from New York
January 3, 2001
Serving with Charles Schumer
|Preceded by||Daniel Patrick Moynihan|
|Succeeded by||Incumbent (2013)|
First Lady of the United States
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
|Preceded by||Barbara Bush|
|Succeeded by||Laura Bush|
|Born||October 26, 1947 (1947-10-26)
|Alma mater||Wellesley College
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is the junior United States Senator from New York, and is a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election. She is married to Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, and was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001.
A native of Illinois, Hillary Rodham initially attracted national attention in 1969 when she became the first student to speak at commencement exercises for Wellesley College. She began her career as a lawyer in the 1970s after graduating from Yale Law School, moving to Arkansas and marrying Bill Clinton in 1975; she was named the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979 and was named one of the hundred most influential lawyers in America in 1988 and 1991. She served as the First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992, and was active in a number of organizations concerned with the welfare of children.
As First Lady of the United States, she took a more prominent position in policy matters than many before her. Her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan, failed to gain approval by the U.S. Congress in 1994, but she did succeed in establishing the Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997, among other things. Clinton later became the first First Lady to be subpoenaed, however, and testified before a Federal grand jury as a consequence of the Whitewater scandal in 1996, but was never charged with any wrongdoing in this or several other investigations during the Clinton administration. The state of her marriage to Bill Clinton was the subject of considerable public discussion following the events of the Lewinsky scandal in 1998.
Moving to New York, Clinton was elected to the United States Senate in 2000, becoming the first First Lady elected to public office and the first woman elected Senator from New York. She was re-elected by a wide margin in 2006, and has consistently been the front-runner in polls for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President.
Hillary Diane Rodham was born at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised in a United Methodist family first in Chicago, and then, from when Hillary was three years of age, in suburban Park Ridge, Illinois. Her father, Hugh Ellsworth Rodham, was a son of Welsh and English immigrants and operated a small but successful business in the textile industry. Her mother, Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham, of English, Scottish, French Canadian, Welsh, and possibly Native American descent, was a homemaker. She has two younger brothers, Hugh and Tony.
As a child, Hillary Rodham was involved in many activities at church and at her public school in Park Ridge. She participated in a variety of sports and earned awards as a Brownie and Girl Scout. She attended Maine East High School, where she had participated in student council, the debating team and the National Honor Society. For her senior year she was redistricted to Maine South High School, where she was a National Merit Finalist. Raised in a politically conservative family, she volunteered for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the United States presidential election of 1964. Her parents encouraged her to pursue the career of her choice.
After graduating from high school in 1965, Rodham enrolled in Wellesley College where she majored in political science. She became active in politics and served as president of the Wellesley Young Republicans organization during her freshman year. However, due to her evolving views regarding the American Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War, she subsequently stepped down from that position. In her junior year, Rodham was affected by the death of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., whom she had met in person in 1962, and became a supporter of the anti-war presidential nomination campaign of Democrat Eugene McCarthy. Rodham organized a two-day strike and worked with Wellesley's black students for moderate changes, such as recruiting more black students and faculty. In that same year she was elected president of the Wellesley College Government. She attended the "Wellesley in Washington" summer program at the urging of Professor Alan Schechter, who assigned Rodham to intern at the House Republican Conference so she could better understand her switch to the Democratic Party. Rodham was invited by Representative Charles Goodell, a moderate New York Republican, to help Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s late-entry campaign for the Republican nomination. Rodham attended the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, where she decided to leave the Republican Party for good; she was upset over how Richard Nixon's campaign had portrayed Rockefeller and what Rodham perceived as the "veiled" racist messages of the convention.
Rodham returned to Wellesley, and wrote her senior thesis about the tactics of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky under Professor Schechter (that, years later while she was First Lady, was suppressed at the request of the White House and became the subject of mystery). In 1969, Rodham graduated with departmental honors in political science. Stemming from the demands of some students, she became the first student in Wellesley College history to deliver their commencement address. According to reports by the Associated Press, her speech received a standing ovation lasting seven minutes. She was featured in an article published in Life magazine, due to the response to a part of her speech that criticized Senator Edward Brooke, who had spoken before her at the commencement. That summer, she worked her way across Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park and sliming salmon in a fish processing factory in Valdez (which shut down overnight when she complained about unhealthy conditions there).
