Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values
Secretary of State; previously Democratic Senator (NY)
CLINTON: Because I am a progressive who gets things done. The root of that word, progressive, is progress. I've heard Senator Sanders' comments, and it's caused me to wonder who's left in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Under his definition, President Obama is not progressive because he took donations from Wall Street; Vice President Biden is not progressive because he supported Keystone; Senator Shaheen is not progressive because she supports the trade pact.
SANDERS: Secretary Clinton has the support of far more governors, mayors, members of the House. She has the entire establishment behind her. I don't deny it. I am proud that we have over a million people who have contributed to our campaign. That we have had meetings where 25,000-30,000 people have come out. That our campaign is a campaign of the people, by the people, and for the people. Secretary Clinton does represent the establishment. I represent ordinary Americans.
CLINTON: I've got to just jump in here because, honestly, Senator Sanders is the only person who would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment.
CLINTON: Senator Sanders has said he wants to run a positive campaign. But there is this attack that he is putting forth, which really comes down to anybody who ever took donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought. I absolutely reject that. You will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation that I ever received. I have represented my constituents to the best of my abilities, and I'm very proud of that. Let's talk about the issues that divide us.
CLINTON: And I said that I'm a progressive who likes to get things done.
Q: Senator Sanders was asked if you were progressive:
SANDERS [videotape]: I served with Secretary Clinton in the Senate. We worked together on some issues. But there are other issues where I think she is just not progressive. I do not know any progressive who has a superPAC and takes $15 million from Wall Street.
CLINTON: I was somewhat amused that Senator Sanders has set himself up to be the gatekeeper on who is the progressive because under the definition that was flying around on Twitter and statements by the campaign, Barack Obama would not be a progressive. And I don't think it's appropriate that if Planned Parenthood endorses me or the Human Rights Campaign endorses me, they're thrown out of the progressive wing. Let's have a good contest of ideas. Let's contrast where we stand. And that's what I intend to do.
CLINTON: I have been very consistent. But I do absorb new information. I do look at what's happening in the world.
COOPER: Just for the record, are you a progressive, or are you a moderate?
CLINTON: I'm a progressive. But I'm a progressive who likes to get things done. And I know how to find common ground, and I know how to stand my ground, and I have proved that in every position that I've had, even dealing with Republicans who never had a good word to say about me, honestly. But we found ways to work together on everything from reforming foster care and adoption to the Children's Health Insurance Program. So I have a long history of getting things done, rooted in the same values I've always had.
PATAKI: Divisive and with no vision at all.
FIORINA: Not trustworthy. No accomplishment.
SANTORUM: Secretive and untrustworthy.
PERRY: Well, let's go with three. Good at email.
JINDAL: Socialist and government dependent.
GRAHAM: Not the change we need at a time we need it.
GILMORE: Professional politician that can't be trusted.
By the time Mom turned 14, she could no longer bear life in her grandmother's house. She moved out and found work. After graduating from high school Mom moved back to Chicago in the hopes of reconnecting with her own mother. Sadly she was spurned yet again.
When I got old enough to understand all this, I asked my mother how she survived abuse and abandonment without becoming embittered and emotionally stunted. How did she emerge from this lonely early life as such a loving and levelheaded woman? I'll never forget how she replied. "At critical points in my life somebody showed me kindness," she said. Sometimes it would seem so small, but it would mean so much.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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 intellectual interests, and, to outsiders at least, their emotional lives. While questions endure about whether the Clintons love each other in the way of most married couples, there is no doubt about their shared commitment to public affairs and the Democratic party--and, ultimately, to the pursuit of political power.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anyone who has spent more than a couple of minutes talking to Hilary knows that the caricature of Hillary as some kind of intellectual who can't relate to normal people is just so laughable. Like a lot of people from Chicago, Hillary has a no-nonsense, down-home side to her personality, friendly and relaxed, that gave her a great chance in upstate New York, so long as she came across as herself. Also, the agricultural setting of much of upstate New York felt very comfortable to Hillary, who had grown up not far from Illinois farm country and had spent much of her childhood in eastern Pennsylvania, where her father was born.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
When I lost my father in 1993, it felt too soon, and I was consumed with sadness for all the things he would not live to see and do. This was different. Mom lived a long and full life. This time I wept not for what she would miss but for how much I would miss her.
We held a memorial service at the house with close family and friends. With Bill and Chelsea by my side, I tried to say a final goodbye. I remembered a piece of wisdom that an older friend of mine shared in her later years that perfectly captured how my mother lived her life and how I hoped to live mine: "I have loved and been loved; all the rest is background music."
"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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The other major dynasties were also well funded. With the help of her husband's donors, Hillary Clinton raised $40 million and won a solid victory in New York's gold-plated 2000 US Senate race.
Cash, however, is not the only currency of dynasties. "The only thing better than money for a political campaign is free media," one pundit opined, "and aristocratic politicians simply make better copy."
A childhood or marriage steeped in politics is g
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:
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.
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."
