Timely and Concise Analysis of Politics, People,
World and National Events
by
Dr. Wolf D. Fuhrig Ph.D., 
Professor Emeritus Public Law & Government
Columnist


 

04-19-2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton For President?

It was no surprise for her admirers when on April 20 Mrs. Clinton announced her candidacy for president of the United States on the Democratic ticket. Compared with previous candidates, the 68-year old Hillary has an unparalleled record. From 2009 to 2013, she served as the sixty-seventh U.S. secretary of state under President Obama.

From 1993 to 2001, she primarily functioned as First Lady and wife of Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States. Running in democratic presidential primaries in 2008, Hillary won far more votes and delegates than any other female candidate in American history. Yet, she narrowly lost the nomination to Obama. A native of Chicago, Miss Rodham was the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Four years later she earned a doctor of laws degree at Yale University. After a brief period as legal counsel in Congress, she moved to Arkansas and married Bill Clinton in 1975. He had served as the state's governor from 1979 to 1981 and from 1983 to 1992.

Hillary cofounded Arkansas' Advocates for Children and Families and became the first female chair of the state's Legal Services Corporation, as well as the first female partner in the Rose Law firm. She and her husband led a task force that reformed Arkansas' education system. Their reform of the state's health care plan, however, did not get approval in Congress. In 1997 and 1999, the Clintons played a leading role in advocating the creation of The Children's Health Insurance Program, The Adoption and Safe Families Act and The Foster Care Independence Act.

After moving to New York City, Hillary Clinton became the only First Lady who ran for public office and got elected a senator of the state of New York in 2004 and 2006. Following the terrorist attacks on Washington, D.C., and New York City in September 11, 2001, she supported U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. Subsequently, however, she objected to the conduct of the war in Iraq by the George W. Bush administration.

As Secretary of State, Hillary led the U.S. response to the "Arab Spring." She also favored the U.S. military attack on Benghazi in 2012, which resulted in the deaths of American consulate personnel. During her four-year term she visited more countries than any previous secretary of state. Numerous critics, however, have been trying to impeach her alleged "scandals" during her years in the White House. One outgrowth of the so-called "Travelgate" investigation in 1996 was the discovery of improper White House access to hundreds of FBI background reports on former Republican White House employees. Mrs. Clinton also became the only First Lady to ever have been subpoenaed when she testified before a federal jury in 1996 regarding the Clintons' losing real estate venture in Whitewater in Arkansas.

In 1998, the Clintons marital relationship became the subject of much speculation when investigations revealed that the President had a sexual tryst with White House intern Monica Lewinski. It eventually led to an attempt by the House of Representatives to impeach Bill Clinton. Hillary called the accusations against her husband a "vast right-wing conspiracy" and characterized the Lewinsky charges as the latest in a long, organized series of charges by Bill's political enemies rather than a justified response to any wrongdoing by her husband. After the evidence of President Clinton's encounters with Lewinsky became incontrovertible, Hillary issued a public statement reaffirming her commitment to their marriage. Privately, however, she was reported to have been furious at him and unsure if she wanted to stay in the marriage to him.

In her 2003 memoir, Hillary would attribute her decision to stay married to "a love that has persisted for decades." She added: "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."

When Hillary left the State Department in September 2014, it was the first time she was a fully private citizen in thirty years. She became a grandmother when her daughter Chelsea gave birth to a baby girl named Charlotte. She and her daughter joined Bill Clinton as members of "The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation," where the three focused on early childhood development.