Rodham then entered Yale Law School, where she served on the Board of Editors of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action. During her second year, 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 to provide free advice for the poor. In the summer of 1970, she was awarded a grant to work at the Children's Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the late spring of 1971, she began dating Bill Clinton, who was also a law student at Yale. That summer, she traveled to Washington to work on Senator Walter Mondale's subcommittee on migrant workers, researching migrant problems in housing, sanitation, health and education. The following summer, Rodham campaigned in the western states for 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern and interned on child custody cases at the Oakland law firm of Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein. She received a Juris Doctor degree from Yale in 1973. She began a year of post-graduate study on children and medicine at the Yale Child Study Center. Her first scholarly paper, "Children Under the Law", was published in the Harvard Educational Review in late 1973 and became frequently cited in the field.
During her post-graduate study, Rodham served as staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts and as a consultant to the Carnegie Council on Children. During 1974 she was a member of the impeachment inquiry staff in Washington, D.C., advising the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate scandal, which culminated in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974. By then, Rodham was viewed as someone with a bright political future; Democratic political organizer and consultant Betsey Wright had moved from Texas to Washington the previous year to help guide her career; Wright thought Rodham had the potential to one day become a Senator or President. However, helped by her having passed the Arkansas but not the District of Columbia bar exam on her first attempt, Rodham said that she chose to follow her heart instead of her head and followed Bill Clinton to Arkansas, rather than staying in Washington where career prospects were best. Clinton was at the time teaching law and running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in his home state. In August 1974, she moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas and became one of two female faculty members at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville School of Law, where Bill Clinton also taught.
In the summer of 1975, the couple bought a house in Fayetteville, and on October 11, 1975, Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton were married in a Methodist ceremony in their living room. She kept her name as Hillary Rodham. Bill Clinton had lost the Congressional race in 1974, but in November 1976 was elected Attorney General of Arkansas. This required the couple to move to the state capital of Little Rock. Rodham joined the venerable Rose Law Firm in late 1976, specializing in intellectual property while working pro bono in child advocacy. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter (for whom Rodham had done 1976 campaign coordination work in Indiana) appointed her to the board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation, and she served in that capacity through the end of 1981. For much of that time  she served as the chair of that board, the first woman to do so. During her time as chair, funding for the Corporation was expanded from $90 million to $300 million, and she successfully battled against President Ronald Reagan's initial attempts to reduce the funding and change the nature of the organization.
In January 1979, following the November 1978 election of her husband as Governor of Arkansas, Rodham became First Lady of Arkansas, her title for a total of 12 years (1979-1981, 1983-1992). In 1979, she became the first woman to be made a full partner of Rose Law Firm. During 1978 and 1979, while looking to supplement their income, Rodham made a spectacular profit from trading cattle futures contracts. The couple also began their ill-fated investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation real estate venture with Jim and Susan McDougal at this time.
On February 27, 1980, Rodham gave birth to a daughter, Chelsea, her only child.
In November 1980, Bill Clinton was defeated in his bid for re-election, but returned to office two years later by winning the election of 1982. During her husband's campaign in 1982, Rodham began to use the name Hillary Clinton, or sometimes "Mrs. Bill Clinton", in order to have greater appeal to Arkansas voters.
As First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee from 1982 to 1992, where she successfully sought to improve testing standards of new teachers. She also chaired the Rural Health Advisory Committee starting in 1979 and introduced the Arkansas' Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth, a program that helps parents work with their children in preschool preparedness and literacy. She was named Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983 and Arkansas Mother of the Year in 1984.
