Hillary Rodham Clinton

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Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Junior Senator, New York
Image:HillaryClinton.jpg
Party Democratic
Assumed office (class I)

January 3, 2001
Serving with Charles E. Schumer

Preceded by Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Committees
Born October 26, 1947 (age 59)
Spouse President Bill Clinton
Religion Methodist


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Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Junior U.S. Senator from New York and one of several announced or prospective candidates for the 2008 Democratic Nomination for President. Initiually viewed as THE front-runner, she is now seen as one of several front-runners. The other front-runner is Barack Obama.

Contents

Personal Life

Early Life

Hillary Rodham Clinton was born Hillary Diane Rodham, on October 26, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents were conservative Methodists. She has two other siblings - Hugh and Tony. In addition to participating in many sports, Hillary was a Brownie and Girl Scout. Hillary was active in politics in her youth. Encouraged by her parents, at sixteen she campaigned for Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential candidate.

Education

Hillary was an outstanding student. She won many awards in high school, in addition to participating in the debate team, serving on the student council, and serving as class president. Naturally, Hillary was a member of the National Honor Society.

In 1965 Hillary enrolled at Wellesley, where she served as president of the Wellesley College Chapter of the College Republicans. After attending the Wellesley in Washington program at the urging of a professor, Hillary found that she had more in common with the Democratic Party, which she then joined. Hillary graduated in 1969, valedictorian, with departmental honors in Political Science.

Hillary entered Yale Law School in 1969. She served on the Board of Editors of Yale Review of Law and Social Action and worked with underprivileged children at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. During the summer of 1970, she was awarded a grant to work at the Children's Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1971, she traveled to Washington to work on Senator Walter Mondale's subcommittee on migrant workers, researching migrant problems in housing, sanitation, health and education. For the summer of 1972, Rodham worked in the western states for Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern's campaign. During her second year in law school, she volunteered at the Yale Child Study Center, learning about new research on early childhood brain development. She also took on cases of child abuse at Yale-New Haven Hospital and worked at the city Legal Services, providing free legal service to the poor. She received a Juris Doctor degree from Yale in 1973, having written a thesis on the rights of children, and began a year of post-graduate study on children and medicine at the Yale Child Study Center.

Marriage

Bill Clinton was a Yale Law classmate. Before he proposed marriage to Hillary Rodham, Bill Clinton secretly purchased a small house in Fayetteville that she had noticed and remarked that she had liked. When he proposed marriage to her and she accepted, he revealed that they owned the house. They married and lived there, briefly, before relocating to the state capital of Little Rock, from which Bill conducted his first campaign for U.S. Congress. In 1978, with the election of her husband as governor of Arkansas, Rodham became Arkansas's First Lady, her title for a total of 12 years. On February 27, 1980, Rodham gave birth to Chelsea Clinton, their only child. During Bill Clinton's run as governor of Arkansas, Hillary took the last name of Clinton after realizing that keeping her maiden name might be a political liability for her husband.

In 1998, the Clintons' relationship became the subject of much speculation and gossip after the Lewinsky scandal, when the President admitted to a sexual affair (short of sexual intercourse) with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. During the Lewinsky scandal, Hillary initially claimed that the allegations against her husband were the result of a "vast right-wing conspiracy". After the evidence of President Clinton's encounters with Lewinsky became incontrovertible, she remained resolute that their marriage was solid. Both Bill's and Hillary's memoirs later revealed that the revelation of the affair was in reality a very painful time in their marriage.

For much of his political career, President Clinton was dogged by rumors of extramarital affairs. These rumors gained credibility following the Lewinsky scandal. In his memoirs, President Clinton confirmed a "relationship that I should not have had" with Gennifer Flowers, an Arkansas lounge singer. These revelations and rumors resulted in a mix of sympathy and scorn for the First Lady. While many women sympathized with her as a victim of her husband's insensitive behavior, others criticized her as being an enabler to her husband's indiscretions by showing no interest in obtaining a divorce. In her book Living History, Clinton explains that love is the reason she stays with her husband. "No one understands me better and no one can make me laugh the way Bill does. Even after all these years, he is still the most interesting, energizing and fully alive person I have ever met. Bill and I started a conversation in the spring of 1971, and more than thirty years later we're still talking."

Legal Career

In 1976, Hillary Rodham joined the venerable and influential Rose Law Firm, specializing in intellectual property cases while doing child advocacy cases pro bono. In 1979, she became the first woman to be made a full partner of Rose Law Firm. President Jimmy Carter appointed Rodham to the board of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978. In 1988 and 1991 National Law Journal named Clinton one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America. Clinton co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital Legal Services and the Children's Defense Fund.

