Iraq to determine whether they had WMD.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC , Apr 26, 2007

Chair of powerful Steering and Coordinating Committee

Senator Clinton chairs the Democratic Steering and Coordinating Committee, where she can wield intimidating power over her colleagues, blocking or advancing their committee assignments. Clinton servitors are all over the Democratic Party, including Hillary’s handpicked moneyman, Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrell, p. 5-6 , Feb 25, 2004

Polarize issues and then compromise on best terms possible

Saul Alinksy wrote, "Compromise carries shades of weakness, vacillation, betrayal of ideals, surrender of moral principles. But to the organizer, compromise is a beautiful word. If you start with nothing, demand 100%, then compromise for 30%, you're 30% ahead."

Hillary holds to another Alinsky tenet: Though activists know that compromise is inevitable, while an issue is in play it is necessary to portray that issue in the most polarizing terms possible. Alinsky noted, "Our cause had to be the Devil; i no way has the cause ever been gray."

This was a message that Hillary daily enacts Alinsky's prescription on the Senate floor, but in a more nuanced way, mixing the sweet with the sour. This formula explains why staid Senate Republicans have such a har time understanding Hillary. How can she be so nice on the floor and then turn around and say these awful things about us? They do not grasp the purpose of agitprop: To force a compromise in her direction, it is first necessary to disturb the peace.

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p. 35 & 51-52 , Feb 25, 2004

Alinsky's Rules: focus on tactics & ongoing confrontation

Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky was the left-wingers' operating manual for revolution. From Alinsky, Hillary derived three rules that sustain her to this very day.
Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p.106-108 , Feb 25, 2004

Alinsky Thesis: merge alien radicalism with US conditions

Many figures have influenced Hillary, but radical activist Saul Alinsky stands before all others. "Alinsky outlines American history focusing on men he would call 'radical,' confronting his readers again with the 'unique' way Americans have synthesized the alien roots of radicalism, Marxism, Utopian socialism, syndicalism, the French Revolution, with their own conditions and experiences," Hillary wrote in her undergraduate thesis.

Alinsky believed that the only thing that could transform social conditions was to organize the oppressed to wrest power from the oppressors. "I agreed with some of Alinsky's ideas," Hillary writes in "Living History". "But we had a fundamental disagreement. He believed you could change the system only from the outside. I didn't."

Hillary the momoirist has good reason to distance herself from Alinsky. But a review of Alinsky's life and writings simply does not support the idea that he would have disapproved of an attempt to change the system from within.

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p.115-118 , Feb 25, 2004

Not happy with what Bill did, but impeachment isn't answer

"You all may be mad at Bill Clinton," I said. "Certainly, I'm not happy about what my husband did. But impeachment is not the answer." I reminded them that we were all American citizens living under the rule of law and that and that we owe it to our system of government to follow the Constitution. The case for impeachment was part of a political war waged by people determined to sabotage the President's agenda. We couldn't let it happen.

We all knew last-ditch efforts to avoid impeachment would fail. I was saddened for my country as our cherished system of laws was abused in what amounted to an attempted congressional coup d'etat. As a law school graduate, I had studied the politically motivated impeachment of President Andrew Jackson. As a member of the congressional staff that had investigated Richard Nixon, I knew how hard we worked to ensure that the impeachment process was fair and conducted according to the Constitution.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.489-490 , Nov 1, 2003

Bill talked about social change; I embodied it

While Bill talked about social change, I embodied it. I represented a fundamental change in the way women functioned in our society. And if my husband won, I would be filling a position in which the duties were not spelled out, but the performance was judged by everybody. I soon realized how many people had a fixed notion of the proper role of a President's wife. I was called a "Rorschach test" for the American public, and it was an apt way of conveying the varied and extreme reactions that I provoked.

Neither the fawning admiration nor the virulent rage seemed close to the truth. I was being labeled and categorized because of my positions and mistakes, and also because I had been turned into a symbol for women of my generation. That's why everything I said or did--and even what I wore--became a hot button for debate.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.110-111 , Nov 1, 2003

I liked headbands; but First Lady's appearance matters

Everything I said or did--and even what I wore--became a hot button for debate. Hair and fashion were my first clues. For most of my life I had paid little attention to my clothes. I liked headbands. They were easy, and I couldn't imagine that they suggested anything good, bad or indifferent about me to the American public. But during the campaign, some of my friends began a mission to spruce up my appearance. They brought me racks of clothes to try on, and they told me the headband had to go.

What they understood, and I didn't, was that a First Lady's appearance matters. I was no longer representing only myself. I was asking the American people to let me represent them in a role that has conveyed everything from glamour to other comfort.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.111 , Nov 1, 2003

"Saint Hillary" pushes politics of meaning and spirituality

I drew on different sources to put together a statement about the need to "remold society by redefining that it means to be a human being in the 20th century, moving into a new millennium."

"We need a new politics of meaning. We need a new ethos of individual responsibility and caring. We need a new definition of civil society which answers the unanswerable questions posed by both the market forces and the governmental ones, as to how we can have a society that fills us up again and make us feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves."

I suggested a response to Lee Atwater's poignant question: "Who will lead us out of this 'spiritual vacuum?'" The answer, I said, is: "All of us."

My words were derided in a New York Times Magazine cover story facetiously titled "Saint Hillary." The article dismissed my discussion of spirituality as "easy, moralistic preaching" couched in the "gauzy and gushy wrappings of New Age jargon."

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.160-161 , Nov 1, 2003

Death of her father spurred questioning 'spiritual vacuum'

Lee Atwater was a political street fighter and famous for his ruthless tactics. Winning, Atwater proclaimed, was all that mattered--until he got sick. Shortly before he died, he wrote about a "spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society." His message had moved me when I first read it, and it seemed even more important now, with my father dying.

Atwater wrote, "The 80's were about acquiring--acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more than most. But you can acquire all you wan and still feel empty. What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn't I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime."

I suggested a response to Lee Atwater's poignant question: "Who will lead us out of this 'spiritual vacuum?'" The answer, I said, is: "All of us." The day after my speech, my father died.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.160-161 , Nov 1, 2003

Contract "On" America nationalized the House election

In Sept. 1994, Newt Gingrich stood on the steps of the Capitol, surrounded by like-minded members, to unveil his game plan for midterm victory: a "Contract With America." The Contract came to be known around the White House as the "Contract ON America" because of the damage it would cause our country. The numbers behind its contradictory agenda didn't add up. You can't increase military spending, decrease taxes and balance the federal budget unless you cut much of what the government does. Gingrich counted on voters to skip the arithmetic. The Contract was a strategy to nationalize local elections and turn congressional races into a referendum on Republican terms: negative on the Clinton Administration and positive on their Contract.

The Democrats lost 8 Senate seats and an astounding 54 seats in the House--ushering in the first Republican majority since the Eisenhower Administration. It was disheartening to imagine the next two years with a Republican controlled House and Senate.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.249-257 , Nov 1, 2003

Replaced entire staff of White House Travel Office

Relations with the press were awful from the start. The First Lady, in particular, was intent on keeping reporters as distant as possible--at first, she tried to cast them out of the White House entirely, proposing that the press room be relocated across the alley, in the Old Executive Office Building. Failing that, an attempt was made to keep the door between the press secretary's office and the press room closed--which also failed. There was a dunderheaded but successful effort, also involving the First Lady, to replace the entrenched Travel Office staff with Arkansas friends. (This was pretty much politics as usual, but for one crucial factor: The Travel Office regulars had provided perks and favors--like free transport of purchases made during overseas presidential trips--for the White House press corps for many years and had earned the reciprocal loyalty of the pack.)
Source: The Natural, by Joe Klein, p. 58 , Feb 11, 2003

$8M book advance not vetted by Senate ethics panel

On December 15, Simon and Schuster prevailed upon her to accept an advance of $8 million for her book about her White House years. Hillary’s $8 million was by far the largest such advance offered to any government official. Mrs. Clinton did not run the book advance by the Senate ethics panel before accepting it.
Source: The Final Days, by Barbara Olson, p. 40 , Oct 25, 2001

Claimed no role in Travelgate firings

The world would surely love to hear a forthright explanation of Hillary’s role in the firing of the White House Travel Office employees early in the Clintons first term, the action that became known as Travelgate. She responded under oath that she had “no role” in the firings and repeated the story to Ken Starr’s investigators. But the facts were to the contrary.
Source: The Final Days, by Barbara Olson, p. 47 , Oct 25, 2001

Accused of failing to disclose gifts as First Lady

On a state visit the king of Morocco gave Hillary five dresses, including a gold lace dress she was seen wearing. None of the dresses appear on the disclosure forms. Neither does a selection of handbags from designer Judith Lieber. The bags were worth more than $10,000 dollars.
Source: The Final Days, by Barbara Olson, p. 71 , Oct 25, 2001

Felt she should have known Foster suicide was coming

In early July the White House report on the travel office was released, criticizing staff management. Although Foster was not formally reprimanded and Hillary barely mentioned, Foster took it badly. He stopped functioning.

On July 20, Foster was found shot to death in Fort Marcy Park in suburban Virginia. From all indications it was a suicide. Clinton called his mother, Virginia Kelley, in Arkansas to tell her. He was crying. She wept also. What a waste. How did it make sense? What a price to pay.

Hillary was also depressed and angry--a common reaction for someone close to a suicide victim.

"How could he have done this?" Hillary asked. "Why didn't he tell us? We could have helped him." In retrospect, the signs of withdrawal and overreaction had been there. "We could have known," she added. "We should have known."

Source: Shadow, by Bob Woodward, p.232 , Jun 15, 1999

Empathized with Eleanor Roosevelt: criticized for outspoken

Even before the election, Hillary put a great deal of thought into what being a first lady would mean. On the campaign trail she read books about famous first ladies and compared their experiences, looking for clues. But the lessons of the past were both enlightening and inadequate. Never before had there been a first lady so uniquely a product of her professional standing. Never before had there been a first lady so uniquely a product of our age.

Not surprisingly, she felt her deepest affinity with Eleanor Roosevelt. While presenting Rosalynn Carter with the Eleanor Roosevelt Living World Award at a reception of the humanitarian group Peace Links, she noted that Roosevelt was energetically attacked by the press for speaking her mind well before Franklin entered the White House. "So the more times change, the less times change, apparently," she said. She vowed then that she would "make as much commotion as possible about issues that are important to the world.

Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p. 236 , Aug 1, 1993

First to participate as First Lady in policy decisions

Eleanor Roosevelt was always very modest saying that she never gave Franklin advice, that she as merely traveling and reporting back to him. She said she was his eyes and ears doing what he couldn't do. She was modest and would write letters to people saying: "I don't want you to think that I influence Franklin in any way."

Hillary Clinton will be the first to break down that separation of spheres. Her power is worldly power, her told are professionalism and experience. She will not even, like Nancy Reagan, who was otherwise considered a major power broker, have to work through the traditional, behind-the-scenes, quietly manipulative "feminine" route. She will simply participate. That directness, ostensibly a much more honorable route, may prove a problem.

Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p. 242-3 , Aug 1, 1993

1969: Humanness goes beyond acquisitiveness

We are exploring a world that none of us understands. But there are some things we feel, feelings that our prevailing acquisitive and competitive corporate life.is not the way of life for us. We’re searching for more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating modes of living. That attempt at forging for many of us. has meant coming to terms with our humanness.
Source: Unique Voice, p. 9: Commencement Address, Wellesley , May 31, 1969


Hillary Clinton on Bill Clinton

1995: Rumors that she would divorce Bill and run against him

On Feb. 26, 1995, an item in Parade magazine said, "Salacious rumors about Bill Clinton often can be traced to Secret Service agents, who may be feuding with the first lady. She reportedly suspects that some of the agents are snoops. One agent recently spread a story that Mrs. Clinton had become so tired of her husband's wandering ways that she threatened to seek a divorce and run against him in 1996. No one believes that outlandish tale [except] the Washington gossip mill."

"This is happening all to often," Clinton complained to a Secret Service agent. The agent replied. "Let's think about this for a second. You think if we were to say something, we would say something as preposterous as that? As that your wife was going to run against you?" "You know, you're right," Clinton said. In fact, many of the stories were untrue. Hillary never threw a lamp at Bill, the Secret Service saw no indication that she was a lesbian, and Bill never left the White House to see an alleged girlfriend at the Marriott

Source: In the President`s Secret Service, by R. Kessler, p.167-168 , Jun 29, 2009

Bill’s role includes sounding board; but I make decisions

Q: Can you tell us what role President Bill Clinton is going to play? He’s saying he’s not going to be a shadow prime minister or anything.

A: Absolutely, right.

Q: But can you be clear on exactly what his role is going to be?

A: Yes, I can. There are two roles that are really important, and one of them is a historic role that family members of presidents have always played. I’ve experienced it myself. Somebody who can be a sounding board, who is totally there for you. You don’t always agree with what they say, but they can often say, Why did you do this? Or, Maybe you should try that. I will look to him to provide that kind of counsel. At the end of the day, I know better than anyone that the president has to make the decisions. There will be no doubt who wears the pantsuit in my White House.

Q: We’ve heard that one.

A: And there has to be a role for former presidents--Bill will be particularly well-suited for this--to help us repair the damage that has been done around the world.