Clinton continued to practice law with the Rose Law Firm while she was First Lady of Arkansas. She was twice named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America, in 1988 and in 1991. Clinton had co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in 1977, and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital Legal Services (1988-1992) and the Children's Defense Fund (as chair, 1986-1992). In addition to her positions with non-profit organizations, she also held positions on the corporate board of directors of TCBY (1985-1992), Wal-Mart Stores (1986-1992) and Lafarge (1990-1992).
After her husband became a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination of 1992, Hillary Clinton received national attention for the first time. Before the New Hampshire primary, tabloid publications printed claims that Bill Clinton had had an extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers, an Arkansas lounge singer. In response, the Clintons appeared together on 60 Minutes, during which Bill Clinton denied the affair but acknowledged he had caused "pain" in their marriage. (Years later, he would admit that the Flowers affair had happened.) Hillary Clinton made culturally dismissive remarks about Tammy Wynette and baking cookies during the campaign that were ill-considered by her own admission. Bill Clinton said that electing him would get "two for the price of one", referring to the prominent role his wife would assume.
When Bill Clinton took office as president in January 1993, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the First Lady of the United States, and announced that she would be using that form of her name. She was the first First Lady to hold a post-graduate degree and to have her own professional career up to the time of entering the White House. She was also the first First Lady to take up an office in the West Wing of the White House, First Ladies usually staying in the East Wing. She is regarded as the most openly empowered presidential wife in American history, save for Eleanor Roosevelt.
Some critics called it inappropriate for the First Lady to play a central role in matters of public policy. Supporters pointed out that Clinton's role in policy was no different from that of other White House advisors and that voters were well aware that she would play an active role in her husband's Presidency. Bill Clinton's campaign promise of "two for the price of one" led opponents to refer derisively to the Clintons as "co-presidents", or sometimes "Billary". The pressures of conflicting ideas about the role of a First Lady were enough to send Clinton into "imaginary discussions" with the also-politically-active Eleanor Roosevelt. Other segments of the public focused on her appearance, which had evolved over time from inattention to fashion during her days in Arkansas, to a popular site in the early days of the World Wide Web devoted to showing her many different hairstyles as First Lady, to an appearance on the cover of Vogue magazine in 1998.
In 1993, the president appointed his wife to head and be the chairwoman of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. The recommendation of the task force became known as the Clinton health care plan, a complex proposal that would mandate employers to provide health coverage to their employees through individual health maintenance organizations. The plan was quickly derided as "Hillarycare" by its opponents, and did not receive enough support for a floor vote in either the House or the Senate, although both chambers were controlled by Democrats. The proposal was abandoned in September of 1994. Clinton later acknowledged in her book, Living History, that her political inexperience partly contributed to the defeat, but mentioned that many other factors were also responsible. Republicans made the Clinton health care plan a major campaign issue of the 1994 midterm elections, which saw a net Republican gain of 53 seats in the House election and 7 in the Senate election, winning control of both. Opponents of universal health care would continue to use "Hillarycare" as a pejorative label for similar plans by others.
As First Lady, Clinton hosted numerous White House Conferences, including ones on Child Care (1997), Early Childhood Development and Learning (1997), and Children and Adolescents (2000), and the first-ever White House Conferences on Teenagers (2000) and Philanthropy (1999). She promoted nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses and encouraged older women to seek a mammogram to detect breast cancer, with coverage provided by Medicare. She initiated the Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997, a federal effort that provided state support for children whose parents were unable to provide them with health coverage. She successfully sought to increase research funding for prostate cancer and childhood asthma at the National Institutes of Health. The First Lady worked to investigate reports of an illness that affected veterans of the Gulf War, which became known as the Gulf War syndrome. In 1997, she initiated and shepherded the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which she regarded as her greatest accomplishment as First Lady.