CLINTON: We are going to be looking for ways to celebrate our diversity, and we are going to try to reach out to every boy and girl, as well as every adult, to bring them in to working on behalf of our country. I have a very positive and optimistic view about what we can do together. That's why the slogan of my campaign is "Stronger Together," because I think if we work together, if we overcome the divisiveness that sometimes sets Americans against one another, and instead we make some big goals and we go together to try to achieve them, there's nothing in my opinion that America can't do. So that's why I hope that we will come together in this campaign.
I can promise you, I will work with every American. I want to be the president for all Americans, regardless of your political beliefs, where you come from, what you look like, your religion. I want us to heal our country and bring it together.
CLINTON: Well, I think that's pretty obvious. I think being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we've had up until this point, including Pres. Obama.
Q: Is there a policy difference?
CLINTON: Well, there's a lot that I would like to do to build on the successes of Pres. Obama, but also, as I'm laying out, to go beyond. And that's in my economic plans, and how I would deal with a full range of issues that I've been talking about throughout this campaign.
Q: This year has been the year of the outsider in politics. Why should Democrats embrace an insider like yourself?
CLINTON: Well, I can't think of anything more of an outsider than electing the first woman president, but I'm not just running because I would be the first woman president. I'm running because I have a lifetime of experience in getting results and fighting for people, fighting for kids, for women, for families, fighting to even the odds.
When I chose to leave a career as a young lawyer in Washington to move to Arkansas to marry Bill & start a family, my friends asked, "Are you out of your mind?" I heard similar questions when I took on health care reform as First Lady, ran for office myself, and accepted Pres. Obama's offer to represent our country as Secretary of State.
What's true in our daily lives is also true at the highest levels of government. Keeping America safe, strong, and prosperous presents an endless set of choices
And my heart & head together sent me into public service. Along the way, I've tried not to make the same mistake twice, to learn, to adapt, and to pray for the wisdom to make better choices in the future. When I began this book, I considered a number of titles. One reader proposed "It Takes a World," a fitting sequel to It Takes a Village. My favorite was "The Scrunchie Chronicles: 112 Countries and It's Still All about My Hair." In the end, the title that best captured my experiences on the high wire of international diplomacy was Hard Choices.
One thing that has never been a hard choice for me is serving our country. It has been the greatest honor of my life.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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?Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.102-105 , Jul 18, 2007
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.“
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.
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.
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.
My final act was to go down to the lobby--where I had been greeted on my first day back in 2009--to say good-bye to the men and women of the State Department and USAID. Thanking them seemed inadequate for all their dedicated service, but I did my best. I knew I would always be grateful to have had the chance to lead such a team and to represent America around the world. I had learned anew the goodness of our people and the greatness of our nation, and I would face the future with a full and open heart.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.“
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.”
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
A: "The Brothers Karamazov" made a lasting impression on me when I read it as a young woman; I intend to reread it this summer to see what I now think about it.
Q: Is there one book you wish all students would read?
A: "Pride and Prejudice," by Jane Austen; "Out of Africa," by Isak Dinesen; "Schindler's List," by Thomas Keneally.
Q: If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?
A: At the risk of appearing predictable, the Bible was and remains the biggest influence on my thinking. I was raised reading it, memorizing passages from it and being guided by it. I still find it a source of wisdom, comfort and encouragement.
Q: Which books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
A: You might be surprised to see memoirs by Republicans such as "Decision Points," by President George W. Bush, and "Faith of My Fathers," by Senator John McCain.
A: It's very good, thank you.
Q: How serious was it?
A: It was a serious concussion.
Q: Blood clot in addition; and if the clot had dislodged--
A: Well, can I tell you--that was a scary point.
Q: You had trouble with vision?
A: Because of the force of the fall, I had double vision for a short period of time and I had some dizziness.
Q: So no lingering effects?
A: No lingering effects.
Q: You would release your medical records if you ran for president?
A: I would do what other candidates have done, absolutely.
Q: And age?
A: Age, yes. Isn't it great to be our age?
Q: Mitch McConnell said at one point 2016 will be the return of the Golden Girls.
A: That was a very popular, long running TV series.
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.
"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."
"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.
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
Yet Hillary lacked her husband's passion. Her demeanor was businesslike, her cadences careful and slow. While Bill savored his ability to wing it, her appearances seemed scripted and well rehearsed. She also lapsed into the language of social science, her "fugues into technocratic prose," which included sentences such as "the country was trending in the wrong direction on so many indicators."
When Bill addressed an audience, his gaze ranged everywhere, connecting with individuals as he assessed the mood. Hillary's eyes often sought the distance over the heads of her listeners. She seemed more focused on the perfection of her delivery, almost as if she was listening to herself. She gave the impression of talking "at" her audience, not with them.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
"Hillary, please quit worrying," I told her at one point. "You're driving me crazy. It's going to be done."
"I know, I know," she said, almost apologetically. "That's just who I am."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
KAINE: Let me tell you why I trust Hillary Clinton. Here's what people should look at as they look at a public servant. Do they have a passion in their life that showed up before they were in public life? And have they held onto that passion throughout their life, regardless of whether they were in office or not, succeeding or failing? Hillary Clinton has that passion. From a time as a kid in a Methodist youth group in the suburbs of Chicago, she has been focused on serving others with a special focus on empowering families and kids. As a civil rights lawyer in the South, with the Children's Defense Fund, first lady of Arkansas and this country, senator, secretary of state, it's always been about putting others first. And that's a sharp contrast with Donald Trump.