Source: 2008 Politico pre-Potomac Primary interview , Feb 11, 2008

Bill would be her adviser, and represent US around the world

Q: The high profile your husband has had on the campaign trail has raised new questions about the issue of a co-presidency. Have you thought if you were to win how you would set up the White House to make it clear who was the boss?

A: Oh, I don’t think there’ll be any doubt about that, just as there wasn’t any doubt that he was the president and the commander in chief. And all of us, including everyone in the White House, and that was me as well, were there to support his efforts. That’s what it will be when I’m in the White House. I will be the decision-maker. Obviously, I’m going to seek advice from a wide range of people who have expertise and experience that will be helpful in making decisions, and that certainly includes him, because I think he’ll play a very important role in representing our country around the world. But the weight of decision-making falls on the president. I’m ready to accept that responsibility. I don’t believe in government by advisers.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: “Choosing the President” series , Feb 3, 2008

Key to Bill & Hillary’s marriage is shared love of politics

The key to understanding them is in their shared love of politics--the intellectual and emotional bedrock of their relationship. From 1974 onward, they have been united in a common quest: to win--and keep winning--political office. He savors the sheer joy of the political game, the energy from the outstretched hands, the connection with people, the applause and adoration that come with being a political star. For Hillary, politics has long been more utilitarian: a means to gain power and enact programs she believes would make a difference. Politics has bound them together when other aspects of their lives showed signs of crumbling.

Politics may seem an odd foundation for a marriage, but for the Clintons, it has served as the defining factor not only of their careers, but also of their friendships, their dinner-table conversations, their intellectual interests, and to outsiders at least, their emotional lives.

Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, p. xxii , Oct 23, 2007

Hillary and Bill made joint decisions during presidency

Bill and Hillary’s joint decision making at the beginning of his presidency was as overt as it would ever be in the White House. “He would say, Hillary thinks this. What do you think?” said Bernie Nussbaum, who worked closely with both of them. “They really were a partnership. She was the absolutely necessary person he had to have to bounce things up against, and he was that for her. Whenever Bill said, ”let me think about it,“ aides knew he intended to call Hillary.
Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, p. 88 , Oct 23, 2007

Bill & I started a conversation 36 years ago & never stopped

Q: Which foreign policy decisions of the Clinton administration were you involved in or did you advise?

A: Well, I have always said that my husband and I started a conversation 36 years ago and it never stopped. So I was certainly involved in talking about a lot of what went on in terms of the president’s decisions. But I know very well that the president makes the decision. Everyone in the White House is there because of one person--the president--including the spouse of the president. Ultimately, the president has to sift through everything that is recommended and make her decision. What I believe is that it is the ultimate responsibility of a president to seek out a broad cross- section of advisers who will have different points of view and provide different perspectives, and that’s what I intend to do, and that is certainly what my husband did as well.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College , Sep 6, 2007

Judge me on my merits, not as Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton

Q: With Bush, Clinton, and Bush again serving as the last three presidents, how would electing you, a Clinton, constitute the type of change your campaign has been talking about?

CLINTON: Well, I think it is a problem that Bush was elected in 2000. I actually thought somebody else was elected in that election, but... Obviously, I am running on my own merits, but I am very proud of my husband’s record as president. You know what is great about this is look at this stage and look at the diversity you have here in the Democratic Party. Any one of us would be a better president than our current president or the future Republican nominee. So I’m looking forward to making my case to the people of this country, & I hope they will judge me on my merits.

GRAVEL: The Democratic Party used to stand for the ordinary working man. But the Clintons and the DLC sold out the Democratic Party to Wall Street. Look at where all the money is being raised right now. It’s the hedge funds, it’s Wall Street bankers.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC , Jul 23, 2007

Endured Monicagate through faith and inward spirituality

[In 1968, with regards to revelations of Bill’s affair with Monica Lewinsky,] the strange press release from the first lady’s office referred to her husband in a political as well as a personal way, saying that she “is committed to her marriage and believes in this president and loves him very much.”

Nonetheless, she turned inward. Her press secretary stated, “Clearly this is not the best day in Mrs. Clinton’s life. This is a time she relies on her strong religious faith.” Hillary elaborated, announcing, “I’m not sure I would have gotten through it without my faith.”

There were in fact spiritual sources that Hillary tapped at this time, taking guidance from certain ministers. One such was civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.168-170 , Jul 18, 2007

Secret “20-Year Project” with Bill to revolutionize Dems

More than 3 decades ago, in the earliest days of their romance, Bill and Hillary struck a plan, one that would become both the foundation and the engine of their relationship. They agreed to work together to revolutionize the Democratic Party and ultimately make the White House their home. Once their “twenty year project” was realized, with Bill’s victory in 1992, their plan became even more ambitious: 8 years as president for him, then 8 years for her. Their audacious pact has remained a secret until now.

While their plan was hatched together, Hillary had her own ideas about what it would take to achieve victory. She concluded that if she had any chance of winning the ultimate prize of her life, she would need to pursue it her way. That meant, among other things, carefully crafting a persona and a narrative to present to the American public that knew both so much and so little about her.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p. 9 , Jun 8, 2007

1986: Attacked for accepting state fee with Bill as governor

In Sept. 1986, Frank White, the Republican candidate for governor, began running ads stating that the Clintons had a conflict of interest because Hillary was a member of the law firm that her husband’s administration had hired. Bill and White then argued about the issue in a televised debate. “The money the state paid to the Rose firm was subtracted from the firm’s income before Hillary’s partnership profits were calculated,” Bill said, “so she made no money from it.” Bill also deflected White’s attacks by asking him if he wanted to run for First Lady instead of governor.

These arguments resonated. In the eyes of the voters, the relationship became a non-issue. But previously undisclosed law firm records show that Hillary didn’t ask the firm to segregate her share of the state business until two months after White’s unsuccessful attack. Hillary eventually rectified the situation by repaying her share of past state fees “in any year Bill served as Governor,” which she calculated at $12,235.83.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p. 80-81 , Jun 8, 2007

1998: “Conspiracy” infuriated Starr; resonated with public

[On the TV show “Close Up”, in the midst of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary was asked about] the reinvigorated independent counsel’s inquiry. She responded, “Look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings. The great story here--for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it--is this vast right wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.”

The First Lady’s highly charged phrase to describe the Clinton enemies--“a vast right wing conspiracy”--infuriated the men and women working in Ken Starr’s office, to whom the word “conspiracy” connoted criminal activity on their part. Starr took the unusual step of releasing a statement describing Hillary’s allegation as “nonsense.”

But the First Lady’s invocation reached its intended audience. One week later, a poll showed that 59% believed that “Clinton’s political enemies are conspiring to bring down his presidency.”

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p.183 , Jun 8, 2007

Whitewater deal: the only “stupid dumb thing we ever did”

Bill & Hillary said Whitewater was a mistake--in Hillary’s words, the “only stupid dumb thing we ever did.” Bill said he regretted the investment because it created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Right before Super Tuesday, 1992, the New York Times published an article that disclosed the real estate partnership between the McDougals and the Clintons, the connections to the failed savings and loan, and the existence of Hillary’s name on her law firm’s filings on behalf of the savings & loan before state regulators.

The piece raised questions about a governor being in business with someone whose company was regulated by the state, and the governor’s wife being involved in representing that business partner before state regulators that the governor had appointed. The article also reported that McDougal’s savings and loan had been subsidizing the unsuccessful real estate venture with the Clintons.

Clinton aides emphasized that Whitewater never made the Clintons any money.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p.108-109 , Jun 8, 2007

Changed name from Rodham because many were offended

Bill lost his reelection bid for governor in 1980, a humbling defeat. Her husband’s failure left Hillary in tears.

Hillary saw clearly that if his political career was going to be rebuilt, it would have to happen in Arkansas, not Washington. The fact that Hillary used her maiden name was increasingly perceived as an issue in the Clinton camp. A few months after the election, Hillary heard a pitch from Vernon Jordan, “You are in the South. And in the South, you are not Hillary Rodham, you’re Mrs. Clinton.“ Hillary did not argue.

”I learned the hard way that some voters were offended by the fact that I kept my maiden name.“ She changed her name to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Whatever Hillary may have personally felt as a feminist who came of age in the 1960s, her devotion to Bill’s ambitions--which also meant her ambitions--outweighed all else.

The comeback worked, and by 1983, Bill and Hillary were once again living in the governor’s mansion.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p. 68-70 , Jun 8, 2007

1978: “Name issue” of Rodham raised in Bill’s first race

On the campaign trail in Arkansas, a woman was expected to smile and not give speeches [so Hillary’s contribution to Bill’s gubernatorial campaign was subdued. Nevertheless], Hillary herself became an object of considerable enthusiasm by many voters inclined to support Bill. Already, the Rodham-Clintons were being perceived in the electorate & the press as a package & a partnership, smooth, smart, & idealistic. The promise of what they might be able to do together to improve the lives of Arkansans made some people’s skepticism fade away. Others seemed frightened, or incensed.

Clinton’s opponents criticized him for having a wife with a career--a lawyer to boot--who was so independent-minded that she wouldn’t take her husband’s name. The “name issue” would become one of the most talked-about issues of the campaign.

[After the election], Hillary usually introduced herself as “Hillary--Governor Clinton’s wife,” but formal invitations were in the name of “Gov. Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham.”

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.140-141&157 , Jun 5, 2007

1980: Synthesized basic principles into “New Dem” concept

At the 1980 Democratic convention in New York, Bill was chosen by the Democratic governors to deliver a prime-time speech as their representative. [Bill said in his speech that] the time had come to find “more creative and realistic” solutions than the old Democratic coalition had been recycling for two generations: That synthesis would be the foundation of the “New Democrat” movement in politics that Bill Clinton would come to symbolize over the next ten years. But it was also a synthesis, to some extent, of his and Hillary’s ideas. She had labored over preparation of the speech with him, and when she felt his message was becoming too contrarian, too critical of the well-worn path of traditional liberalism, and perhaps intended too much for Republicans tuning in to a Democratic convention in prime time, she moved it back toward basic principles.
Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.158-159 , Jun 5, 2007

1982 campaign: served as Bill’s de facto campaign director

[After Bill’s loss in 1980, Hillary] said, “Bill, they didn’t want to throw you out--they just wanted to make sure you knew how they felt. Put aside your damned pride and show them that you get it.” This led to an ad campaign with the theme, “My Daddy Never Had to Whip Me Twice” Bill announced his candidacy on Chelsea’s 2nd birthday on Feb. 27, 1982. At that press conference, Hillary gave Bill a framed picture of the three of them, with the engraving, “Chelsea’s second birthday, Bill’s second chance.“

The 1982 campaign became the model for their political future, with Hillary assuming a far more direct, hands-on role in terms of policy, strategy, scheduling, and hiring staff for the campaign. She wasn’t the campaign chairman in name, but she was the campaign director in fact.

Hillary was never bashful about telling you when she thought you made a mistake. Bill Clinton would never tell you that. He was the good guy. Hillary was the one that laid the law down.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.165 , Jun 5, 2007

Whitewater deal: maybe conflict-of-interest; but not illegal

The Clintons’ protestations to the contrary, the “Whitewater story” was a reasonable issue to explore in a presidential campaign: the governor of a state who had regulatory authority over a savings-and-loan was in business with the owner of an S&L, jointly owning a piece of land. It was also obvious that Hillary, as a lawyer representing the looted S&L while her husband was governor, had engaged in the kind of conflict-of-interest that she should have steered clear of, even though that kind of incestuous relationship was common practice in Little Rock. But in retrospect, it’s shocking how much was made out of that mistake.

After 6 years of investigation, $52 million, and the Senate trial of a president, the special prosecutor was forced to acknowledge that there had been no violation of law by either Hillary or Bill surrounding the land transaction (or in the Travel Office affair for that matter). The allegation that stuck was that Bill Clinton lied about sex.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.348-349 , Jun 5, 2007

In Arkansas and Washington, subject to unprecedented vitriol

There is little question that they were treated more harshly, and often pursued with different standards & more relentlessly--during virtually the whole of their occupancy of the White House--than any president & his wife of the 20th century.

Yet there can be no question that the Clintons had invited unusual scrutiny by their impassioned promises of probity to voters in the campaign of 1992, and an unwavering inaugural theme that stressed the ethical reform they said they were bringing to Washington. There was something of an implicit challenge in their manner.

Hillary & Bill had had plenty of foretastes--in their years in Arkansas and during the presidential campaign, of the vitriol and determination of their enemies. And who should have known better than the new president’s wife that Nixon’s excesses and resignation had incubated a new investigative era? The 1992 presidential campaign had made clear that Hillary, as much as her husband, was a moving target for legions who wished them ill.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.233-234 , Jun 5, 2007

1992: Attacks as radical feminist backfired into sympathy

The anti-Hillary rhetoric reached a crescendo at the GOP convention in August where Pat Buchanan, in a prime-time attack, painted Hillary as a radical feminist. “’Elect me and you get two for the price of one,’ Clinton says of his lawyer spouse. And what does Hillary believe? That children have a right to sue their parents and a view that marriage is an institution comparable to slavery. Well speak for yourself, Hillary. Friends, this is radical feminism.“ But the strategy backfired on Republicans in that it made Hillary a sympathetic character and a political victim of the right, something the Clinton campaign never could have done on its own.
Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.208 , Jun 5, 2007

Travelgate: Office WAS sloppy; firings looked like cronyism

On May 17th, Travel Office employees were fired, replaced by a Little Rock company. In urging these changes, Hillary had failed to take into account the close relationship between Travel Office employees and members of the press. The Travel Office performed favors for reporters, including making it easy for them to clear customs and get around in foreign cities.