In a September 1995 speech before the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, Clinton argued very forcefully against practices that abused women around the world and in China itself. Together with Attorney General Janet Reno, Clinton helped create the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice. She was one of the most prominent international figures at the time to speak out against the treatment of Afghan women by the Islamist fundamentalist Taliban that had seized control of Afghanistan. She helped create Vital Voices, an international initiative sponsored by the United States to promote the participation of women in the political processes of their countries.
Starting during the 1992 presidential campaign, and throughout her time as First Lady, the Whitewater controversy was the subject of attention. The Clintons had lost their late-1970s investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation; at the same time, Clintons partners Jim and Susan McDougal operated a savings and loan that retained Hillary Clinton's legal services at Rose Law Firm. When the McDougals' savings and loan failed in 1994, federal investigators subpoenaed Clinton's legal billing records for auditing purposes. Hillary Clinton claimed to be unable to produce these records. After an extensive, two-year search, the records were found in the first lady's book room in the White House and delivered to investigators in early 1996. The delayed appearance of the billing records sparked intense interest and another investigation about how they surfaced and where they had been; Clinton attributed the problem to disorganization that resulted from her move from the Arkansas Governor's Mansion to the White House as well as the effects of a White House renovation. After the discovery of the records, on January 26, 1996, Clinton made history by becoming the first First Lady to be subpoenaed to testify before a Federal grand jury. After several Independent Counsels investigated, a final report was issued in 2000 which stated that there was insufficient evidence that either Clinton had engaged in criminal wrongdoing.
Other investigations took place during Hillary Clinton's time as First Lady. Examinations of the May 1993 firings of the White House Travel Office employees, an affair that sometimes became known as "Travelgate", began with charges that the White House had used alleged financial improprieties in the Travel Office operation to give the business to Arkansas friends of theirs; over the years the investigation focused more and more on whether Hillary Clinton had orchestrated the firings and whether she made true statements regarding her role in them to investigating authorities. The 2000 final Independent Counsel report found that there was substantial evidence that she was involved in the firings and that she had made "factually false" statements, but that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute her. Following deputy White House counsel Vince Foster's July 1993 suicide, allegations were made that Hillary Clinton had ordered the removal of potentially damaging files (related to Whitewater or other matters) from Foster's office on the night of his death.  Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr investigated this, and by 1999 Starr was reported to still be holding the investigation open, despite his staff having told him there was no case. When Starr's successor Robert Ray issued his final Whitewater reports in 2000, no claims were made against Hillary Clinton in this regard. In March 1994 newspaper reports revealed her spectacular profits from cattle futures trading in 1978-1979; allegations were made of conflict of interest and disguised bribery, and several individuals analyzed her trading records, but no official investigation was made and she was never charged with any wrongdoing. An outgrowth of the Travelgate investigation was the June 1996 discovery of improper White House access to hundreds of FBI background reports on former Republican White House employees, an affair that sometimes became known as "Filegate"; accusations were made that Hillary Clinton had requested these files and that she had recommended hiring the unqualified head of the White House Security Office. The 2000 final Independent Counsel report found there was no substantial or credible evidence that Hillary Clinton had any role or showed any misconduct in the matter.
In 1998, the Clintons' relationship became the subject of much speculation and gossip as a result of the Lewinsky scandal, when it was revealed the President had had an extramarital affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Events surrounding this scandal eventually led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Later saying she had been misled by her husband's initial claims that no affair had taken place, Hillary Clinton stated at the time that the allegations against her husband were the result of a "vast right-wing conspiracy", characterizing the Lewinsky charges as the latest in a long, organized, collaborative series of charges by Clinton political enemies, rather than any wrongdoing by her husband. After the evidence of President Clinton's encounters with Lewinsky became incontrovertible, she remained resolute that their marriage was solid. Both Clintons' memoirs later stated that the revelation of the affair was a very painful time in their marriage. There were a mix of public reactions to Hillary Clinton: some women admired her strength and poise in private matters made public, some 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 not obtaining a divorce, while still others accused her of cynically staying in a failed marriage as a way of maximizing her own political power. In her 2003 memoir, she would attribute her decision to stay married to love: "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."