Wealth

First Lady

Hillary Rodham Clinton was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. She was the first First Lady to hold a post-graduate degree and the first to have her own successful professional career. In 1993 she was appointed the head of the Health Care reform task force, which eventually came up with a plan which would cover Americans without a new government program, further decreasing the budget deficit. Mrs. Clinton's attempts were foiled as the right wing media eviscerated her and her husband over a land deal gone bad, better known as the Whitewater scandal (which they were cleared of a total of 6 times in office). After the failed attempt at health care reform, Hillary Clinton continued to be a voice within and outside of the Clinton White House. She is famous for her stirring indictment of China's treatment of women, proclaiming "it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights."

As First Lady, Clinton won many admirers for her staunch support for women's rights around the world and her commitment to children's issues. She initiated the Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997, a federal effort that provided state support for those children whose parents were unable to provide them with health coverage. She also successfully sought to increase the research funding for illnesses such as prostate cancer and childhood asthma at the National Institutes of Health. The First Lady worked to solve the mystery behind the illnesses that were affecting veterans of the Gulf War. She initiated and shepherded the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, which she regarded as her greatest accomplishment as First Lady.

Clinton hosted numerous White House conferences that related to children's health, including early childhood development and school violence. She fought for nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses and supported an annual drive to encourage older women to seek a mammogram to prevent breast cancer, coverage of the cost being provided by Medicare. With Attorney General Janet Reno, Clinton helped to create the Department of Justice's Violence Against Women office. She was one of the few international figures at the time who spoke out against the treatment of Afghani women by Islamist fundamentalist Taliban that had seized control of Afghanistan. One of the programs she helped create was Vital Voices, a U.S.-sponsored initiative to promote the participation of international women in their nation's political process.

Senate Career

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton is a Junior Senator from New York. When long-time New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan announced his retirement, prominent Democratic politicians and advisors, including Charles B. Rangel, urged Clinton to run for the New York Senate seat in the U.S. Senate, 2000, elections. When she chose to run, the Clintons purchased a home in Chappaqua, New York, north of New York City. She expected to run against Rudy Giuliani, but he withdrew due to prostate cancer. She ran against Rick Lazio, who was a Congressman representing Suffolk County on Long Island. The contest was fierce, well-funded, and drew considerable national attention. She won the election on November 7 with 55% of the vote to Lazio's 43%. Clinton won the traditionally Democratic base of New York City by large margins, carried suburban Westchester County, lost Lazio's home base of Long Island, and showed surprising strength in upstate regions including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.

When Clinton joined the Senate, she was widely reported to have kept a low public profile and learned the ways of the institution while building relationships with senators from both sides of the aisle, thus countering her polarizing celebrity. When Elizabeth Dole joined the Senate in 2003 in somewhat similar circumstances, she modeled her initial approach after Clinton's, as did the nationally visible Barack Obama in 2005.

Senator Clinton sits on five Senate Committees with a total of nine subcommittee assignments: the Senate Committee on Armed Services with three subcommittee assignments, on Airland, on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, and on Readiness and Management Support; the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works with two subcommittee assignments on Clean Air, Nuclear Plant Security & Community Development, and on Superfund & Environmental Health; the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, with two subcommittee assignments, on Retirement & Aging and on Education & Childhood Development; and the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

Senator Clinton has made homeland security one of her top issues following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in downtown New York City, especially regarding obtaining funding for recovery from the attacks and for improving security capabilities in the New York City area. Senator Clinton worked with Senator Charles E. Schumer to secure $21.4 billion in funding to assist clean up and recovery, to provide health tracking for first responders and volunteers at Ground Zero, and to create grants for redevelopment. In 2005, Clinton issued two studies that examined the disbursement of federal homeland security funds to local communities and first responders.

Clinton has used her membership on the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services to take a strong position in favor of U.S. military action in Afghanistan – with the additional benefit that it greatly improved the lives of women in that country, who had suffered terribly under the rule of the Taliban – and a somewhat weaker position regarding action in Iraq (her vote in support of the Iraq War Resolution was criticized for being equivocal). Senator Clinton has visited U.S. forces (such as the Fort Drum, New York-based 10th Mountain Division) in both countries. In February 2005 she stated that much of Iraq was functioning well, elections in Iraq had succeeded, and that the insurgency there was failing. In July 2005 she co-introduced legislation to increase the size of the regular United States Army by 80,000 soldiers. By late 2005, with domestic debate intensifying over whether and when the U.S. should remove its forces from Iraq, Clinton stated that immediate withdrawal would be "a big mistake", leading to Iraq becoming "a failed state", but that the Bush administration's open-ended commitment to stay in Iraq was also misguided, as it gives Iraqis "an open-ended invitation not to take care of themselves." This centrist and somewhat vague stance caused frustration among the Democratic party's anti-war activists, who have even occasionally protested outside Clinton fundraisers. On June 13, 2006, Clinton was heckled as she restated her long-standing position against setting a timetable for withdrawing U.S forces from Iraq, while speaking in front of activists at the Take Back America conference in Washington. Though she was applauded while speaking on domestic issues and criticizing President Bush's handling of the war, boos, hisses, and chants where heard when she spoke against a timetable.