On May 19, without any opportunity for Travel Office employees to defend themselves, all seven members were fired. Neither Hillary nor Bill was prepared for the press fury. They had expected to be congratulated for shutting down an operation that ostensibly was cheating taxpayers. Instead, reporters concluded that the firings were a cover-up for the Clintons’ cronyism.

“Travelgate” rolled on. Bill ordered an investigation. Throughout, all downplayed Hillary’s role. Hillary was protected by preventing disclosure that she’d suggested cleaning house to get “our people” in the travel office.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.327-329 , Jun 5, 2007

Like Eleanor Roosevelt, pushed boundaries of First Lady role

No incoming first lady since Jackie Kennedy had received the kind of frenzied attention Hillary was getting from the press and public.

After what feels like a lifetime of the Clintons’ lease on the national consciousness, it is hard to recall the expectations surrounding her arrival, the first presidential wife to be given an official portfolio. Americans were fascinated by this brainy, attractive, articulate woman. Like Eleanor Roosevelt, her heroine who had also been marked by the vitriol of her enemies, she was determined to use every bit of her dominion for the public good.

It would have been unthinkable in the first half of the 20th century that a first lady select members of the president’s staff and cabinet, occupy an office in the White House west wing, participate in her husband’s policy meetings, or take charge of the planning of the most costly domestic policy initiative in history. She would become an icon to millions and a hated target for millions of others because of it.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.238-240 , Jun 5, 2007

Replay of “2 for price of 1” has big pluses & big minuses

In a Democratic primary Bill is an enormous asset for Hillary. He can raise his wife hundreds of millions of dollars, build her an impressive list of endorsements, and deliver whole communities. They are a powerful team and he expects his friends and advisors to be there for Hillary. Bill has a vested interest in her success--he too wants to return to power.

If Republicans are digging up dirt on Bill, they will hold it until Hillary is nominated, then drop it. If this happened, it could destroy Hillary’s hopes of returning to the White House.

For the purpose of Hillary’s campaign, Bill and Hillary may well be inseparable--“two for the price of one,” as she claimed many years ago.

Democrats know that the 08 election is theirs to lose. They are motivated to give Americans a nominee for whom they can vote with confidence. No matter how strong Bill is in the polls, if the party fears his personal affairs will again spill into the tabloids, they will work away from Hillary.

Source: The Extreme Makeover, by Bay Buchanan, p.194-195 , May 14, 2007

Proud of Bill Clinton’s record as president

Q: [Regarding David Geffen’s remarks, a Hillary donor who attacked Barack], do you think that candidates should be held accountable for the statements of their supporters and donors?

A: I want to run a very positive campaign, and I sure don’t want Democrats to be engaging in the politics of personal destruction. I think we should stay focused on what we’re going to do for America. And you know, I believe Bill Clinton was a good president, and I’m very proud of the record of his two terms.

Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada , Feb 21, 2007

Bill and I believe in obligation to give something back

During the 1992 campaign, Hillary talked about her personal relationship with Bill: "Bill asked me to marry him a couple of times," Hillary said. "And, it was just a hard decision to make because I was very reluctant about, I mean, I was in love with him but I just couldn't envision what it would be like, leaving all of my friends and my family and moving to a place I'd never been."

What bound you together? "I don't know if I can describe it, I don't know if you could ever really describe why you love somebody or why you are committed to somebody, but you know, I thought we complemented each other in lots of ways, but I also thought that, um, we cared deeply about a lot of the same things. I mean, it's real corny. It wasn't as corny 20 years ago as it is for some people now to say that, Bill and I really are bound together in part because we believe we have an obligation to give something back and to be part of making life better for other people."

Source: The Choice, by Bob Woodward, p.134 , Nov 1, 2005

Role in Nixon’s impeachment prepared her for Bill’s ordeal

She was no stranger to the issue of impeachment. In the 1970s when young Hillary served as a staff member on the House Judiciary Impeachment Inquiry, she had been charged with surveying four centuries of common law in order to describe the intent of the constitutional provision for impeachment.
Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrell, p.131 , Feb 25, 2004

OpEd: Hillary & Bill deeply influence all elements of Dems

Senator Clinton chairs the Democratic Steering and Coordination Committee, where she can wield intimidating power over her colleagues, blocking or advancing their committee assignments. Clinton servitors are all over the Democratic Party, including Hillary's handpicked moneyman, Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Clinton lackeys fill the hierarchies of the labor unions, the Democratic Party's most reliable source of votes, organizational muscle, and money.

And, of course, Madame Hillary and her celebrity husband have become one of the largest sources of money for a party that now, thanks to its own campaign finance reform, is starving for cash. In short, Madame Hillary has indirect control or deep and unparalleled influence over all the major elements of the Democratic Party's infrastructure:

And, to an astonishing extent, its very candidates for the presidency.
Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p. 5-6 , Feb 25, 2004

Case for Bill’s impeachment was unjustified constitutionally

I have not read the Starr report, but I’ve been told that the word sex (or some variation of it) appears 581 times in the 445-page report. Whitewater, the putative subject of Kenneth Starr’s probe, reportedly appears four times, to identify a figure, like the “Whitewater Independent Counsel.” Starr’s distribution of his report was gratuitously graphic and degrading to the Presidency and the Constitution. Its public release was a low moment in American history.

Starr appointed himself prosecutor, judge and jury in his zeal to impeach Bill Clinton. And the more I believed Starr was abusing his power, the more I sympathized with Bill--at least politically. Privately, I was still working on forgiving Bill, but my fury at those who had deliberately sabotaged him helped me on that score.

Although the case for impeachment was both unpopular and unjustified under the constitutional standard, I assumed that the House Republicans would pursue it if they thought they could.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p. 475-7 , Nov 1, 2003

Monica investigation abused process to undermine presidency

Bill told me that Monica Lewinsky was an intern he had befriended two years earlier when she was volunteering in the West Wing during the government shutdown. He had talked to her a few times, and she had asked him for some job-hunting help. He said that she had misinterpreted his attention. It was such a familiar scenario that I had little trouble believing the accusations were groundless.

I expected that, ultimately, the intern story would be a footnote in tabloid history. But I knew, too, that the political danger was real. A nuisance civil action had metastasized into a criminal investigation by Ken Starr. It appeared that the questions in the Paula Jones deposition were designed solely to trap the President into charges of perjury, which might then justify a demand for his resignation or impeachment.

In my view, the prosecutors were undermining the office of the Presidency and abusing their authority in an effort to win back the political power they had lost at the ballot box.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p. 441-3 , Nov 1, 2003

Loves Bill despite affairs; not just “Stand By Your Man”

On Jan. 23 1992, Bill called to warn me about an upcoming tabloid story in which a woman named Gennifer Flowers claimed she had a 12-year affair with him. He told me it wasn’t true.

The interviewer started with questions about our relationship, adulter & divorce. Bill acknowledged that he had caused pain in our marriage.

Q: You seem to have reached some sort of an understanding or an arrangement.

Bill: You’re looking at two people who love each other. This is not an arrangement or an understanding. This is a marriage.

Hillary: I’m not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette. I’m sitting here because I love him and I respect him and I honor what we’ve been through together. If that’s not enough for people, then heck, don’t vote for him.

The fallout from my reference to Tammy Wynette was instant & brutal. I meant to refer to Tammy Wynette’s famous song, “Stand By Your Man,” not to her as a person. I regretted the way I had come across.
Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p.106-107 , Nov 1, 2003

1992: Meant “active partner” with “buy one get one free”

One evening, when Bill and I were stumping in New Hampshire, he introduced me to a crowd of supporters. Recounting my two decades of work on children’s issues, he joked we had a new campaign slogan: “Buy one, get one free.” He said it as a way of explaining that I would be an active partner in his administration and would continue to champion the causes I had worked on in the past. It was a good line, and my campaign staff adopted it. Widely reported in the press, it then took on a life of its own, disseminated everywhere as evidence of my alleged secret aspirations to become “co-President” with my husband.

The “buy one, get one free” comment was a reminder to Bill and me that our remarks might be taken out of context because news reporters did not have the time or space to provide the text of an entire conversation. Simplicity and brevity were essential to reporters.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p.105 , Nov 1, 2003

Hillaryland meant active & influential First Lady staff

Before long, my staff was recognized within the administration and by the press as active and influential. Soon they became known around the White House as “Hillary-land.” We were fully immersed in the daily operations of the West Wing, but we were also While the President’s senior advisers jockeyed for big offices with proximity to the Oval Office, my senior staff happily shared offices with their young assistants. We had toys and crayons for children in our main conference room. One Christmas, we ordered lapel buttons that read, in very small letters, HILLARYLAND, and she and I began handing out honorary memberships, usually to long-suffering spouses and children of my overworked staffers. Membership entitled them to visit anytime.
Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p.133 , Nov 1, 2003

Vince Foster’s suicide spurred conspiracy theories galore

Vince Foster was dead. At that moment, Bill was on Larry King Live. I thought he should cut the interview short so we could tell Bill as soon as possible.

[A friend] conducted a search for a suicide note on the night but found nothing. According to subsequent testimony, he discovered Vince had stored personal files in his office, including files that had to do with the land deal called Whitewater. These files were transferred to our private attorney in Washington. Since Vince’s office was never a crime scene, these actions were legal. But they would soon spawn a cottage industry of conspiracy theorists trying to prove that Vince was murdered to cover up what he “knew about Whitewater.”

Those rumors should have ended with the official report ruling his death a suicide and with the sheet of notepaper found in Vince’s briefcase: “I was not meant for a job in the spotlight of Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport...The public will never believe the innocence of the Clintons.”

Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p.175-178 , Nov 1, 2003

Appointed to chair AR commissions despite obvious issues

A further indication of Clinton's difficulty with forming appropriate intimacy boundaries occurred with the selection of his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to serve as chairperson of the commission for health-care reform. Regardless of her educational and other qualifications, her selection raised a number of issues.

If Clinton had become dissatisfied with the action of the commission, would he have fired his wife? Did members of the health reform commission have complete freedom to express their opinions knowing that the chairperson shares a bed with the president? Even if these freedoms exist, such a decision reshapes the role of a nonelected spouse.

When the president was governor of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton also served as chairperson on an important committee reforming educational standards. Clinton's comment at the time was: "This guarantees that I will have a person who is closer to me than anyone else overseeing a project that is more important to me than anything else."

Source: The Dysfunctional President, by Paul Fick, p. 56-57 , Jun 1, 2000

“Vast right wing conspiracy”

[On the Today show in Jan. 1998, one week into the Monica Lewinsky scandal] Mrs. Clinton said, “.the President has denied these allegations on all counts, unequivocally.... The real story here, for anybody willing to tell it and write about it and explain it, is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president. When all this is put into context... some folks are going to have a lot to answer for.”
Source: Hillary’s Choice by Gail Sheehy, p. 5 & 8 , Dec 9, 1999

Stands by her man despite “pain in marriage”

[On the Today show in Jan. 1998] Q: You said in 1992 regarding Gennifer Flowers, “I’m not some Tammy Wynette standing by my man.” In the same interview, your husband admitted that he had “caused pain in your marriage.” Six years later you are still standing by this man. Do you think he would admit that he again has caused pain in this marriage?
A: With utter certainty, Hillary declares that she and her husband “know everything there is to know about each other.”
Source: Hillary’s Choice by Gail Sheehy, p. 9 , Dec 9, 1999

Hillary’s choice: Co-president or White House wife?

In 1995, Hillary spoke at the dedication of Eleanor Roosevelt College. The focal point was choice: “Eleanor Roosevelt understood that every one of us every day has choices to make about the kind of person we are and what we wish to become. You can decide to be someone who brings people together, or you can fall prey to those who wish to divide us. You can be someone who educates yourself, or you can believe that being negative is clever and being cynical is fashionable. You have a choice.”

It sounded like her own internal debate. What would be Hillary’s choice? Who to be? Hillary Rodham, co-president? Hillary Clinton, White House wife? Or Hillary Roosevelt? Her core vision of herself as a policy maker had been shaken by the outright rejection of her health care reform plan. Hillary consoled herself with her favorite quote from ER: “To undo mistakes is always harder than not to create them, but we seldom have foresight. Therefore, we have no choice but to try to correct our past mistakes.”

Source: Hillary’s Choice by Gail Sheehy, p.261-262 , Dec 9, 1999

Never left Bill because they were a team

[During the Monica scandal,] the obsessive question in the national conversation was: “Why doesn’t she leave him?” The most practical answer was that if she left him then, she would have been blamed, along with Monica, for bringing down his presidency. Bill and Hillary Clinton were a team; this was their legacy; her self-interest did not lie in further tarnishing the record they had built together. The more pretinent question from her perspective was: How could she leave the White House after all she’s endured to get there? Her life strategy, decided long ago, was to take the raw material of this brilliant, emotionally battered child with a good heart and a desperate ambition and shape him into a political star to which she could hitch her wagon full of dreams for changing the world. It took Hillary to raise a president. Said a White House lawyer, “Hillary’s made a clear decision. She’s going to rise or fall with him. So she’s going to stand with him.”
Source: Hillary’s Choice by Gail Sheehy, p.302-303 , Dec 9, 1999

1992 RNC Convention was hate-fest against Hillary

The Republican National Convention of August 1992 was a hate-fest. Homosexuals, liberals, working mothers, all were victims in a right wing rally that, as many in the party agreed afterward, had been permitted to run amuck. No one took more hits, however, than Hillary Clinton.
Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p.200 , Aug 1, 1999


Hillary Clinton on Campaign Themes

Listening Tour: gracious in public; but events were staged

When in public, Hillary would smile and act graciously. As soon as the cameras were off, her angry personality often became evident. During her run for the Senate, Hillary planned visits to diners and local hangouts as part of her "listening tour."

"Th events were all staged, and the questions were screened," says a Secret Service agent who was on her detail. "She would stop off at diners. The campaign would tell them three days ahead that they were coming. They would talk to the owner and tell him to invite everyone and bring his friends."

Publicly, Hillary courted law enforcement organizations, but she did not want police near her. "She did not want police officers in sight," a former agent says. "She did not want Secret Service protection near. She wanted state troopers and local police to wear suits and stay in unmarked cars. People don't know police are in the area unless officers wear uniforms. If they are unaware of a police presence, people are more likely to get out of control."

Source: In the President`s Secret Service, by Ronald Kessler, p.169 , Jun 29, 2009

I have the experience to be commander in chief

Q: Are you suggesting that Obama doesn’t have the experience to be commander in chief?

A: For more than 15 years, I’ve been honored to represent our country in more than 80 countries to negotiate on matters such as opening borders for refugees during the war in Kosovo, to stand up for women’s rights as human rights around the world. I’ve served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and worked as one of the leaders in the Congress on behalf of Homeland Security in the challenges we face.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin , Feb 21, 2008

Words matter, but actions speak louder than words

Q: Are you saying that Obama is all hat and no cattle?

A: I have said that about Bush, and our next president needs to be a lot less hat and a lot more cattle. Obama & I have a lot in common. We both care passionately about our country. We are devoted to public service. We care deeply about the future, and we have run a very vigorous & contested primary campaign, which has been by most standards, very positive & extremely civil. In our efforts to draw those contrasts & comparisons, we obviously try to let voters know how we see the world differently. I offer solutions. That’s what I believe in & what I’ve done. It’s what I offer to voters because it’s part of my life, over the last 35 years, working to get kids health care, to expand legal services for the poor, to register voters, and to make a difference. This country has given me so much. There are differences between our records and our accomplishments. Words are important and words matter, but actions speak louder than words.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin , Feb 21, 2008

The next president faces a stack of problems on day one

On January 20, 2009, the next president of the United States will [have] waiting a stack of problems, problems inherited from a failed administration: It is imperative that we have a president, starting on day one, who can begin to solve our problems, tackle these challenges, and seize the opportunities that I think await.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Los Angeles before Super Tuesday , Jan 30, 2008

Campaigning on the legacy that King stood for

Q: If Martin Luther King were alive today, why should he endorse you?

A: There is no doubt that change comes from the extraordinary efforts of the American people. I’ve seen it in my life. I’m sitting here as a result of that change. Dr. King understood this. He campaigned for political leaders. He lobbied them. He pushed them. He cajoled. He did everything he could to get them over the line so that they would be part of the movement that he gave his life for. There are people sitting in this audience who were part of those kinds of efforts, going so far as they could to make it clear that we had to live up to our values and our ideals. The political leaders finally responded. People should not have to work so hard to get leaders who will actually help them and recognize we are strongest when we lead by our values. Dr. King transformed the lives of so many of us, and I intend to do whatever I can to make his legacy real in the lives of Americans.

Source: 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Democratic debate , Jan 21, 2008

Right has no sex and truth has no color

What better way to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King than to look at this stage right here tonight? I’m reminded of one of my heroes, Frederick Douglas, who had on the masthead of his newspaper in upstate New York, “The North Star,” that right has no sex and truth has no color. That is really the profound message of Dr. King. The content of our character, who we are as people. We have differences, but it would be unbecoming of any of us to not share those differences and to make the points because we are competing for the most important job in the world at a time when our country has been disgraced abroad, when we have denied and ignored the problems that are afflicting people. It’s important that we stay focused on the future, what we are going to do together to make our country once again what it should be, to deal with this myriad of problems that await, because we can bring our country together and we can set big goals again. We can start acting like Americans and solve those problems together.
Source: 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Democratic debate , Jan 21, 2008

Running to continue work I’ve done for 35 years

I’m running for president to continue the work that I’ve done for 35 years. Work that is incredibly important to me; that I’ve seen literally transform lives; from my work with the Children’s Defense Fund; to chairing the Legal Services Corporation; to fighting for change in Arkansas for better education and health care; to helping to create the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to insure 6 million children in our country; to working in a bipartisan manner in the Senate to really solve what should be nonpartisan American problems.

We have a lot of work to do. And whoever holds up his or her hand to take the oath of office on January 20th 2009 will have to begin immediately to repair the damage that has been done by the Bush/Cheney administration, but more importantly to restore pride in our country again.

I’m running for president to make it clear that we will make progress together and I hope that I can earn your support.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum , Dec 1, 2007

Cultivates grassroots groups & “grass-top” leaders

Clinton’s field organizing in the states, early on, has been stellar: monied, methodical, and smart. Her team makes a habit of plugging into grassroots groups like ACORN (whose support has been indispensable to her in New York) as well as to what she calls “grass-tops”--community leaders and local legislators. In N.H., [a pundit] described Clinton’s campaign as “flawless,” the only risk being that there’s little room left for the kind of spontaneity that keeps volunteers excited.

In Nevada, every candidate is lobbying hard for the kind of influential “grass-top” endorsements that have the power to turn party faithful out to the caucus. By mid-July 2007, it was hard to find a single Democratic legislator in Nevada, Iowa, or Hew Hampshire who hadn’t received a call or visit from the woman-who-would-be president.

Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p. 29-30 , Nov 11, 2007

Bring your brooms & vacuum cleaners; we got to clean up DC

We’re going to try to do national health care as soon as we get in there. We’re going to move for energy independence and create those millions of new jobs. We’re going to finally have an education policy that actually will work for students and teachers and families and communities.

There’s going to be a lot of repair work to do, and I’m going to ask people to come to Washington. Bring your brooms. Bring your vacuum cleaners. We’ve got to clean the place out and get to work together.

Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum , Aug 8, 2007

If you want a winner to take on right wing, I’m your girl

A lot of the other campaigns have been using my name a lot. I’m here because I think we need to change America, not to get in fights with Democrats. I want the Democrats to win, and I want a united Democratic Party that will stand against the Republicans.

For 15 years I have stood up against the right-wing machine, and I’ve come out stronger. So if you want a winner who knows how to take them on, I’m your girl.

Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum , Aug 7, 2007

I consider myself a modern American progressive

Q: How would you define the word “liberal?” And would you use this word to describe yourself?

A: You know, it is a word that originally meant that you were for freedom, for the freedom to achieve, that you were willing to stand against big power and on behalf of the individual. Unfortunately, in the last 30, 40 years, it has been turned up on its head & it’s been made to seem as though it is a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was in the 19th & early 20th century. I prefer the word “progressive,” which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century. I consider myself a modern American progressive, someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society when we’re working together and when we find ways to help those who may not have all the advantages in life get the tools they need to lead a more productive life for themselves and their family.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC , Jul 23, 2007

Maybe, finally, break that hardest of all glass ceilings

Q: Editorials about you never fail to mention the issue of gender, that you’re not satisfactorily feminine. How will you address these critics?

A: Well, I couldn’t run as anything other than a woman. I am proud to be running as a woman. And I’m excited that I may be able, finally, to break that hardest of all glass ceilings. But, obviously, I’m not running because I’m a woman. I’m running because I think I’m the most qualified and experienced person to hit the ground running in January 2009. And I trust the American people to make a decision that is not about me or my gender, or about Barack or his race or about Bill & his ethnicity, but about what is best for you & your family. We have big challenges and big needs in our country. We’re going to need experienced and strong leadership in order to start handling all of the problems that we have here at home and around the world. And when I’m inaugurated, I think it’s going to send a great message to a lot of little girls and boys around the world.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC , Jul 23, 2007

The politics of meaning: individuality is part of society

In March 1993, Hillary’s father, Hugh Rodham, suffered a massive stroke & slipped into a coma. Hillary gingerly got on with the business of being First Lady. That business included a speech on 4/6/93, where Hillary introduced a phrase to the broader public: “the politics of meaning.” According to Mrs. Clinton, the modern problem was this:
“Why is there this undercurrent of discontent? This sense that somehow economic growth & prosperity, political democracy & freedom are not enough? That we collectively lack, at some core level, meaning in our individual lives & meaning collectively? We are, I think, in a crisis of meaning. What does it mean in today’s world to pursue not only vocations, to be part of institutions, but to be human?

We need a new politics of meaning. We need a new definition of civil society which answers the unanswerable questions, as to how we can have a society that fills us up again and makes us feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.“

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.102-105 , Jul 18, 2007

New progressive vision for the 21st century

    What we need is a new progressive vision for the 21st century. We have to do that by setting big goals for our country.
  1. Let’s start by cleaning up the government, replacing this culture of corruption and cronyism with a culture of competence and caring again.
  2. Let’s finally do something about the growing economic inequality that is tearing our country apart. [We currently have] the highest concentration of wealth in a very small number of people since 1929, which was not a good year for America. So let’s close that gap.
  3. Let’s make sure every single American has the most fundamental benefit there is. It is not a privilege, it is a right--quality affordable health care for every single man, woman and child in America.
  4. Let’s recommit ourselves to the idea that every young person in America has the right to a high-quality education, from pre- school all the way through college.
  5. [Let’s stand] up for science and supporting scientists --to retain our economic lead in the world.
Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference , Jun 20, 2007

A mind conservative and a heart liberal

One of Rev.Don Jones’s letters to Hillary raised the question “whether someone can be a Burkean realist about history and human nature and at the same time have liberal sentiments & visions.”

No description of the adult Hillary--a mind conservative & a heart liberal--has so succinctly defined her. The question Jones asked was in the context of the civil rights movement. The experience of blacks in America touched something fundamental in Hillary. She supported Martin Luther King’s nonviolent philosophy

The event that galvanized Hillary’s more militant instincts was King’s assassination. She had met him in 1962, shaken his hand, sat spellbound as he preached.

Wellesley students threatened to go on a hunger strike if the college did not recruit more black faculty and students. Hillary proposed a solution that avoided a clash: she would work as a go-between to find a compromise. Indeed, the college began to recruit minority faculty and students. Hillary’s response had been in character.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p. 50&53-54 , Jun 5, 2007

Already made change and will continue to make change

Making change is not about what you believe. It’s not about a speech you make. It is about working hard. There are 7,000 kids in New Hampshire who have health care because I helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program. There are 2,700 National Guard and Reserve members who have access to health care because, on a bipartisan basis, I pushed legislation through over the objection of the Pentagon, over the threat of a veto from President Bush. I want to make change, but I’ve already made change. I will continue to make change. I’m not just running on a promise of change. I’m running on 35 years of change. I’m running on having taken on the drug companies and the health insurance companies, taking on the oil companies. It is clear that what we need is somebody who can deliver change. We don’t need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered. The best way to know what change I will produce is to look at the changes that I’ve already made.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate , Jan 6, 2006

Message of candidacy: hardworking experienced collaborator

Hillary is confident. She is the Democrats’ top choice, and she has the support of women voters--the key swing group. Money is no problem. Her donors love her and give over and over. Her plan to win the nomination is viable, and she never wavers from it. She has built a loyal team, placing former staffers in positions at her various political committees as well as in the National Democratic Party. Barring yet another Clinton scandal, she looks unbeatable against the field of GOP candidates.

Hillary’s message is clear, and extremely controlled. It reads: Hillary Clinton is a hardworking, effective moderate who can collaborate with even the most conservative Republicans on joint, highly visible projects. She is supportive of the military, capable in foreign affairs, and fighting to keep pornography and violence away from children. She is experienced. She spent 8 years in the White House. She is independent of her husband, although very married, and she is serious. She is NOT--repeat, NOT--a liberal.

Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 21-22 , Oct 11, 2005

OpEd: Alinsky’s rule: tactics over principles

Many figures influenced Hillary Clinton, but radical activist Saul Alinsky stands before all the others. Blunt and assiduous, learned and street smart, alternately charming and vulgar, Alinsky was the archetypal professional radical.

Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals was the left wingers operating manual for revolution. Hillary was one of the book’s most gullible readers. From Alinsky she derived Hillary’s First Rule of Politics: In the struggle for power, tactics take precedence over principles. Though the activist knows that compromise is inevitable it is necessary to portray that issue in the most polarizing terms possible. This was a message that Hillary, as co president, pushing nationalized health care, took too literally. Hillary has since internalized the rest of the Alinsky formula. Our case had to be all shining justice, allied with the angels; theirs had to be all evil, tied to the Devil.