Clinton initiated and was Founding Chair of the Save America's Treasures program, a national effort that matched federal funds to private donations for the purpose of preserving and restoring historic items and sites,which included the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner and the First Ladies Historic Site in Canton, Ohio. She was head of the White House Millennium Council, and initiated the Millennium Project with monthly lectures that discuss futures studies, one of which became the first live simultaneous webcast from the White House. Clinton also created the first Sculpture Garden, which displayed large contemporary American works of art loaned from museums in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden.
In the White House, Clinton placed donated handicrafts of contemporary American artisans, such as pottery and glassware, on rotating display in the state rooms. She oversaw the restoration of the Blue Room on the state floor, and the redecoration of the Treaty Room into the presidential study on the second floor. Clinton hosted many large-scale events at the White House, such as a St. Patrick's Day reception, a state dinner for visiting Chinese dignitaries, a contemporary music concert that raised funds for music education in public schools, a New Year's Eve celebration at the turn of the twenty-first century, and a state dinner honoring the bicentennial of the White House in November of 2000.
The long-serving United States Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, announced his retirement in November 1998. Several prominent Democratic figures, including Representative Charles Rangel of New York, urged Clinton to run for Moynihan's open seat in the United States Senate election of 2000. When she decided to run, Clinton and her husband purchased a home in Chappaqua, New York, north of New York City in September 1999. She became the first First Lady of the United States to be a candidate for elected office. At first, Clinton was expected to face Rudy Giuliani, the Mayor of New York City, as her Republican opponent in the election. However, Giuliani withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and Clinton instead faced Rick Lazio, a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives representing New York's 2nd congressional district.
Throughout the campaign and during debates, Clinton was accused of carpetbagging by her opponents, as she had never resided in New York nor directly participated in the state's politics prior to this race, but exit polls revealed that more than two-thirds of voters regarded these criticisms as unimportant.
Much like Robert F. Kennedy, who in his 1964 campaign was similarly accused of carpetbagging, Clinton began her campaign by visiting every county in the state, in a "listening tour" of small-group settings. During the campaign, she devoted considerable time in traditionally Republican Upstate New York regions. Clinton vowed to improve the economic situation in those areas, promising to deliver 200,000 jobs to the state over her term. Her plan included specific tax credits to reward job creation and encourage business investment, especially in the high-tech sector. She called for personal tax cuts for college tuition and long-term care.
The contest drew national attention and both candidates were well-funded. By the date of the election, the campaigns of Clinton and Lazio, along with Giuliani's initial effort, had spent a combined $78 million. Clinton won the election on November 7, 2000, with 55 percent of the vote to Lazio's 43 percent. She was sworn in as United States Senator on January 3, 2001.
When Clinton entered the United States Senate, she maintained a low public profile as she built relationships with senators from both parties, to avoid the polarizing celebrity she experienced as First Lady. It was reported that when Elizabeth Dole joined the Senate in 2003 under somewhat similar circumstances, she modeled her initial approach after Clinton's, as did the nationally visible Barack Obama in 2005.
In the Senate, Clinton has served on five committees with nine subcommittee assignments in all:
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, in which the World Trade Center in New York City was destroyed, Clinton sought to obtain funding for the recovery efforts and security improvements in her state. She was audibly booed in an audience of New York firefighters and police officers during her on-stage appearance at The Concert for New York City on October 20, 2001. Working with New York's senior senator, Charles Schumer, she helped secure $21.4 billion in funding for the World Trade Center site's redevelopment. In 2005, Clinton issued two studies that examined the disbursement of federal homeland security funds to local communities and first responders. Clinton voted for the USA Patriot Act in October 2001, as did all but one senator. In 2005, when the act was up for renewal, she worked to address some of the civil liberties concerns with it, before voting in favor of a compromise renewed act in March 2006 that gained large majority support.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Clinton strongly supported military action in Afghanistan, saying it was a chance to combat terrorism while improving the lives of Afghan women who suffered under the Taliban government. Clinton voted in favor of the Iraq Resolution, which authorized United States President George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq, should such action be required to enforce a United Nations Security Council Resolution after pursuing with diplomatic efforts. However, Clinton voted against the Levin Amendment to the Iraq Resolution, which would have required the President to conduct vigorous diplomacy at the UN, and would have also required a separate Congressional authorization to unilaterally invade Iraq.Clinton later said that she did not read the National Intelligence Estimate that was delivered 10 days before the vote to all members of Congress, but that she was briefed on the report. 
