From Madam Secretary to Madam President? Key moments in the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton

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(Photo’s credits to BlackChristianNews)

Hillary Rodham Clinton was a fighter during her whole life. The question is – does she still want to fight? This article will reflect on the life of Hillary Clinton and on the question, whether she will run for President of the United States in 2016 and what her chances are.

Signs of a Fighter

Throughout her youth Hillary Rodham already gained fame as the first commencement speaker of Wellesley College. The future Secretary of State, instead of her original speech, gave an improvised address and publicly criticized the guest speaker for supporting the Vietnam War, which was highly unpopular by 1969. The extraordinary and courageous move was regarded as a key moment in the fight between the government and students in the 1960s and as a symbolic speech against the Vietnam War. This gave her the chance to win national attention, and also being on the cover of the Life magazine.[1]

So, when Bill Clinton met with Hillary Rodham for the first time, it was not a coincidence that Clinton was staring at his future wife for so long, because she was already well known in the US and she had already revealed the first sign of a fighter that is what she became later on in her public life.

(According to the tale, Hillary was the first who made a move – “If you’re going to keep looking at me and I’m going to keep looking at you, we ought to at least know each other. I’m Hillary Rodham.”[2])

Giving up her highly successful career as a lawyer in order to focus on issues as First Lady of the United States would have been quite usual for almost all First Ladies. However, not for Hillary Clinton. She was a careerist, who did not give up her job to take a ceremonial role.

She firmly believed that with her role as First Lady, she could make a huge impact on the Presidency of Bill Clinton. As it is mentioned in the recently published book called the ‘The Presidents Club‘ Richard Nixon, the former President of the United States for instance stated after several meetings with Bill Clinton, that the President was sharing power with his wife.[3]

Many historians and journalists argue that the Clinton Presidency should be regarded as the first co-presidency of the US, because the POTUS was making decisions with the First Lady, (even though, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosalynn Carter, and Nancy Reagan were also trying to change the role to a more politicized one).

From the Clinton co-presidency started to emerge the new political career of Hillary Clinton. In 2001, she became a New York Senator (first time in history that a First Lady ran for public office), and she fought in the 2008 Presidential nomination race where she narrowly lost to Barack Obama.

When Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic primaries to Obama, for party unity Clinton endorsed the future President. However, it was a massive surprise when Obama offered the job of Secretary of State to his big opponent. And it also shocked the American political circles when Clinton accepted the offer from a man, who she was fighting with during the Democratic primaries. They thought that it was dangerous to have Clinton by his side. However, they were completely wrong. Hillary became the best campaigner of the efforts of the Obama administration, promoting the US in 112 different countries.

The way towards 2016

By the time when Clinton ended her tenure as Secretary of State, many journalists considered her work as the most successful pre-election campaign. Moreover, Obama also sat down for a joint interview with Clinton (a rare, almost unseen gesture from a President towards an outgoing Secretary of State), where he publicly praised the tenure of Clinton.

The interview also led to speculations that after Bill Clinton was helping Obama during the 2012 campaign, Obama paid back the help with the interview, which was seen as a public endorsement of a Clinton 2016 presidential bid.

So, why Hillary Clinton will run in 2016? Well, because all her life is regarded as a preparation for being the first female President of the United States.

Moreover, many influential politicians believe that for the former First Lady it would not be a challenge to run in 2016, because her approval ratings are that high. Barbara Boxer, one of the most powerful female senators stated when Clinton left the State Department: “You will be sorely missed, but I for one hope not for too long.”[4]

But the biggest arguments why she will run for Presidency are not the current ones, not the high approval rating or the statements of other politicians. The biggest argument came from Clinton herself during the 2008 presidential nomination race: “Making change is not about what you believe; it’s not about a speech you make. It’s about working hard. I’m not just running on a promise for change. I’m running on 35 years of change. What we need is somebody who can deliver change.”[5]

Hillary Clinton has always been a fighter. No arguments from her or from her opponents questioned that. She also knows that the biggest change can be made by the most powerful person on Earth, by the President of the United States. Then why would she give up this fight, when she could have the chance to make the biggest change in her career?

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(Photo’s credits to Washington Post)

Hillary Clinton has always lived by her principles and by the idea that she has to fight for the issues that matter the most to her. This cannot be changed in the next four years and that is why Hillary Rodham Clinton will probably run for Presidency in 2016.

Andras Molnar


[1]    Carl Bernstein: A Women in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York, Alfred A. Knopf

[2]    Wendy H. Goldberg and Betty Goodwin: Marry Me! Courtships and Proposals of Legendary Couples, page 103.

[3]    Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy: The Presidents Club: Inside the World‘s Most Exclusive Fraternity, Simon and Schuster Paperbacks

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2 thoughts on “From Madam Secretary to Madam President? Key moments in the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton

  1. Denied a co-Presidency before, what would anyone expect of an ambitious woman without typical constraints of tradition?

    What would anyone expect of a male in that situation?

    History is dotted with second fiddles who rose to become first.
    In fact, in the world of American capitalism, the world relies upon it by virtue of the nature of competitive capitalism. what could be more natural for America?

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