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrell, p. 51 & 106 , Feb 25, 2004

OpEd: Hillary has mastered politics of self victimization

Her friends might also fear that her Livid History displays one of Hillary’s intellectual quirks that had best be kept offstage: her conspirational mindset, her insistence that in politics she has not been confronted with policy disagreements but with conspiracies, vast, right wing conspiracies.
Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrell, p. 75 , Feb 25, 2004

New Democrat: individual responsibility and community

I have gone from a Barry Goldwater Republican to a New Democrat, but I think my underlying values have remained pretty constant; individual responsibility and community. I do not see those as being mutually inconsistent.
Source: New York Magazine.com , Apr 3, 2000

Make a pact not to give in to cynicism or hate

"Life can have some transcendent meaning," Hillary Rodham Clinton said to the graduation class of 1992 in an address following her acceptance of an honorary degree from Hendrix College, a Methodist College in Conway, Arkansas.

"Make a pact not to give in to selfishness or cynicism or hate. Cling to the enduring values you have been exposed to. Cling especially to the value that is given to all people and that is premised on their equal worth. Respect and trust individuals of all races, creeds, and colors. Work toward the achievement of a universal human dignity, not just your own personal security."

It was one of the most stirring speeches she's ever given. It might just as well have been a personal prayer. Delivered as it was in the heart of the campaign year, uttered, as it were, between the bullets of press and public attack, it was like a statement of faith.

Such statements, such faith, are what carried Hillary Clinton through the 1992 campaign year.

Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p. 229 , Aug 1, 1993


Hillary Clinton on Past Elections

2004: Insisted on attending Obama Senate fundraiser

Eating pizza and gabbing on the private plane waiting, waiting for the weather to clear so she could get where she was headed: a pair of fund-raisers in the Windy City for Barack Obama.

"I want to go," she said firmly.

By the time Clinton finally arrived in Chicago, she had missed the first fund-raiser. But she made it to the second.

Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p. 13-14 , Jan 11, 2010

Initially seemed inevitable nominee, even among blacks

Obama knows all too well that Clinton stands as the odds-on, even inevitable, winner of the nomination--and for good reason. She is the best known, has the most formidable political organization, the most money, the greatest expertise. She's backed by a network that has helped win the White House twice, something no Democrat had accomplished since FDR, and can recruit almost anyone she wants. And everyone knows her name.

Beyond that, she and Bill Clinton have a special claim on the allegiance of black voters. So popular is Bill among blacks that he's been called, admiringly, "the first black president." She also begins her campaign enjoying the endorsements of leading blacks from the civil rights era, including Congressman John Lewis of Georgia.

Source: The Battle for America 2008, by Balz & Johnson, p. 4 , Aug 4, 2009

2007: Portrayed as lobbyist-funded status quo candidate

In an October 20, 2007 debate, John Edwards ripped into Clinton as a creature of a corrupt power structure. "I think what voters have to ask themselves is: Do you believe that the candidate who's raised the most money from Washington lobbyists, Democrat or Republican, --that's Senator Clinton. If people want the status quo, Senator Clinton's your candidate."

Edwards was particularly aggressive at the YearlyKos Chicago convention, where he and Obama attacked Clinton for taking money from lobbyists. Through the fall, he escalated his attacks. "I felt like I needed to do it." he later told us, "because I didn't see it being done in any other way. I thought if we floated through the debates, she would win the nomination." Obama was able to piggyback on those attacks without seeming overly negative himself, and without paying any price in the press for going negative.

Source: The Battle for America 2008, by Balz & Johnson, p.96 , Aug 4, 2009

1998: Unforeseen turning point when Moynihan resigned

The turning point in Hillary’s political life came on November 6, 1998, when N.Y. Senator Daniel Moynihan said he would not run for a fifth term. N.Y. congressman Charles Rangel, who had already been pushing Hillary to enter the race, called that evening and said, “I sure hope you’ll consider running, because I think you could win.” Bill later wrote that he thought it “sounded like a pretty good idea,” although Hillary said she told Rangel that she was “honored” but “not interested” and that she considered the idea “absurd.” Yet the same day, Mandy Grunwald, a key adviser to Hillary, called the Moynihans to assess their reaction to a Senate bid by Hillary. They both thought it was a bad idea, because she didn’t know the state and hadn’t shown any interest in its issues or needs.

The Moynihan seat had in fact been on the Clintons’ radar for months. Shortly after the midterm election, Hillary signaled that interest by inviting a group of friends to have dinner and talk about her prospects.

Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, chapter 1 , Oct 23, 2007

Stumble of “baking cookies” was moment of authenticity

Hillary stumbled during the [1992] Illinois primary when she seemed to express contempt for homemakers after being confronted with charges that Bill had directed state business to Rose Law because she worked there. She heatedly said, “I suppose I could have stayed home, and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life.” She immediately backtracked, but it was a moment of authentic expression.
Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, p. 21 , Oct 23, 2007

Rove is obsessed with me because I take them on & beat them

Q: Outgoing White House counsel Karl Rove opined about you, “There is no front-runner who has entered the primary season with negatives as high as she has in the history of modern polling. And there’s nobody who’s ever won the presidency who started out in that kind of position.”. Comments?

A: Well, I don’t think Karl Rove’s going to endorse me. That becomes more and more obvious. But I find it interesting he’s so obsessed with me. And I think the reason is because we know how to win. I have been fighting against these people for longer than anybody else up here. I’ve taken them on and we’ve beaten them. The idea that you’re going to escape the Republican attack machine and not have high negatives by the time they’re through with you, I think, is just missing what’s been going on in American politics for the last 20 years. And the reason why we’re going to win is because we have a better vision for America, we know how to bring about change, and I know how to beat them.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week” , Aug 19, 2007

2000: campaigned heavily in African-American churches

As Election Day approached, Hillary began working churches like a preacher, employing her faith for political purposes in ways she had never done before. She did so with no objection from the intensely secular, religiously hostile New York press.

Hillary appeared behind the podium [at one church in Harlem]: “She’s gonna win,” declares the pastor. “And we are going to come out in droves for her.” Nobody doubted that black voters prefered Hillary over Rick Lazio. But black turnout is unreliable.

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.194-204 , Jul 18, 2007

1996: Enthusiastic crowd at DNC got her “bitten by the bug”

Hillary had her future in mind when she prepared for her speech at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1996. Hillary saw her speech as nothing less than her first opportunity to speak directly to the American people. This would be her moment in the spotlight.

Nearly 20,000 delegates, guests, and media were in the arena. Millions were watching at home. Whey Hillary took the stage, she was nervous, but the crowd greeted her with a wall of enthusiastic noise. She began by speaking about Chelsea, then went on to rebut Dole’s critique of her book, It Takes A Village. The crowd roared its approval. Afterward, Hillary felt as if she had truly connected with her audience. For so long, she had stood alongside the object of the audience’s affection. Now she was the one they were applauding. It was a rush like none other. “I knew then she was bitten by the bug,” one friend recalled. “I could tell she wanted to hear those cheers again and again.”

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p.166-167 , Jun 8, 2007

Critics call it “extreme makeover” but admit its success

Hillary is a battle-tested, prime-time-ready, tough and formidable candidate who knows how to play the game. Why then was an extreme makeover necessary? Makeovers aren’t free. There are consequences for candidates who try to reposition themselves on issues: the “flip-flopping opportunist” label is guaranteed to follow. The firm of Clinton & Clinton, however, must have determined that the risk was worth it.

No part of Hillary was designated off-limits. For 6 years Hillary has been under the knife, so to speak, as experts tried to transform her from that spirited and divisive left-wing media darling into a more serious national figure--moderate in temperament, style, politics, and tone.

The question is: Has it worked? Is the 2008 edition of Hillary more likely to be president than the earlier versions? The answer is an unqualified yes. Whether she needed a makeover is doubtful. Bottom line: Hillary is the woman to beat if you are running for president in 2008.

Source: The Extreme Makeover, by Bay Buchanan, p.186-187 , May 14, 2007

HILLPAC donated to 30 Senate & Governor candidates

HILLPAC is committed to electing candidates who are dedicated to the principle that by coming together and working as a community, we can improve opportunity and security for all Americans. [Recipient campaigns in 2006 were]:

Source: PAC website, www.hillpac.com, “Biography” , Nov 17, 2006

HILLPAC focus: electing Congressional Democratic majority

HILLPAC recognizes the differences in priorities of today’s Democratic & Republican parties. That is why we work to elect Democrats across the country & to majorities in the US Congress. Since the end of the Clinton Administration, the Republican leadership has drastically changed the country’s direction, squandered many of the gains made during the 1990’s and left many Americans behind. [Recipient House campaigns in 2006 were]:
Source: PAC website, www.hillpac.com, “Biography” , Nov 17, 2006

Fined $35,000 for under-reporting expenses in 2000

[In 2000, Hillary participated in a joint fundraising event at] a Hollywood gala. The groups formulated a “Joint Fundraising Agreement” guaranteeing that Ms. Clinton’s campaign would be the primary beneficiary of the money raised at the gala. Clinton pocketed a total of $1,072,015 in direct contributions.

But staging the gala relied on over $1.1 million of in-kind contributions--goods & services given free of charge. Of this amount, Clinton’s staff only reported about $400,000 to the FEC, even though it was legally obligated to report the entire amount [which had the effect of converting soft money to hard money].

Clinton’s national fundraising director was indicted on 4 charges in 2002 for “under-reporting” the cost of the 2000 gala. He was eventually acquitted of two charges and the court dismissed the other two. Despite the acquittal, however, the FEC determined that contributions were under-reported, and the joint fundraising committee was fined $35,000.

Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p.32-36 , Oct 11, 2006

House of Representatives has been run like a plantation

Sen. Clinton’s Senate opponent called on her to apologize for comparing the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to “a plantation.” The White House, meanwhile, charged that the New York Democrat’s comments were “out of bounds.”

Clinton made her comments during a speech on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run like a plantation, and you know what I’m talking about,” she told a crowd at a church in Harlem . “It has been run in a way so that nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard.“

Her Senate opponent, John Spencer, said yesterday, ”Sen. Clinton’s racially motivated comments are shameful & deserved to be repudiated. Sen. Clinton has forgotten the New York tradition of senators like Robert Kennedy & Pat Moynihan, who brought people of different races and cultures together. Sen. Clinton is now dividing people based on race to try to help herself politically.“

Source: Noreen O’Donnell, The Journal News , Jan 18, 2006

1979 commodities deal: profit is not evidence of corruption

A lot of people had already acquired a vested interest in finding something wrong; if there was nothing illegal in our long-ago land deal, perhaps they could catch something wrong in the handling of it. Unless Hillary & I could prove ourselves innocent o whatever charges any adversary could come up with, most of the stories would have an underlying current that we must have done something wrong.

For example, the New York Times reported that, starting with a $1,000 investment, Hillary had made $100,000 in the commodities market in 1979, with the help of Jim Blair. Blair did help Hillary and a number of his other close friends in trading commodities, but she took her own risks, paid more than $18,000 in brokerage fees, and, following her own instincts, got out of the market before it dropped. A Republican reviewed all of Hillary's trades and said there was nothing wrong with them. It didn't matter. For years, the critics would refer to Hillary's commodity profit as prima facie evidence of corruption.

Source: My Life, by Bill Clinton, p.584-585 , Jun 21, 2004

Timing was paramount to the Clintons’ success in ‘92

‘The most brilliant decision the Clintons ever made was to get into the 1992 race when they did,’ says a major political correspondent who has covered both Clintons. ‘In 1991 all the quality candidates stayed out of it, thinking President Bush was unbeatable. The Clintons shrewdly picked a time to run when the field was wide open.’
Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrell, p. 7 , Feb 25, 2004

Not vast conspiracy, but well-financed right-wing network

Hillary's conspiratorial mindset, her insistence that in politics she has been confronted not with policy disagreements but with conspiracies--vast, right-wing conspiracies.

When the memoir came out, Barbara Walters gave Hillary an opportunity, during an ABC interview, to step back from her conspiratorial broodings by asking whether the first lady still believed the Lewinsky scandal was the product of a "vast right-wing conspiracy." "I would say that there is a very well-financed right-wing network of people. It's not really conspiracy because it's pretty much out in the light of day, that was after his presidency from the very beginning, really stopped at nothing, even to the point of perverting the Constitution, in order to undermine what he was trying to do for the country," she replied.

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p. 75 , Feb 25, 2004

Experience and choices as a woman will make me good senator

Q: Why did you stay with your husband?

CLINTON: I have worked to make sure women had the choices that were right for them. I’ve made my choices. We have a family that means a lot to us. Many of my experiences will give me insights into what I can do to be a good senator. I’ve had experience balancing family and work. I’ve had to worry about making sure that my parents were well taken care of, as well as taking care of my daughter. The choices that I’ve made are right for me. I can’t talk about anybody else’s choice. I can only say that mine are rooted in my religious faith, in my strong sense of family, and in what I believe is right and important. I want to be sure that there’s a voice in the Senate that reminds us that we’re still threatened with the right to choose that might disappear if the wrong person is elected president, the wrong people are elected to the Senate. I think my experience as a woman will make me the kind of senator who really understands what’s at stake.

Source: Senate debate in Manhattan , Oct 8, 2000

Held both titles, First Lady and Senator, for 3-week overlap

Hillary Rodham Clinton has broken the most barriers. The only First Lady ever to be elected to the Senate, she is also the 1st women senator from the state of New York. After she takes her oath on January 3, she will be in the unique position of holding both titles until January 20. Her husband, the president of the US, had wanted to attend today's luncheon for Senate spouses, but he reluctantly bowed out because of the added security his visit would necessitate.
Source: Nine and Counting, by Catherine Whitney, p.195 , Jul 25, 2000

National experience & ability to get along will serve NY

Whoever represents New York has to be able to get along with other senators from other places in order to make that argument, and to make it clear that it’s not just a New York problem.
Source: CNN.com , Feb 11, 2000

Hillary’s feminism a liability for Bill’s gubernatorial race

Hillary Clinton’s life represents both the triumphs and the sacrifices of women of her generation. In 1978, when Bill Clinton was first elected governor of Arkansas, Hillary was considered somewhat of a handicap. Her look had changed...she wore no makeup, hid behind thick glasses...she shocked constituents by keeping her maiden name even when their daughter Chelsea was born. She was a contributing factor in his reelection defeat in 1980.
Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p. 5-6 , Aug 1, 1999

1989 speculation: Hillary would run for Arkansas governor

At the apex of her popularity in 1989, there were serious rumors that Hillary herself might run for governor instead of her husband the next year. The Clintons, who have since strongly denied such stories, did little at the time to make them die.

The Arkansas Democrat [newspaper] gave acerbic support to the idea of a Hillary candidacy, reaffirming the rumors as fact: “She wouldn’t be the first strong, capable, brilliant woman to stand aside for a weaker, less capable, less brilliant husband.”

Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p.153 , Aug 1, 1999

1990: Considered running for AR Governor instead of Bill

In 1990, Bill Clinton was up for reelection, but he had no "fire in the belly," he said. There was even musing within the smoke-filled rooms of the [large AR corporation] Stephens Company that Hillary ought to run in Bill's place. Old Witt Stephens is said to have lit his cigar and looked up from under his bushy brows and said, "I think Hil'ry'd make a better gov'nor than Bill. That you think about that?" And then he sat back and smiled while the debate raged on.

What I never told anyone was that Hillary had actually floated her candidacy past Vince and me, in the event that Bill didn't run. She asked what we thought. She also talked about how it might energize a new generation of females in the state, and when she said that I knew she was really thinking about it. But she always closed by saying that Bill had to decide what he was going to do first. His advisers told him that to successfully mount a presidential campaign, he needed to be in public office when he ran. He needed to have a platform

Source: Friends in High Places, by Webb Hubbell, p.152-153 , Nov 1, 1997


Hillary Clinton on Personal Background

Vietnam converted her from conservative to liberal

On college campuses, the war in Vietnam helped turn the children of conservative Republicans, like Hillary Rodham, into liberal Democrats. It also fostered a dark view of America's role in the world. Vietnam taught the lesson that even a supposedly small and limited war could eventually consume the US and divert it from all other objectives. It demonstrated that military force could lead to disastrous results. Opponents of the war argued that there should be new limits on American power and the defense and intelligence agencies that wield it. The main lesson was that if American resorts to force at all, it had better do so carefully.

Vietnam had social and political ramifications that were not foreseen at the time. The war led to the abolition of the draft, and that in turn had sweeping consequences for many other aspects of American life.

Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 14 , Jun 14, 2012

1999: Paid $1.7M for personal home in Chappaqua

Bill and Hillary Clinton [made] their home in Chappaqua, a picturesque hamlet that recalls towns of the 1950s. Its tiny downtown center is full of mom-and-pop stores where owners greet customers by name. Here among the rolling wooded hills 35 miles north of Manhattan, Bill & Hillary bought a 5-bedroom Dutch Colonial home for $1.7 million in 1999. The 9,000 residents of this Westchester County town adhere to an unofficial code of conduct: When you drive past, don't rubberneck, slow down, or pull over.
Source: In the President`s Secret Service, by Ronald Kessler, p.193 , Jun 29, 2009

2007: I'm the most famous person you don't really know

"I'm probably the most famous person you don't really know." That's how Hillary Rodham Clinton chose to describe herself just days after formally entering the presidential race in early 2007. While it may have sounded like a whimsical, throwaway line, it was every bit as calculated as the rest of Hillary's public persona. That's because the junior senator from NY knows she must redefine herself if she wants to succeed in her White House bid. Already saddled with dangerously high unfavorability ratings, the former First Lady is hoping for a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression. It will not be easy.

"If you could pick an adjective that you hope people would use to describe you, what would it be?" Hillary was asked.

"Real," she replied. "I think that when you've been in the public eye as long as I have and you are basically viewed through so many different lenses, there has been kind of a cottage industry trying to turn me into a caricature of who I am."

Source: Meet the Next President, by Bill Sammon, p. 41-42 , Dec 11, 2007

Born to a Democratic mother and Republican father

Hillary Diane Rodham was born in Chicago on October 26, 1947, the 1st child of Dorothy, a homemaker, and her husband, Hugh, a textile executive. In 1950, Hillary's brother Hugh was born and the Rodhams moved to the affluent suburb of Park Ridge, where the family's 3rd and final child, Tony, joined the Rodhams in 1954.

"My mother was basically a Democrat, although she kept it quiet in Republican Park Ridge," Hillary wrote in her 2003 autobiography, "Living History." "My dad was a rock-ribbed, up-by-your-bootstraps, conservative Republican and proud of it.

From a very young age, Hillary was keenly aware of national politics. In 1960, while still in the 8th grade, she rooted for Richard Nixon to win the presidential election. She was outraged by his narrow loss to John F. Kennedy, which was linked to voting irregularities in her native Chicago.

Source: Meet the Next President, by Bill Sammon, p. 42-43 , Dec 11, 2007

An anti-agitator; never sought changing system from outside

The job Hillary has signed up for is to win her party’s nomination--and then the country--while keeping the party status quo mostly in place. Clinton is seeking the nomination without a record of dissent from Bush on the use of force to solve problems abroad.

Looking towards the general election, she’s counting on winning it the same old way, running a big-budget, cut-throat campaign, financed by all the usual suspects. Hillary’s task is to dress her establishment-self up in just enough rebel’s clothing to pacify the critics before the primary, and then win over enough alienated voters in November--probably by persuading them that she’ll change some things, but not too

Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p. 24-26 , Nov 11, 2007

Early character development: standing up to a bully

Four-year-old Hillary ran into a bully of a girl named Suzy, a merciless toddler who regularly belted both boys & girls, including Hillary. Each time she walloped Hillary, Suzy exulted in victory as tiny Hillary dashed home crying. Dorothy would have non of this: “There’s no room in this house for cowards. The next time she hits you, I want you to hit her back.”

The next time Hillary was confronted by the brat, who had been encouraged by a pack of boys, the Rodham girl shocked everyone by punching Suzy, knocking her off her feet. The boys stood there, mouths agape, as the stunned tyrant fell to the ground. The triumphant Hillary sprinted back to her house.

It was an important moment for Hillary and one that Dorothy would later come to recognize as crucial to the development of her daughter’s character. The altercation with Suzy changed the way Hillary interacted with everyone--especially the boys. Dorothy Rodham said: “Boys responded well to Hillary. She just took charge, and they let her.”

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p. 6 , Jul 18, 2007

Pre-Wellesley, confident her conservatism wouldn’t change

Two teachers--a graduate of Smith and a graduate of Wellesley--urged her to apply to their alma maters. Hillary never visited either campus, but she attended local alumnae-held events for both and was impressed with the energy of the students and commitment to academic excellence.

Hillary’s high school government teachers warned her that college would likely change her conservative politics. “You’re going to Wellesley, and you’re going to become a liberal and a Democrat.” Hillary blanched and replied, “I’m smart, I know where I stand on the issues. And that’s not going to change.”

In the mid-1960s, student activism, spurred by growing disenchantment with the war in Vietnam and racism at home, was beginning its ascent. Wellesley was beginning to change too, though more tentatively than other campuses. Hillary’s class would accelerate the transformation of Wellesley from a genteel island to a campus with much more in common with the “beatnik” Harvard Square vibe.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p. 22-23 , Jun 8, 2007

1969: Entered law school as “vehicle for social change”

Hillary entered Yale Law School in 1969 filled with a desire to become a citizen-activist who might change the world. Her decision to attend law school was motivated in large part by the disquieting events in America in the late 1960s. “In the end, the decision to attend law school for me was an expression of this belief: the system can be changed from within. The law can be an incredible vehicle for social change--and lawyers are at the wheel. By sheer strength of argument you can right wrongs, protec society against abuse and serve the public good.

For Hillary, Yale Law School presented itself as the perfect venue to accomplish such goals. Yale was in the throes of a revolution in the American legal profession and also in the way the institution dealt with social and cultural change.

Hillary was one of 27 women entered Yale Law School in 1969--barely more than 10%, though as Hillary observed, “It was a breakthrough at the time and meant that women would no longer be token students at Yale.”

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p. 38-39 , Jun 8, 2007

As Goldwater Girl in 1960s, canvassed Chicago slums

In Hillary’s junior year, she and Betsy became Goldwater Girls, assigned by campaign aides to check for voter registration fraud in minority neighborhoods in Chicago. Hillary’s territory included the new Robert Taylor Homes housing project. She was a privileged suburban teenager seeing, close up, how thousands of black people lived, and it made a transforming impression.
Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p. 31 , Jun 5, 2007

Childhood of parsimonious parents; favored equal opportunity

The Rodhams were a family of odd ducks, isolated from their neighbors by the difficult character of her father, Hugh Rodham, a sour, unfulfilled man whose children suffered his relentless, demeaning sarcasm, endured his embarrassing parsimony, and silently accepted his humiliation of their mother.

Dorothy and Hugh Rodham, despite the undertow of tension in their marriage, intended to convey to their children an inheritance secured by old fashioned values. They believed that with discipline, hard work, encouragement, and education, a child could pursue any dream. Hillary would not be limited in opportunity or skills by the fact that she was a girl.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p. 12-13 , Jun 5, 2007

Father a rock-ribbed Republican but ran for office as Dem

Hugh Rodham was sullen, tight-fisted, contrarian, and given to exaggeration. He voted a straight Republican ticket and was slow to praise his children. As a child, Hillary was affected by her parents’ often-conflicting values, and her politics borrowed from both.

Dorothy was basically a Democrat. Hugh was a self-described rock-ribbed conservative Republican of the Taft-Goldwater school who despised labor unions, opposed government aid, and fulminated against high taxes. In 1947, he ran for alderman in Chicago as a Democratic-leaning independent. He wanted to become part of the Democratic machine then being assembled by Richard Daley. He was swamped in the election by the candidate on the regular Democratic line. Some family members believe the experience contributed to his strident disdain of Democrats. Every four years, during the Republican National Convention, he would instruct his children to watch on television; when the Democrats convened, he ordered the set turned off.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p. 13&16-17 , Jun 5, 2007

Staff attorney on Watergate/Nixon impeachment investigation

Hillary worked on the Watergate investigation. She was part of a historic enterprise in which her work and ideas would contribute to monumental events. By doing what she did best--research, analysis, absorbing the experience of accomplished colleagues and stimulating them with her own ideas, engaging her keen political sensibility in the most meaningful public service imaginable--Hillary could rebuild her self-confidence after failing the DC bar.

Hillary’s first responsibility was to collate procedural information about previous impeachment proceedings, both American and English, from which the concept had been borrowed.

Hillary was one of three women on the staff of 44 lawyers. Like her colleagues, she worked 12 to 18-hour days. The rules forbade staff from making personal notes or keeping diaries or talking outside the office to any nonstaff about the inquiry.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p. 95-96 , Jun 5, 2007

Taught at AR Law School using “all business” style

In 1974, Hillary taught criminal law & trial advocacy at U. Arkansas-Fayetteville Law School, & criminal procedures the 2nd semester. Hillary’s style was aggressive, take-charge, and more structured than Bill’s. Her questions to students were tough. Bill almost never put his students on the spot; rather, he maintained an easy dialogue with them.

“If you were unprepared, she would rip you pretty good, but not in an unfair way,” recalled one student. “She made you think, she challenged you. If you asked you a question about a case and you gave an answer, then came another question. Whereas in Bill Clinton’s classes, it was more laid-back.“

Bill was regarded as the easiest grader in the law school. Hillary’s exams were tough, & her grading commensurate with what she expected serious law students to know. There was little doubt she was the better teacher. But his was the more interesting class, because of the passion & knowledge with which he addressed legal questions that related to everyday events.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.109-110 , Jun 5, 2007

Suffers from endometriosis; Chelsea’s conception difficult

Chelsea Clinton [had a] difficult conception. Since very early in their marriage (or, as he said, “for some time”), Hillary & Bill had been trying to have a child. Unsuccessful, they decided in the summer of 1979 to see a fertility specialist.

Hillary suffered from a condition called endometriosis, which often makes conception difficult, can cause infertility, and frequently results in extreme pain during & after intercourse. She had told two friends (both women) that she feared the condition might prevent her from conceiving a child. Some doctors believed endometriosis could cause miscarriage. It is not clear whether the condition preceded her marriage--which seems possible, given when she mentioned it to the women--and at what point Bill learned of it. Many women don’t learn they have the malady until they experience difficulty getting pregnant.

Just before they were to [visit the fertility specialist], Hillary learned she was pregnant. Hillary and Bill radiated excitement, and relief.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.148-150 , Jun 5, 2007

Family myth: named after Everest’s Sir Edmund Hillary

During her trip to Nepal back in 1995, Hillary met briefly with Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Hillary was thrilled to meet the famous mountain climber, especially since, she was quick to inform the traveling press, he was her namesake. While she was pregnant, Hillary’s mother had read about Sir Edmund’s feat and was so moved that she decided to name her child after him, hence the two l’s in Hillary.

Charming personal anecdote--but pure fabrication. Hillary was six when Edmund made it up that mountain. Prior to that, her “namesake” was a quiet beekeeper living in New Zealand. Not likely her mom named her after a beekeeper.

In spite of being literally impossible, Hillary didn’t correct it until she was ready to run for president. In October 2006 her campaign spokesman admitted the story was a hoax, or in her words, a “sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter.”

Source: The Extreme Makeover, by Bay Buchanan, p. 74 , May 14, 2007

1980s: Earned more at Rose Law than Bill did as Governor

In 1976, Hillary found a good job at the Rose Law Firm, which was full of experienced lawyers and bright younger ones, including my friend Vince Foster. From then on, Hillary earned much more than I did every year until the year I became President.

One day [as Attorney General], I appeared at a committee hearing to speak against a measure. The room was packed with people representing interests who were for it, including Vince Foster. And Hillary. He had brought her along for the experience, not knowing I would be appearing for the other side. We just smiled at each other and did our jobs. Luckily, the Rose firm had gotten an opinion from the ABA saying it could hire the wife of the attorney general and setting out the steps necessary to avoid conflicts of interest. Hillary followed them to the letter. After I became governor, and she was a full partner at the Rose firm, she gave up her portion of the annual profits made from state bond business, legal work the firm had been doing since the 1940s.

Source: My Life, by Bill Clinton, p.244-246 , Jun 21, 2004

My mom could not live my life; father could not imagine it

I was not born a first lady or a senator. I was not born a Democrat. I was not born a lawyer or an advocate for women’s rights and human rights. I was not born a wife or a mother. I was born an American in the middle of the 20th century, a fortunate time and place. I was free to make choices unavailable to many women in the world today. I came of age on the crest of tumultuous social change and took part in the political battles fought over the meaning of America and its role in the world.

My mother and grandmothers could never have lived my life; my father and my grandfathers could never have imagined it. But they bestowed on my the promise of American, which made my life and my choices possible.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p. 1 , Nov 1, 2003

AuH2O: Supported Goldwater on basis of individual rights

I was interested in politics from an early age. I successfully ran for student council and junior class Vice President. I was also an active Young Republican and, later, a Goldwater girl, right down to my cowgirl outfit and straw cowboy hat emblazoned with the slogan “AuH2O.”

My ninth-grade history teacher, Paul Carlson, encouraged me to read Senator Barry Goldwater’s book, The Conscience of a Conservative. I liked Goldwater because he was an individualist who swam against the political tide. Years later, I admired his outspoken support of individual rights, which he considered consistent with his old-fashioned conservative principles: “Don’t raise hell about the gays, the blacks, and the Mexicans. Free people have a right to do as they damn please.” When Goldwater learned I had supported him in 1964, he sent the White House a case of barbecue fixings and invited me to see him. I went to his home in 1996 and spent a wonderful hour talking to him and his wife, Susan.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p. 21 , Nov 1, 2003

1976: Organized Indiana for Carter-Mondale campaign

Bill Clinton’s first election victory as Attorney General in Arkansas in 1976 was anticlimactic. He had won the primary in May and had no Republican opponent. The big show that year was between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

With Bill’s election assured, we both felt free to get involved in Carter’s campaign when he became the Democratic nominee. Carter’s staff asked Bill to head the campaign in Arkansas and me to be the field coordinator in Indiana. Indiana was a heavily Republican state, but Carter thought his Southern roots and farming background might appeal. I thought it was a long shot, but I was game to try.

Even though Carter did not carry Indiana, I was thrilled that he won the national election.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p. 76-78 , Nov 1, 2003

1980: Bill practiced Lamaze, but Chelsea delivered Caesarian

Bill and I were trying to have a baby. Anyone with kids knows there is never a “convenient” time to start a family. Bill’s first term as Governor seemed as inconvenient a time as any. We weren’t having any luck until we decided to take a vacation.

As my due date drew near, my doctor said I couldn’t travel, which meant I missed the White House dinner for Governors. Bill got back on Wednesday, Feb. 27, in time for my water to break.

After we arrived at the hospital, it became clear I would have to have a caesarian. Bill requested that the hospital permit him to accompany me in the operating room, which was unprecedented. Soon, the policy was changed to permit fathers in the room during caesarians.

Our daughter’s birth was the most miraculous event in my life. Chelsea arrived on Feb. 27, 1980. Chelsea has heard us tell stories about her childhood many time. She knows she was named after Joni Mitchell’s song, “Chelsea Morning,” which Bill and I heard as we strolled around Chelsea in London.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p. 83-84 , Nov 1, 2003

Hillary bred in conservative community

The Rodham family, five strong, well off but not rich, solid in their bonds, fit in well in the neighborhood. It was a conservative community, home of later antiabortion fighters.

At Yale Law School, Hillary’s politicization progressed rapidly. For a short while, she was on the editorial board of the now-defunct Yale Review of Law and Social Action.

Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p. 12 , Aug 1, 1999

Began college career as a conservative

Hillary arrived at college a Park Ridge Republican with box pleat skirts, Peter Pan blouses , and loafers with knee socks...now the former Goldwater Girl became president of the Young Republicans. She was an outspoken opponent of big government and high taxes, and though her heart bled for the poor she believed in self reliance and the responsibility of local governments to look after their own.
Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p. 27 , Aug 1, 1999

1977: At Rose Law, her strength was one-on-one discussion

[When considering working for Rose Law Firm, Hillary] could readily see the problems that might arise with her husband as the state’s attorney general. The attorney general’s major two roles were to handle criminal appeals and to be a consumer advocate in utility rate cases. Rose didn’t do any criminal work, and didn’t represent any utilities.

Hillary liked our 160-year history, our Rhodes scholars, our refusal to sully the dignity of our tradition with politics. The next step was for her to come to Little Rock for interviews.

In Hillary’s usual way of turning the existing world upside down, I think all members of the Rose Law Firm were the nervous ones on the day she visited. Hillary’s hiring required approval by everyone in the firm. We all found her charming.

I would learn that Hillary’s strength as a lawyer was the one-on-one discussion with a judge as opposed to dealing with a jury, and on interview day as each one of us judged her, she managed us beautifully.

Source: Friends in High Places, by Webb Hubbell, p. 50-51 , Nov 1, 1997

1976: Got Rose Law Firm job via Vince Foster

In the fall of 1976, Vince Foster worked in Fayetteville off & on for several weeks, chairing the Arkansas Bar Association's attempt to set up a legal aid clinic in northwest Arkansas. He came back to the Rose Law Firm raving, uncharacteristically, about a smart female law professor he had worked with up there, a Yale graduate named Hillary Rodham. Many people think Vince's contact was mainly with Bill, since both grew up in Hope. But Bill left Hope in grade school, and the two didn't stay in touch. As Bill Clinton began emerging in statewide politics, Vince never once told me they were friends as boys. I feel sure they were reconnected during one of Bill's campaigns, but Vince's initial & strongest relationship was with Hillary. He came home from Fayetteville saying we should be thinking about hiring her--that surely they were moving to Little Rock, and surely she would be looking for a job. At the time, the Rose firm had no women lawyers. Vince argued vehemently that it was time for a change.
Source: Friends in High Places, by Webb Hubbell, p. 46-47 , Nov 1, 1997

Not aggressive, but not intimidated by anyone

At Rose Law in the 70s, I want to be careful not to give the impression that she was aggressive in any way. People think that about her, but that's not Hillary. She was never "in your face." The problem for a lot of partners was that she was simply never intimidated by anyone, partner or client, and that in itself is often intimidating to others. She had the confidence in herself to BE herself. Outside the office, she didn't play by the rules. It sounds absurd now, but it used to be that if your spouse was out of town and another couple called to invite you to go to a movie with them, you would say, "Oh, thanks, but Allen's out of town. Maybe next time." Hillary was the first woman I know who said, "Bill's out of town, but I'd love to go." People criticized her for that. But she was just being herself. I think her core of self-confidence came from her father, from her educational experiences, & from her superb intelligence. It's very hard for me to express just how frighteningly smart Hillary is.
Source: Friends in High Places, by Webb Hubbell, p. 53 , Nov 1, 1997

OpEd: "Politics of meaning" was 1960s student radicalism

Hillary Rodham Clinton mused about a "politics of meaning." Neither she nor others who took up the phrase can begin to explain what the politics might be, but it is clearly the mood of politics as religion, the mood therefore, of Sixties student radicalism. In 1969, Hillary Rodham gave the student commencement address at Wellesley in which, speaking for her class, she said that "for too long our leaders have used politics as the art of the possible. And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible. We're not interested in social reconstruction; it's human reconstruction."

She spoke of dissent and protest as "unabashedly an attempt to forge an identity in this particular age." The themes of the Port Huron Statement [the 1962 SDS conference which Bork claims defined the 1960s] are there: the remaking of human nature; opposition to capitalism; flight from the mundane; and dissent as a means of finding an (authentic) identity.

Source: Slouching Towards Gomorrah, by Robert Bork, p. 86-87 , May 31, 1996

1969: Criticized Senator's speech as lacking relevance

In Hillary's year the chosen speaker was Senator Edward Brooke, a liberal Republican from Massachusetts. Sen. Brooke spoke for his allotted time without incident. And without substance, many of Hillary's classmates believed. After he finished speaking, Hillary Rodham approached the pulpit. Sen. Brooke's remarks, she said, reflected just the kind of disconnected, irrelevant thinking that had led the country astray for four years. "I find myself in a familiar position, that of reacting, something that our generation has been doing for quite a while now." For a few minutes Hillary spoke extemporaneously, rebuking Brooke. Then she segued into her prepared remarks. "The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible. ... We're not interested in social reconstruction; it's human reconstruction," she said. Her speech wandered and wondered, its form and its abstraction striking as opposite a note to Brooke's traditional address as possible.
Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p. 38-40 , Aug 1, 1993


Hillary Clinton on Religion

Have faith in God, in our country, and in each other

We are Americans. We’re not big on quitting. But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president. We don’t have a moment to lose or a vote to spare. Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance. I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come election day. And think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your life and on the life of our nation. We’ve got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honors the sacrifices of all who came before us, and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope. That is our duty, to build that bright future, and to teach our children that in America there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great--and no ceiling too high--for all who work hard, never back down, always keep going, have faith in God, in our country, and in each other.
Source: Speech at 2008 Democratic National Convention , Aug 27, 2008

Faith is not just something to cling to in hard times

Q: [to Obama]: You said people in small towns get bitter, and they cling to guns & religion. Now, you’ve said you misspoke?

OBAMA: I meant: People are going through very difficult times right now. When people feel like Washington’s not listening to them, then politically they end up focusing on those things that are constant, like religion. They end up being much more concerned about votes around things like guns, where traditions have been passed on.

CLINTON: I am the granddaughter of a factory worker from the Scranton lace mills, who was also very active in the Court Street Methodist Church. I don’t believe that my grandfather clung to religion when Washington is not listening to them. I think that is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of faith in times that are good and times that are bad. And I similarly don’t think that people cling to their traditions, like hunting and guns, when they are frustrated with the government. I just don’t believe that’s how people live their lives.

Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary , Apr 16, 2008

Faith sustains us in bitter times; faith isn’t bitterness

Q: You have written of how faith sustained you in bitter times, as have many people of faith.

A: I believe people are people of faith because it is part of their whole being; it is what gives them meaning in life, through good times and bad times. It is there as a spur, an anchor, to center one in the storms, but also to guide one forward in the day-to-day living that is part of everyone’s journey.

Q: You have been extremely critical of Senator Obama’s recent comments in which he argued that som economically hard-pressed Americans have “gotten bitter and cling to guns or religion.”

A: Well, he will have to speak for himself. Those comments do seem elitist, out of touch and, frankly, patronizing. That has nothing to do with him being a good man or a man of faith. We had two very good men and men of faith run for president in 2000 and 2004. But large segments of the electorate concluded that they did not really understand or relate to or frankly respect their ways of life.

Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College , Apr 13, 2008

I have always felt the presence of God in my life

Q: You said in an interview last year that you believe in the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. And you have actually felt the presence of the Holy Spirit on many occasions. Share some of those occasions with us.

A: You know, I have, ever since I’ve been a little girl, felt the presence of God in my life. And it has been a gift of grace that has, for me, been incredibly sustaining.

But, really, ever since I was a child, I have felt the enveloping support and love of God and I have had the experiences on many, many occasions where I felt like the Holy Spirit was there with me as I made a journey. It didn’t have to be a hard time. You know, it could be taking a walk in the woods. It could be watching a sunset.