After the Iraq War began, Clinton made trips to both Iraq and Afghanistan to visit American troops stationed there, such as the 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum, New York. On a visit to Iraq in February 2005, Clinton noted that the insurgency had failed to disrupt the democratic elections held earlier, and that parts of the country were functioning well. Noting that war deployments are draining regular and reserve forces, she co-introduced legislation to increase the size of the regular United States Army by 80,000 soldiers to ease the strain. In late 2005, Clinton said that while immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake, Bush's pledge to stay "until the job is done" is also misguided, as it gives Iraqis "an open-ended invitation not to take care of themselves." She criticized the administration for making poor decisions in the war, but added that it was more important to solve the problems in Iraq. This centrist and somewhat vague stance caused frustration among those in the Democratic party who favor immediate withdrawal. Clinton supported retaining and improving health benefits for veterans, and lobbied against the closure of several military bases.
Senator Clinton voted against the tax cuts introduced by President Bush, including the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, saying it was fiscally irresponsible to reopen the budget deficit. At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, Clinton had called for maintaining a budget surplus to pay down the national debt for future generations. At a fundraiser in 2004, she told a crowd of financial donors that "Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you" but that "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
In Clinton's first term as senator, New York's jobless rate rose by 0.7 percent after a nationwide recession. The state's manufacturing sector was especially beleaguered, losing about 170,000 jobs. In 2005, Clinton and Senator Lindsey Graham cosponsored the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, which provides incentives and rewards for completely domestic American manufacturing companies. In 2003, Clinton convinced the information technology firm Tata Consultancy Services to open an office in Buffalo, New York, but some criticized the plan because Tata is also involved in the business of outsourcing. In 2004, Clinton co-founded and became the co-chair of the Senate India Caucus with the aid of USINPAC, a political action committee.
Senator Clinton led a bipartisan effort to bring broadband access to rural communities. She cosponsored the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, which encourages research and development in the field of nanotechnology. She included language in an energy bill to provide tax exempt bonding authority for environmentally conscious construction projects, and introduced an amendment that funds job creation to repair, renovate and modernize public schools.
In 2005, Clinton was joined by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who once led the Republican opposition to her husband's administration, in support of a proposal for incremental universal health care. She also worked with Bill Frist, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, in support of modernizing medical records with computer technology to reduce human errors, such as misreading prescriptions.
During the 2005 debate over the use of filibusters by Senate Democrats, which prevented some of President Bush's judicial nominations from being confirmed, Clinton was not part of the "Gang of 14", a bipartisan group of senators who would support cloture but oppose the Republican threat to abolish the filibuster. However, she did vote in favor of cloture along with that group, thereby allowing the nominations to come to a vote. She subsequently voted against three of the nominees, but all were confirmed by the Senate.
Clinton voted against the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States, 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 then said she hoped her concerns would prove to be unfounded. Roberts was confirmed by a solid majority, with half the Senate's Democrats voting for him and half against. She joined with about half of the Democratic Senators in support of the filibuster against the nomination of Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court, and subsequenty voted against his confirmation along with almost all Democratic members of the Senate. On the Senate floor, Clinton said Alito would "roll back decades of progress and roll over when confronted with an administration too willing to flaunt the rules and looking for a rubber stamp." Alito was confirmed in a vote split largely along party lines.
Clinton sought to establish an independent, bipartisan panel patterned after the 9/11 Commission to investigate the response to Hurricane Katrina by the federal, state and local governments, but could not obtain the two-thirds majority needed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate.
In 2005, Clinton called for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate how hidden sex scenes showed up in the controversial video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Along with Senators Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh, she introduced the Family Entertainment Protection Act, intended to protect children from inappropriate content found in video games. Similar bills have been filed in some 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 prohibit same-sex marriage. The proposed constitutional amendment fell well short of passage on both occasions. On June 27, 2006, Clinton voted against the Flag Desecration Amendment, which failed to pass by one vote. Earlier, she attempted to reach a compromise by proposing a legislative ban on flag burning that would not require a constitutional amendment, but it was also voted down.
In November 2004, Clinton announced that she would seek a second term in the United States Senate. The early frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, withdrew from the contest after several months of poor campaign performance. Clinton easily won the Democratic nomination over opposition from anti-war activist Jonathan Tasini. Clinton's eventual opponents in the general election were Republican candidate John Spencer, a former mayor of Yonkers, along with several third-party candidates. Throughout the campaign, Clinton consistently led Spencer in the polls by wide margins. She won the election on 7 November with 67 percent of the vote to Spencer's 31 percent, carrying all but 4 of New York's 62 counties.
Clinton spent $36 million towards her reelection, more than any other candidate for Senate in the 2006 elections. She was criticized by some Democrats for spending too much in a one-sided contest, while some supporters were concerned she did not leave more funds for a potential presidential bid in 2008. In the following months she transferred $10 million of her Senate funds towards her now-official presidential campaign.
Clinton opposed the Iraq War troop surge of 2007 and supported a February 2007 non-binding Senate resolution against it, which failed to gain cloture. In March 2007 she voted in favor of a war spending bill that required President Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within a certain deadline; it passed almost completely along party lines but was subsequently vetoed by President Bush. In May 2007 a compromise war funding bill that removed withdrawal deadlines but tied funding to progress benchmarks for the Iraqi government passed the Senate by a vote of 80-14 and would be signed by Bush; Clinton was one of the 14 that voted against it. In August 2007 Clinton, following the lead of Armed Services Committee chair Carl Levin, called on the Iraqi Parliament to replace Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister of Iraq with "a less divisive and more unifying figure," saying that Maliki had failed to make progress in bridging differences between the hostile factions within Iraq. Maliki responded angrily to the suggestion, saying "There are American officials who consider Iraq as if it were one of their villages, for example Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin ... This is severe interference in our domestic affairs."
In March 2007, in response to the dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy, Clinton called on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, and launched an Internet campaign to gain petition signatures towards this end.
In May and June 2007, regarding the high-profile, hotly debated comprehensive immigration reform bill known as the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007, Clinton twice voted against amendments that would have derailed the bill, thus moving forward the bill's chance of passage. Subsequently she voted in favor of a cloture motion to bring the bill to a vote, which failed. When the bill was again brought forward, she continued to vote in favor of cloture motions to consider it.
In May 2007, following the Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to narrowly interpret the time period in which equal pay discrimination complaints must be filed, Clinton vowed to introduce legislation to statutorily expand this timeframe.
Her current approval rating in the Senate as of 8-21-2007, is 64%, with 34% disapproving.
Clinton had been mentioned as a potential candidate for United States President since at least October 2002, when an article in The New York Times discussed the possibility. Since then, Clinton had been ranked among the world's most powerful people by Forbes magazine and Time magazine's Time 100. Opinion polling consistently places her among the most popular statewide officials in New York. At the same time, Clinton has often been referred to as one of the most polarizing figures in American politics.
On January 20, 2007, Clinton announced on her Web site the formation of a presidential exploratory committee, with the intention to become a candidate for president in the United States presidential election of 2008. In her announcement, she stated, "I'm in. And I'm in to win." No woman has ever been nominated by a major party for President of the United States. She is expected to make a formal announcement of candidacy at a later time.
Clinton has assembled a team of advisers and operatives to run her campaign. Patti Solis-Doyle is the first female Hispanic to manage a presidential campaign. Deputy campaign manager Mike Henry had managed Tim Kaine's successful campaign for Governor of Virginia in 2005, and coordinated the Democratic advertising efforts for the Senate elections of 2006. Howard Wolfson, a veteran of New York politics, serves as the campaign spokesperson. Evelyn S. Lieberman, who worked for Clinton when she was First Lady and served as Deputy White House Chief of Staff, is the chief operating officer of the campaign.
Throughout the first half of 2007, Clinton led the field of candidates competing for the Democratic nomination in opinion polls for the election. Most polls placed Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina as Clinton's closest competitors in the early caucus and primary election states. Clinton set records for early fundraising, which Obama nearly matched; but Clinton generally maintained her lead in the polls. Other campaign workers also date from the "Hillaryland" team of the White House years.
An August 12, 2007 CNN article exposed the fears of many Democrats that Clinton, as a potentially polarizing individual, could hurt the party as a whole. The article describes Clinton as someone with too much political baggage, with Gallup Poll results of "a whopping 49 percent of the public saying they have an unfavorable view of Clinton, compared to 47 percent who say they hold her in high regard."
In late August 2007, a major contributor to, and "bundler" for, Clinton's campaign, called a "HillRaiser", Norman Hsu, was revealed to be a 15-years-long fugitive in an investment fraud case. He was also suspected of having possibly broken campaign finance law regarding his bundling collections. Upon learning of this, the Clinton campaign said it would donate the $23,000 Hsu individually contributed to charity. However, on September 10, 2007, the campaign announced that in an "abundance of caution", it would refund to 260 donors the full $850,000 in bundled donations raised by Hsu. Federal investigators are looking into whether Hsu violated election laws by using "straw donors", second and third party individuals and organizations who could accept donations and then pass them on to candidates.
In terms of public perception of her 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.
In 2004, the National Journal's study of roll-call votes assigned Clinton a rating of 30 in the political spectrum, relative to the current Senate, with a rating of 1 being most liberal and a rating of 100 being most conservative. The 2006 Almanac of American Politics rated her, with most liberal = 100, most conservative = 0, according to a three-dimensional spectrum: Economic = 63, Social = 82, Foreign = 58. Average = 68. Another analysis by three political scientists found her as likely being the sixth-to-eighth-most liberal Senator.
Hillary Clinton received an "A" on the Drum Major Institute's 2005 Congressional Scorecard on middle-class issues.
Hillary Clinton has been involved in various controversies, notably official enquiries into her business dealings in Arkansas that have been summarized above. She has also been involved in controversies arising from the administration of her husband, in addition to controversial public statements that attracted media attention, including but not limited to those described above.
As First Lady of the United States, Clinton published a weekly syndicated newspaper column entitled "Talking It Over" from 1995 to 2000, distributed by Creators Syndicate. It focused on her experiences and those of women, children and families she encountered during her travels around the world.
In 1996, Clinton presented a vision for the children of America in the book It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us. The book was a New York Times Best Seller, and Clinton received the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 1997 for the book's audio recording. The title refers to an African proverb that states "It takes a village to raise a child".
Other books released by Clinton when she was First Lady include Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets (1998) and An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History (2000). In 2001, she wrote the foreword to the children's book Beatrice's Goat.
In 2003, Clinton released a 562-page autobiography, Living History. In anticipation of high sales, publisher Simon & Schuster paid Clinton a record advance of $8 million. The book sold more than one million copies in the first month following publication and was translated into 12 foreign languages. Clinton's audio recording of the book earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album.
Hillary Clinton has been given numerous awards and honors.
|New York United States Senate election, 2000|
|Democratic||Hillary Rodham Clinton||3,747,310||55.3|
|New York United States Senate election, 2006|
|Democratic||Hillary Rodham Clinton