Senator Clinton also became a national advocate for retaining and improving health and other benefits for veterans. By the end of 2005, her standing among the military community was much higher than it had been during her days as First Lady.

Senator Clinton was a vocal opponent of the Bush Administration's tax cuts.

In May 2005, Senator Clinton joined forces with her former adversary, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, on a proposal for incremental universal health care. In June, 2005, Senator Clinton united with Senator Bill Frist to push for the modernization of medical records, claiming that thousands of deaths caused by medical mistakes, such as misreading prescriptions, can be prevented by greater reliance on computer technology.

In 2005, during the intense debate over the filibustering of some of President George W. Bush's federal judicial nominations, Senator Clinton generally kept a low profile. She was not part of the "Gang of 14" that resolved the dispute short of the "nuclear option", but she did vote to endorse that resolution and end debate on the nominations, thereby allowing the nominations to come to a vote. She subsequently voted against three of the nominees, but all were confirmed.

Regarding the Supreme Court nomination of John Roberts, in September 2005 Clinton voted against his confirmation, saying "I do not believe that the Judge has presented his views with enough clarity and specificity for me to in good conscience cast a vote on his behalf," but that she hoped her concerns would be unfounded. Roberts was confirmed by a solid majority, with half the Senate's Democrats voting for him and half against.

Regarding the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito, in January and February 2006 Clinton not only joined almost all Senate Democrats in voting against his confirmation, but also joined about half the Democrats in supporting a filibuster against bringing his nomination to a vote, saying "He would roll back decades of progress, and roll over when confronted with an administration too willing to play fast and loose with the rules." That effort failed and Alito was confirmed on a largely party-line vote.

Clinton sought to establish an independent, bipartisan panel patterned after the 9/11 Commission to investigate what went wrong with federal, state and local governments' response to Hurricane Katrina. She failed to win over a two-thirds majority needed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate rules.

On November 29, 2005, Clinton, together with Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh introduced the Family Entertainment Protection Act. The act is intended to protect children from inappropriate content found in video games. Similar bills have been filed in some U.S. states such as Michigan and Illinois, but were ruled to be unconstitutional.

In July 2004 and June 2006, Clinton voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment that sought to proscribe same-sex marriage; the Amendment fell well short of passage both times.

On June 27, 2006, Clinton voted against the Flag Desecration Amendment, after her attempt to find middle ground by introducing legislation instead against flag burning (but that would pass Constitutional muster) was voted down. The Amendment failed by one vote.

2006 Senate Campaign

Hillary's opponent in the primary was Jonathan Tasini, who ran, ostensibly, to protest her Iraq War stance. Clinton easily won the September 2006 primary with 83 percent of the vote. Hillary's opponent in the general election was former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer.

Because she had no real campaign to wage in New York, Senator Clinton chose to travel and campaign for many lesser known Democrats. It has been observed that she can draw unprecedented crowds. She reportedly helped candidates raise over $21 million in the 2005-2006 election cycle. Clinton has always been adamant about supporting her party. When the Joe Lieberman vs. Ned Lamont race heated up, Hillary said that she would support the candidate who won the primary - and she did... even though she had been friends with Leiberman. She sent Lamont one of her campaign advisors, in addition to meeting with him personally and giving him a donation of $5,000. (This is the most she was allowed to give according to the rules.) In the 2006 election cycle, Senator Clinton donated $2.35 million to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, $250,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and $550,000 to the New York State Democratic Party. HILLPAC also contributed over $590,000 directly to Democratic candidates. By October 14th Hillary had raised $49 million for her own senate race. She used much of her campaign cash flying to visit candidates in other states.

Senator Clinton easily glided to reelection. She took 67% of the vote - a 12% increase over her 2000 election.

