Hillary Rodham Clinton

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We are here to advance the cause of women and to advance the cause of democracy and to make it absolutely clear that the two are inseparable. There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard.

Hillary Rodham Clinton (born 26 October 1947) U.S. Senator, lawyer, social activist, and politician; wife of former U.S President Bill Clinton (First Lady, 1993-2001), and candidate for United States President in 2008; born Hillary Diane Rodham


Presidential campaign (1992 — January 19, 1993)

  • I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.
    • Response to reporter's questions (16 March 1992), reported on "Making Hillary an Issue" Nightline (26 March 1992). Quoted in Boston Globe.
  • You know, I'm not sitting here like 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 he's been through and what we've been through together. And you know, if that's not enough for people, then heck, don't vote for him.
    • 60 minutes interview. [1]

White house years (1993 — 2000)

  • I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president.
    • Quoted in Blood Sport: The President and His Adversaries (p. 368), James B. Stewart, December 1993
  • In the Bible it says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive, and he said 70 times 7. Well, I want you all to know that I'm keeping a chart.
  • It saddens me that a historic event like this is being misconstrued by a small but vocal group of critics trying to spread the notion that the UN gathering is really the work of radicals and atheists bent on destroying our families.
    • "China, UN Seek to Put Conference Back on Track" (Reuters: September 4, 1995)
  • Heavens, no! It could get subpoenaed. I can't write anything.
    • Jim Lehrer News Hour, when asked if she keeps a diary, hours before a jury in Little Rock, Arkansas, returned guilty verdicts against Clintons' business partners; May 29, 1996 [2] [3]
  • We are here to advance the cause of women and to advance the cause of democracy and to make it absolutely clear that the two are inseparable. There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard. There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives.
    • Keynote Address at the Vital Voices Conference in Vienna, Austria (11 July 1997)
  • From my perspective, this is part of the continuing political campaign against my husband… I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings. The great story here for anybody willing to find it, write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.
    • Reacting to truthful reports that her husband, Bill Clinton, had had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky; Interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show (27 January 1998)
  • Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat. Women often have to flee from the only homes they have ever known. Women are often the refugees from conflict and sometimes, more frequently in today’s warfare, victims. Women are often left with the responsibility, alone, of raising the children.
    • Conference on domestic violence in San Salvador, El Salvador (17 November 1998)

Senate years (2001 — January 19, 2007)

  • We will also stand united behind our President as he and his advisors plan the necessary actions to demonstrate America's resolve and commitment. Not only to seek out and exact punishment on the perpetrators, but to make very clear that not only those who harbor terrorists, but those who in any way aid or comfort them whatsoever will now face the wrath of our country. And I hope that that message has gotten through to everywhere it needs to be heard. You are either with America in our time of need or you are not.
  • Every nation has to either be with us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price.
  • In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security. This much is undisputed.
  • I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote. I have had many disputes and disagreements with the administration over how that authority has been used, but I stand by the vote to provide the authority because I think it was a necessary step in order to maximize the outcome that did occur in the Security Council with the unanimous vote to send in inspectors.
  • I wonder if it's possible to be a Republican and a Christian at the same time.
    • C-SPAN broadcast (21 June 2004)
  • And Israel is not only our ally; it is a beacon of what democracy can and should mean… If the people of the Middle East are not sure what democracy means, let them look to Israel.
  • In defeating terror, Israel’s cause is our cause.
    • Hanukkah dinner speech at Yeshiva University (December 2005)
  • I have said publicly no option should be off the table, but I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table.
    • Bloomberg Television (regarding Iran), April 2006 [4]
  • It is time to put policy ahead of politics and success ahead of the status quo. It is time for a new strategy to produce what we need: a stable Iraq government that takes over for its own people so our troops can finish their job.
    • Speech in US Senate (21 June 2006)
  • The lost opportunities of the years since September 11 are the stuff of tragedy. Remember the people rallying in sympathy on the streets of Teheran, the famous headline — "we are all Americans now." Five years later much of the world wonders what America is now. As we face this landscape of failure and disorder, nothing is more urgent than for us to begin again to rebuild a bipartisan consensus to ensure our interests, increase our security and advance our values. It could well start with what our founders had in mind when they pledged "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind" in the Declaration of Independence. I think it's fair to say we are now all internationalists and we are all realists. This Administration's choices were false choices. Internationalism versus unilateralism. Realism versus idealism. Is there really any argument that America must remain a preeminent leader for peace and freedom, and yet we must be more willing to work in concert with other nations and international institutions to reach common goals? The American character is both idealistic and realistic: why can't our government reflect both?
  • At the end of the day, the American people are going to be faced with some very tough judgments, because, at the current course this president is pursuing, I'm afraid that the next president will inherit this situation, with all of its complexity and all of its heartbreak… And let's not kid ourselves. I think this administration is also focused on Iran. And I think we need to send a very strong message that an administration with its track record of failure, of arrogance, of refusal to listen and learn from the disastrous steps that have, unfortunately, been taken should not be rushing off and putting American servicemembers in harm's way and possibly widening the conflict.
  • Look what the Iraq Study Group came up with. You know, that was a totally nonpartisan group of, you know, 10 wise Americans, you know, some of them Republican, some of then Democrats from different, you know, experiences. They came out with a long list of recommendations. Now, you can say well, I wouldn't agree with that one or wouldn't agree with this one, but the fundamental point they made is that there is no military solution. There is only a political resolution and you've got to bring everybody into the game in order to move it forward, you know. And for whatever reason, this administration rejects that. They won't talk to bad people. That means they won't talk to the Iranians and the Syrians… If they're our enemies, then believe me, I think they are, because they certainly don't wish us any well outcome, then we need to know more about them. I think it's a sign of strength to get into a process with people who you are concerned about their motives, who's really calling the shots. This administration won't do that. So, to a certain extent we're flying blind.