CLINTON: I pray for people whom I know by name. People who either have gone through or are experiencing difficult times, illness, divorce, death, all of the life experiences that confront most of us. I pray for the will of God to be known that we can know it and to the best of our limited ability, try to follow it and fulfill it. I have said many times that I am a praying person, and if I haven't been during the time I was in the White House, I would have become one. Because it's very hard to imagine living under that kind of pressure without being able to fall back on prayer and on my faith. So I do pray for people in authority. I try to think about what they are going through, even when I disagree with them. Trying to find some common ground, some common understanding that perhaps can make me more empathetic. I don't always succeed.
But Hillary's sincere religion does not apply to her stances on social issues: Hillary is fully pro-gay marriage; and fully pro-choice. Those stances are against those of the religious right, and exclude Hillary from consideration as a candidate for support. The religious left in the 1960s focused on economic issues such as welfare, and on war issues (Hillary credits 1960s Vietnam activism with converting her from Republican to Democrat).
If you are a religious conservative or a progressive and want a firebrand on social issues, that firebrand is neither Jeb nor Hillary. But both are sincere in their personal religious beliefs, and apply them to some (only some!) of their public policies.
Religious freedom is a human right unto itself, and it is wrapped up with other rights, including the right of people to think what they want, say what they think, associate with others, and assemble peacefully without the state looking over their shoulders. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes clear that each of us is born free to practice any religion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TRUMP: [Hillary's 2008 campaign] sent a highly respected reporter at McClatchy, [a news agency], to Kenya to find out about it. She failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn't fail. I figured you'd ask the question tonight, of course. I got him to give the birth certificate. And I think I did a good job.
CLINTON: As Donald just admitted, he knew he was going to be asked this question, so he tried to put the whole racist birther lie to bed [two weeks ago, by declaring Obama was born in the US]. But it can't be dismissed that easily. He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted, year after year, because some of his supporters apparently believed it or wanted to believe it.
CLINTON: It was a mistake to have a personal account. I would certainly not do it again. I make no excuses for it. It was something that should not have been done. But the real question is the handling of classified material. Classified material has a header which says "top secret" or "confidential." Nothing--and this is verified in the report by the Department of Justice--none of the e-mails sent or received by me had such a header.
Q: The FBI assessed that it was possible that hostile actors gained access to your personal e-mail accounts.
CLINTON: Of course anything is possible. But what is factual is the State Department system was hacked. We've had hacking repeatedly, even in the White House. There is no evidence my system was hacked.
CLINTON: It was something I had offered to do since last August. I was pleased to have the opportunity to assist the department in bringing its review to a conclusion.
Q: How did your private server, where you kept this classified information, how is that not a violation of this code?
CLINTON: I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified. And there is a process for the review of material before it is released to the public, I call that retroactively classifying.
Q: Who advised you that it was perfectly legal for you to have a private server?
CLINTON: I'm not going to go into any more detail than I already have in public, many times, out of respect for the process that the department is conducting. But I've been answering questions now for over a year. I've released more than 55,000 pages of my emails for the public to read for themselves.
CLINTON: Absolutely I can. You know, before it was emails, it was Benghazi, and the Republicans were stirring up so much controversy about that. I testified for 11 hours, answered their questions. They basically said "yeah, didn't get her. We tried." That was all a political ploy.
Pataki said, "Clinton put an unsecure server, in her home. We have no doubt that that was hacked, and that state secrets are out there to the Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese and others."
It is true that Clinton had a personal email account on a private server. It is also true that some emails contained unmarked classified information. But was Clinton's server "hacked"? And did the Iranians, Russians and Chinese obtain "state secrets"? That's all speculation.
Pataki is referring to reports of hacking attempts that may or may not have been successful. Investigations have found that some hacking attempts originated from Russia, China, South Korea and Germany--but no evidence that any were successful.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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.
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.
[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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Since its inception, the DLC has championed policies from spurring private sector economic growth, fiscal discipline and community policing to work based welfare reform, expanded international trade, and national service. Throughout the 90’s, innovative, New Democrat policies implemented by former DLC Chairman President Bill Clinton have helped produce the longest period of sustained economic growth in our history, the lowest unemployment in a generation, 22 million new jobs, cut the welfare rolls in half, reduced the crime rate for seven straight years, balanced the budget and streamlined the federal bureaucracy to its smallest size since the Kennedy administration.
Now, the DLC is promoting new ideas -- such as a second generation of environmental protection and new economy and technology development strategies -- that is distinctly different from traditional liberalism and conservatism to build the next generation of America’s leaders.
|Other candidates on Principles & Values:
|Hillary Clinton on other issues:
2016 Presidential Candidates:
2016 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
2016 Withdrawn GOP Candidates:
About Hillary Clinton: