Many people are waiting for the day that a women gets elected as President of the United States…but truth be told, the US has already had a woman co-president in Hillary Rodham Clinton. When her husband Bill ran for president in 1991, Hillary said, “If you vote for my husband, you get me—it’s a two-for-one, blue plate special.”
And in that campaign, Bill also pointed out, “If I get elected president, it will be an unprecedented partnership… [Hillary and I will] do things together like we always have.”
That “two-for-one” special enticed voters, and helped the Clintons win two consecutive presidential terms. Bill’s idea of an “unprecedented partnership” also turned out to be an accurate prediction for what was to come.
The word “unprecedented” is also a great way to describe the unique and fascinating Hillary, who became Senator of New York after Bill’s presidency, and will most likely seek the presidency for herself at some point in the future.
In her various political roles, Hillary has shown that not only can she handle herself in a traditionally male-dominated US political environment, but also that she ranks among the strongest and most assertive leaders that America has ever known.
Hillary Rodham was born in 1947, and grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois. She was a standout student, and was noted for her powerful personality. As a young child, she once came home crying to her mother complaining about how another child had bullied her. Hillary’s mother told her to march right back out and confront the bully. Hillary did, and that experience is often accredited with starting her assertive nature.
Hillary attended Wellesley College, and then Yale Law School where she became active in political and social causes, and also met Bill Clinton in the Yale library. True to her assertive personality, it was Hillary who approached Bill, and soon established a close relationship with him.
At Yale, Hillary developed an interest in issues affecting families and children. After her graduation, she served as an advisor to the Children’s Defense Fund in Cambridge. She later moved to Arkansas where Bill was starting a political career, and they got married in 1975. In Arkansas, Hillary became a very notable and influential lawyer, while Bill’s political career flourished.
In 1978, Bill was elected governor of Arkansas. During Bill’s twelve years in the position, Hillary served various public service functions to help disadvantaged children, improve education, and help families. She also maintained her flourishing law practice, and became one of the nation’s most well known lawyers.
In 1993, Bill became President of the United States, thanks in great part to Hillary’s advisory and her active role in making various public appearances. When Bill’s term began, Hillary soon proved to be the most active First Lady in history, and even set up her own office in the White House’s West Wing.
She advised Bill, she took an integral role in health care improvement and in numerous women’s and children’s issues around the world, and she expressed many of her views in a weekly newspaper column. In 1996, Hillary also wrote a best selling book called It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.
She later had to endure the difficult position of dealing with the attention from Bill’s scandalous affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and his subsequent impeachment and Senate trial where the Senate ultimately voted against his removal.
In 2000, shortly after Bill’s second term ended, Hillary moved to New York with Bill, and she was decisively elected to the US Senate—the first time ever a woman was elected Senator of New York, and the first time ever a First Lady went on to hold public office.
Hillary’s strong leadership and popularity with voters makes her an ideal choice as candidate for President of the United States, and it is widely assumed that she will run in the 2008 election.
Hillary is a truly unique and fascinating person. Most of her most notable traits can be split into several categories:
The bottom line is that Hillary believes in herself. No matter what she’s taking on, she maintains her resolve and poise, and breams with self-confidence and assertiveness.She also has a very positive attitude.
Hillary expresses her nature and what she thinks. She is an effective communicator who presents her ideas with an aura of strength, and carries herself with authority and dignity.
Just the fact that Hillary is an outspoken woman has made her draw criticism from many people. But no matter what the criticism is, Hillary is still willing to be herself and keep it real.
Additionally, when her husband Bill was in the midst of the much-publicized Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary didn’t lose her cool. In fact, just years after the scandal, she captured a seat in the US Senate.
The intelligent and cunning Hillary is willing to experiment to find solutions and overcome obstacles. She is a very determined tactician, who remains persistent even when things don’t seem to be going well.
Hillary is very strong willed and tough minded, and cannot be pushed around. In a world where men traditionally reign supreme, Hillary has shown that she can survive and thrive.
She often carries an attitude that she is entitled to good things. Her self-discipline and resilience have also made her a symbol of strength in American politics.
Hillary’s successes as an author and speaker, as well as her reputation for being an idea-oriented person, are aided by her creativeness.
Hillary is truly concerned with the state of the world. She is heavily involved in humanitarian efforts, particularly those regarding efforts to strengthen the family structure and provide a positive environment for children.
If you put me to work for you, I will work to lift people up, not put them down.
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.
There cannot be true democracy unless women’s voices are heard. There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives. There cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the lives of their country.
The challenges of change are always hard. It is important that we begin to unpack those challenges that confront this nation, and realize that we each have a role that requires us to change and become more responsible for shaping our own future.
Our lives are a mixture of different roles. Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is… For me, that balance is family, work, and service.
The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible.
I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration
[In 1992, describing how she will be when she and Bill move into the White House:] I hope I’m going to be myself.
…I decided to do tonight what I’ve been doing for more than 25 years. I want to talk about what matters most in our lives and in our nation: children and families…
For Bill and me, family has been the center of our lives. But we also know that our family, like your family, is part of a larger community that can help or hurt our best efforts to raise our child.
Right now, in our biggest cities and our smallest towns, there are boys and girls being tucked gently into bed, and there are boys and girls who have no one to call mom or dad, and no place to call home. Right now there are mothers and fathers just finishing a long day’s work. And there are mothers and fathers just going to work, some to their second or third jobs of the day.
Right now there are parents worrying, “What if the baby sitter is sick tomorrow?” Or, “How can we pay for college this fall?” And right now there are parents despairing about gang members and drug pushers on the corners in their neighborhoods.
Right now there are parents questioning a popular culture that glamorizes… smoking and drinking, and teaches children that the logos on their clothes are more valued than the generosity in their hearts.
But also right now, there are dedicated teachers preparing their lessons for the new school year. There are volunteers tutoring and coaching children. There are doctors and nurses caring for sick children, police officers working to help kids stay out of trouble and off drugs.
Of course, parents, first and foremost, are responsible for their children. But we are all responsible for ensuring that children are raised in a nation that doesn’t just talk about family values, but acts in ways that values families…
… Each one of us has value. Each child who comes into this world should feel special; every boy and every girl.
… One thing we know for sure is that change is certain; progress is not. Progress depends on the choices we make today for tomorrow, and on whether we meet our challenges and protect our values.
We can start by doing more to support parents and the job they have to do. Issues; issues affecting children and families are some of the hardest we face, as parents, as citizens, as a nation…
…Today, too many new mothers are asked to get up and get out after 24 hours, and that is just not enough time for many new mothers and babies… We have to do whatever it takes to help parents meet their responsibilities at home and at work…
You know, Bill and I are fortunate that our jobs have allowed us to take breaks from work not only when Chelsea was born, but to attend her school events and take her to the doctor. But millions of other parents can’t get time off…
We all know that raising kids is a full-time job and since most parents work, they are, we are stretched thin. Just think about what many parents are responsible for on any given day. Packing lunches, dropping the kids off at school, going to work, checking to make sure that the kids get home from school safely, shopping for groceries, making dinner, doing the laundry, helping with homework, paying the bills, and I didn’t even mention taking the dog to the vet...
My husband also understands that parents are their child’s first teachers. Not only do we need to read to our children and talk to them in ways that encourage learning; we must support our teachers and our schools in deeds as well as words…
For Bill and me, there has been no experience more challenging, more rewarding, and more humbling than raising our daughter. And we have learned that to raise a happy, healthy and hopeful child, it takes a family, it takes teachers … it takes business people, it takes community leaders, it takes those who protect our health and safety, it takes all of us. Yes, it takes a village.