Political Views

In a Gallup poll conducted during May, 2005, 54% of respondents considered Senator Clinton a liberal, 30% considered her a moderate, and 9% considered her a conservative. Hillary Clinton received an "A" on the Drum Major Institute's 2005 Congressional Scorecard on middle-class issues. Hillary tries to reach across partisan lines to form ties so that legislation that is important to her can be passed in a senate with a Republican majority, thus, she is often willing to vote a little more conservatively than she probably would otherwise - especially if the legislation would pass with or without her vote. She has succeed in forming friendships with many key Republicans, including John McCain, which could make for a very interesting 2008 presidential race. However, her efforts at bipartisian outreach are at times scorned by some within the Democratic party.

She is the Chair of the DLC's American Dream Initiative.

For more, see Hillary Rodham Clinton (positions).

2008 Presidential Campaign

Clinton's 2008 campaign had been the subject of media speculation since October 2002.

Following the 2004 election cycle, Clinton began what some saw as a movement to the political center by supporting health care reform with Contract with America architect and former adversary Newt Gingrich. The alignment represents a reconciliation with the past, for it was Gingrich that helped defeat Clinton's health care plan in the early 1990s. Clinton's January 2005, speech on abortion was viewed by some as part of her alleged move to the center. Media watchdog Media Matters has offered evidence that Clinton's positions have remained consistent with her past. In August 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported that Clinton was positioning herself as a centrist; critics cited her Senate voting record as proof that was not the case.

In February 2006, TheWhiteHouseProject.org named Hillary Rodham Clinton one of its "8 in '08", a group of eight female politicians who could possibly run and/or be elected president in 2008. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said that he's pulling for Clinton to win the White House: "I'd be very pleased if Hillary Clinton would become the next American president".

According to recent Gallup polling, July 24-27 2006, Hillary Clinton is seen as the top Democratic Presidential hopeful for defeating a Republican contender. Among the top 4 contenders, Clinton – 35%, Edwards – 24%, Gore – 17% and Kerry – 13%, Clinton ranked first. Clinton was also the top choice in “perceived electoral strength” among both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans: Hillary Clinton – 32%, John Edwards – 25%, John Kerry – 14% and Al Gore – 13%. Democrats: Clinton – 37%, Edwards – 22%, Gore – 22% and Kerry – 15%. While Clinton was picked as a better candidate than Kerry was in 2004 (Better 58% - Worse 32%) and Gore was in 2000 (Better 56% - Worse 36%), she was declared ‘worse’ than her husband’s 1992 bid (Better 30% - Worse 58%).

On January 20, 2007, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced, on her website, the formation of her exploratory committee for the 2008 presidential election.

For more, see Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign, 2008.

Frontrunner in Germany

A recent poll among Germans revealed that Clinton is a popular pick for U.S. president.

Source Date Question
Angus Reid Global Monitor January 30, 2007 "Would you like to see Hillary Rodham Clinton become president of the United States?" Yes 72% No 18% No opinion 10%

Awards and honors

  • Around 1994, Clinton received the Living Legacy Award from the Women's International Center, in recognition of "her vast contributions in so many fields, especially honoring her work for women and children."
  • In May 1998, Clinton received the United Arab Emirates Health Foundation Prize for her work in health and social welfare, especially as it related to women, children, and families.
  • In April 1999, Clinton was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Children of Chernobyl Relief Fund for her support of that Ukrainian organization's efforts regarding legacy effects of the Chernobyl accident.
  • In June 1999, Clinton received the "Mother Teresa Award", the highest honor given to civilians by Albania. This was in recognition of her humanitarian efforts following the Kosovo War and worldwide.
  • On March 26, 2004, Clinton was presented with the inaugural Nursing Health and Humanity Award from the University of Rochester School of Nursing.
  • On February 13, 2005, Clinton was awarded the German Media Prize 2004, "Hillary Clinton is a model politician for millions of women around the world" who "represents in an exemplary way women's rights", the jury for the prize said.
  • On February 15, 2005, Clinton was given the American Medical Women's Association's "President’s Vision & Voice Award", for being an advocate for women's health and related issues.
  • On July 30, 2005, Clinton was given the Reserve Officers Association's National President's Award.
  • In September 2005, Clinton initially accepted but later rejected honorary membership into Alpha Kappa Alpha due to its exclusive requirements which would prevent her from accepting honorary membership in other National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.
  • On October 9, 2005, Clinton was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
  • In April 2006, Clinton was honored with the Remembrance Award from the Northeastern New York Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
  • On June 14, 2006, Clinton received an Energy Leadership Award from the United States Energy Association's Energy Efficiency Forum, in recognition of her leadership on energy issues.

Sources

Links

GovTrack link

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