I don’t think that I could have made my life’s journey without being anchored in God’s grace and without having that sense of forgiveness and unconditional love. My faith has given me the confidence to make decisions that were right for me, whether anybody else agreed with me or not.

Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College , Apr 13, 2008

Favorite Bible story: Purim story of Esther

Q: Do you have a favorite Bible story?

A: Oh, I have so many of them. For me, the recent Purim holiday for Jews raised the question of Esther. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been a great admirer of Esther. I used to ask that that story be read to me over and over again, because there weren’t too many models of women who had the opportunity to make a decision that was very courageous. Esther is someone who I wish I knew even more about than what we know from the Bible.

Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College , Apr 13, 2008

Called by my faith & upbringing to serve others at young age

I resolved at a very young age that I’d been blessed and called by my faith and by my upbringing to do what I could to give others the same opportunities and blessings that I took for granted. That’s what gets me up in the morning. That’s what motivates me in this campaign. I am honored to be here with Obama. I am absolutely honored. Whatever happens, we’re going to be fine. We have strong support from our families & our friends. I hope that we’ll be able to say the same thing about the American people.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin , Feb 21, 2008

Gives guest church sermon: “What It Means to be a Methodist”

In her daily life, Hillary’s religiosity was apparent to friends and staff. In Arkansas, she had frequently given guest sermons at churches around the state on “What It Means to be a Methodist.” She kept handy not only the Bible but the Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church, as well as her notebook stuffed with scripture and inspirational quotes. She routinely said grace before meals, and she belonged to a women’s prayer group including the spouses of Republicans James Baker and Jack Kemp. Hillary welcomed the group’s intercessory prayers, as well as daily scripture readings and faith messages they sent by fax.
Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, p.182 , Oct 23, 2007

I believe in prayer; I’m dependent on my faith

Q: Do you believe that, through the power of prayer, disasters like Hurricane Katrina could have been prevented or lessened?

A: I don’t pretend to understand the wisdom and the power of God. I do believe in prayer. And I have relied on prayer consistently throughout my life. I like to say that, if I had not been a praying person before I got to the White House, after having been there for just a few days I would’ve become one. So I am very dependent on my faith, & prayer is a big part of that

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week” , Aug 19, 2007

Sought pastoral guidance on doubts about capital punishment

Hillary consulted her pastor, Don Jones, when she found herself grappling with the issue of capital punishment. Hillary had long had spiritual doubts about the Christianity behind supporting such a policy.

The topic had long provided Bill with a good issue to help position himself a moderate. Jones discussed this issue with Hillary when Gov. Clinton was once considering whether to commute a capital sentence. Hillary “agonized” over the decision, and consulted Jones. Jones told her, “I believe there is such a thing as punitive justice; that’s part of the whole concept of justice. And I think some people have forfeited their right to life because of the heinous deed that they’ve committed.” In response, says Jones, Hillary told him, “Well, I think I agree with you.”

However, says Jones, it was evident that Hillary “was struggling with the question of could she conscientiously as a Christian say that. There was uncertainty. I attribute that to her faith.”

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p. 81-82 , Jul 18, 2007

Dealt with Bill’s infidelity via counseling & Book of Psalms

It is difficult to say when, exactly, Bill Clinton began his extramarital affairs. If Bill was not cheating on Hillary at the beginning of their marriage in 1975, he was doing so by the 1980s. Hillary had suspicions, and rumors were rampant. Despite the accusations that swirled around Bill, there was little sense of how Hillary reacted to the situation, and how her faith was impacted by Bill’s behavior. To this day, the mystery surrounding Hillary’s reaction to her husband’s behavior has swelled, becoming one of the great public questions of the couple’s marriage. Over the years, many sources have reported that Hillary was deeply troubled by these infidelities, and she took her turmoil to God, or at least to a man of God--a minister.

Hillary’s pastor in Little Rock, Dr. Ed Matthews, says that Hillary was very much in personal crisis, suffering a broken heart, and sought solace in the Book of Psalms. Bill eventually agreed to meet with Dr. Matthews and Hillary for counseling.

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p. 83-85 , Jul 18, 2007

Sincere Christian & lifelong member of religious left

Some things regarding Hillary Clinton and her faith are clear: Although no one can profess to know any individual’s heart and soul, there seems no question that Hillary is a sincere, committed Christian and has been since childhood. The same applies to her husband. Surely not even the most cynical rightwinger would insist that Hillary and Bill were playing politics when they eagerly attended Sunday school as eight-year olds. Hillary is a very liberal Christian, and would be categorized as part of the religious left, along with millions of Christian Americans, a designation that seems to have disappeared from the media’s lexicon now that the secular press is obsessed with fears over the religious right.
Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p. xii , Jul 18, 2007

Old-fashioned Methodist; reads Book of Resolutions & Bible

Mrs. Clinton consented to a major interview on her faith with Newsweek’s religion editor, Kenneth Woodward, published Oct. 31, right before the Tuesday vote.

The piece began by noting that Mrs. Clinton had been called many things. Yet, long before she was a Democrat, a lawyer, or a Clinton, wrote Woodward, Hillary Rodham was a Methodist. Woodward noted that she talked like a Methodist, thought like one, and even desired to reform society like a well-schooled Methodist churchwoman. “I am, she affirmed, an old-fashioned Methodist.“

Mrs. Clinton said she kept a copy of The Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church, along with the Bible. She told Woodward, ”I think that the Methodist Church, for a period of time, became too socially concerned, too involved in the social gospel, and did not pay enough attention to questions of personal salvation and individual faith.“ This was odd coming from Hillary, who took Methodism’s social gospel more to heart than any other religious teaching.

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.137-138 , Jul 18, 2007

Tolerating Bill’s foibles echoes mom’s Methodist forgiveness

Dorothy made her own uneasy peace with her husband, and decided to stay in the marriage. Keeping the family together was more important than pursuing independent aspirations or escaping her husband’s indignities. “Maybe that’s why she’s such an accepting person,” Dorothy said of Hillary. “She had to put up with him.”

Hillary and Bill’s difficult but enduring marriage is perhaps explained in the context of the marriage of her parents, dominated by the humiliating, withholding figure of her father, whom she managed to idealize, while rationalizing his cruelty and indifference to the pain he caused. Hillary somehow found a way to focus on what her father was able to give, not what was denied.

As she later did with her husband, Hillary took an almost biblical view in her forgiveness of her father’s actions: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” The lesson came directly from Hugh Rodham: “He used to say all the time, ‘I will always love you but I won’t always like what you do,’” said Hillary.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p. 25-27 , Jun 5, 2007

Turned to prayer when father dying, & anytime under duress

Not surprisingly to those who knew her best, and without calling any public attention to it, Hillary turned to prayer under duress.

Three weeks before her father suffered his stroke, Hillary had been invited to a luncheon of a Christian women’s prayer group maintained by the Fellowship, sponsor of the National Prayer Breakfast movement. They were a surprising group, among them Susan Baker, the wife of James Baker.

Each of Hillary’s prayer partners, with whom she tried to meet each week, promised to pray for Hillary regularly. Susan Baker later visited Hillary and showed her great compassion about the death of Hugh Rodham and Hillary’s personal political difficulties.

Hillary would later be accused of cynically becoming more religious for the purpose of political advancement after her election to the Senate. That is hard to imagine given that knowledge of her affiliation with the prayer group during the White House years was kept to a few in her inner circle.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.313-314 , Jun 5, 2007

Has one Jewish step-grandfather

Every New Yorker knew that Hillary was a carpetbagger. The closest she came to claiming hometown roots was to say that she was part Jewish (her grandmother’s second husband was Jewish--no genetic relation) and that she had always been a New York Yankees fan. New Yorkers snickered at her clumsy attempts to identify with them, but they took her word that she, like so many others in the nation, liked New York and wanted to move there. The Empire State, after all, is filled with people from someplace else; it was hardly surprising to believe that Hillary might want to become part of the Big Apple. Many of the more gullible were thrilled that she wanted to represent New York and bonded with her in a personal way.
Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 48 , Oct 11, 2005

Early family life steeped in Methodism

Methodism was not just an acceptable Protestant domination casually adopted by the suburban Rodham family. Hillary’s father knelt by his bed every evening to pray. “We talked with god, walked with god, ate, studied and argued with God.”
Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrell, p.106 , Feb 25, 2004

Steeped in Methodist tradition of Social Gospel

Methodism was not just an acceptable Protestant domination casually adopted by the suburban Rodham family. Hillary's father knelt by his bed every evening to pray. In "It Takes a Village," Hillary recounted, "WE talked with God, walked with God, ate, studied and argued with God." A certain amount of do-goodism goes along with the Methodist creed. Hillary would, of course, have often heard John Wesley's admonition to "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can in all the places you can, at all the times you can." Though her father was a conservative, Hillary would become steeped in the Methodist tradition of the Social Gospel, shaped as it was by a benevolent socialism and scientific positivism.

At Wellesley Hillary encountered a secular do-goodism that, like the Social Gospel do-goodism of the Methodist Church, became infiltrated and subverted by the left. The school motto, "not to be served, but to serve," has the Wesleyan ring of goodwill.

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p.122-123 , Feb 25, 2004

Methodist of straight-laced, moralizing, 19th-century type

Hillary is very much a Methodist of the straight-laced, moralizing, 19th-century sort; in another time, she might have been an abolitionist, a suffragist, or in a Temperance Union. She established, and was a fanatic enforcer of, the no-smoking rules in the White House; when she traveled, her plane offered only austere, "heart-healthy" high-fiber cuisine. She was said to be warm and generous in private, but in public, she seemed to feel the need to be perfect, when merely being human would suffice.
Source: The Natural, by Joe Klein, p.117-118 , Feb 11, 2003


Hillary Clinton on Voting Record

FactCheck: Ranked 16th most liberal in Senate

Obama was asked about a recent ranking of senators by the National Journal that rated him the most liberal in 2007. He responded by citing one vote on “an office of public integrity that stood outside of the Senate.”

Obama’s answer could mislead voters Obama cited just one of 99 Senate votes selected by National Journal’s reporters and editors for the study. Most of the votes chosen had to do with the minimum wage, renewable energy, immigration, embryonic stem cell research, and other issues that divide liberals and conservatives.

Clinton ranked 16th most liberal in the Senate, although she actually differed from Obama on just 2 of the 99 selected votes--the creation of an outside ethics office, and allowing certain immigrants to stay in the country while their visas were being renewed. A comparison of Obama & Clinton over the last three years (since Obama has been in the Senate) shows that Obama had an average composite “liberal” score of 88, which is higher than Clinton’s average of 77.6.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 Politico pre-Potomac Primary interview , Feb 11, 2008

Voted with Democratic Party 96.7% of 304 votes.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Democratic Party 96.7% of 304 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, “US Congress Votes Database” , Sep 8, 2007

Reaches out to conservatives but voting record is liberal

Her voting record belies any claim that Hillary has moved toward the middle. A National Journal analysis of her lifetime key votes puts Hillary as more liberal than 80% of her Senate colleagues. In addition the left-wing Americans for Democratic Action gave Hillary a near-perfect A for her votes during her first four years in office.

If it is not her voting record, what justification is there to call her a centrist? Much of it comes from her willingness to reach out to Republicans. While First Lady, Hillary paired with conservative congressman Tom DeLay on legislation that would remove barriers to adoption. The publicity was excellent and Hillary obviously did not forget the advantages. She took up the practice as senator.

Bill Clinton assessed that while America may be ready for a woman president, he believed that woman would most likely be a Republican in the mold of Margaret Thatcher. So the makeover continued. The goal: to recreate Hillary into America’s Margaret Thatcher by 2008.

Source: The Extreme Makeover, by Bay Buchanan, p. 5-7 , May 14, 2007

Hillary’s paradox: she’s not as liberal as people think

Q: If not Hillary Clinton in 2008, then who?

A: There are ten or twelve plausible candidates for the Democratic nomination for the President, some of whom we haven’t really thought about yet. It could be Mark Warner, from Virginia, or Evan Bayh, from Indiana. Each person has a reason that he-and they’re all men-would be a better alternative nationally to Hillary Clinton. What’s bubbling beneath the surface right now is a feeling that Hillary Clinton could certainly capture the nomination, but she is not the best person to run for the Presidency. This goes back to the paradox of Hillary Clinton: she is a moderate figure-she’s never actually been as liberal as people think. But by 2008 the country will have had sixteen or seventeen years of knowing Hillary, and people’s ideas about her are fairly fixed. If only because of the amount of money she’s raised, she’s formidable, and she’s in the way of all of these other guys

Source: 2008 speculation, by Jeffrey Goldberg in the New Yorker , May 29, 2006

Voted NO on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice.

Vote on the Nomination -- a YES vote would to confirm Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Reference: Alito Nomination; Bill PN 1059 ; vote number 2006-002 on Jan 31, 2006

Voted NO on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Vote on the Nomination (Confirmation John G. Roberts, Jr., of Maryland, to be Chief Justice of the United States )
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination of John Roberts; Bill PN 801 ; vote number 2005-245 on Sep 27, 2005

Supports Hyde Park Declaration of "Third Way" centrism.

Clinton adopted the manifesto, "A New Politics for a New America":

As New Democrats, we believe in a Third Way that rejects the old left-right debate and affirms America’s basic bargain: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and community of all.