Presidential campaign (January 20, 2007 — present)

  • I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America in the middle of the last century.
    • Economic policy speech, May 29, 2007. [5]
  • …as we do bring our troops home, we cannot lose sight of our very real strategic national interests in this region… I will order specialized units to engage in narrow and targeted operations against al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in the region. They will also provide security for U.S. troops and personnel and train and equip Iraqi security services to keep order and promote stability in the country, but only to the extent we believe such training is actually working. I would also consider, as I have said before, leaving some forces in the Kurdish area to protect the fragile but real democracy and relative peace and security that has developed there.
    • Speech at the Temple for the Performing Arts in Des Moines, July 10, 2007 [6]
  • In two nights you're going to have the Republican candidates here. They all support the war. They all support the president. They all supported the escalation. Each of us is trying in our own way to bring the war to an end.
    • Democratic Presidential Debate, Manchester, New Hampshire, June 3, 2007 [7]
  • …freedom is never granted. It is earned by each generation… in the face of tyranny, cruelty, oppression, extremism, sometimes there is only one choice. When the world looks to America, America looks to you, and you never let her down… I have never lost faith in America's essential goodness and greatness… I have 35 years of experience, fighting for real change… the American people and our American military cannot want freedom and stability for the Iraqis more than they want it for themselves… we should have stayed focused on wiping out the Taliban and finding, killing, capturing bin Laden and his chief lieutenants… I also made a full commitment to martial American power, resources and values in the global fight against these terrorists. That begins with ensuring that America does have the world's strongest and smartest military force. We've begun to change tactics in Iraq, and in some areas, particularly in Al Anbar province, it's working… We can't be fighting the last war. We have to be preparing to fight the new war… We've got to be prepared to maintain the best fighting force in the world. I propose increasing the size of our Army by 80,000 soldiers, balancing the legacy systems with newer programs to help us keep our technological edge… I'm fighting for a Cold War medal for everyone who served our country during the Cold War, because you were on the front lines of battling communism. Well, now we're on the front lines of battling terrorism, extremism, and we have to win. Our commitment to freedom, to tolerance, to economic opportunity has inspired people around the world… American values are not just about America, but they speak to the human dignity, the God-given spark that resides in each and every person across the world… We are a good and great nation.
    • Remarks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Kansas City, Missouri, August 20, 2007 [8]
  • I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all.
    • Reply to a question whether her proposals can be implemented without increasing the national debt, October 11, 2007. [9]
  • It's not easy, it's not easy. And I couldn't do it if I just didn't, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know, I've had so many opportunities from this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards - no. So - you know, this is very personal for me. It's not just political, it's not just public. I see what's happening, and we have to reverse it. And some people think elections are a game, they think it's like who's up or who's down. It's about our country, it's about our kids' futures, and it's really about all of us together. You know some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds. And we do it, each one of us, because we care about our country. But some of us are right and some of us are wrong, some of us are ready and some of us are not, some of us know what we will do to do on day one and some of haven't really thought that through enough. And so when we look at the array of problems we have and the potential for it getting - really spinning out of control, this is one of the most important elections America's ever faced. So as tired as I am - and I am - and as difficult as it is to try to kind of keep up with what I try to do on the road like occasionally exercise and try to eat right - it's tough when the easiest food is pizza - I just believe so strongly in who we are as a nation. So I'm going to do everything I can to make my case and, you know, then the voters get to decide.
    • In response to the question, "How do you do it?" from Marianne Pernold, who then voted for Obama The Washington Post
  • It did take a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush.
  • You know, there's a great saying in Texas — you've all heard it — all hat and no cattle. Well, after seven years of George Bush, we need a lot less hat and a lot more cattle.
    • Campaign speech in El Paso, TX, February 12, 2008. [11]
  • So nice to be a fashion icon in my day.
    • On a Saturday Night Live skit featuring her in a pantsuit. Rhode Island, February 2008.
  • It's time that we move from good words to good works, from sound bites to sound solutions.
    • Sound bite reported in Time, February 20, 2008. [12]
  • It's not us making this charge. It's the media.
    • Denying that her campaign charged Barak Obama with plagiarism, February 19, 2008 [13]; see quote below, two days later
  • Lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in. It's change you can Xerox.
    • Charging Barack Obama with plagiarism at Texas presidential debate, February 21, 2008 [14]; see relevant quote above, two days earlier
  • We used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady.
    • Iowa stump speech. [16]
  • They have done so much day in and day out and I want to thank all my friends and family, particularly my mother, who was born before women could vote, and is watching her daughter on this stage tonight.
    • February 5, 2008 Super Tuesday Address [17]
  • On a couple of occasions in the last weeks, I just said some things that weren‘t in keeping with what I knew to be the case and what I had written about in my book. And you know, I‘m embarrassed by it. I‘m very sorry I said it. I have said that, you know, it just didn‘t jive with what I had written about and knew to be the truth.
    • after Bill Clinton claimed Hillary apologized for lying about her trip to Bosnia
  • We landed one of those corkscrew landings and ran out because they said there might be sniper fire. I don't remember anyone offering me tea on the tarmac when that was happening.
    • December 29, 2007, regarding her 1996 trip to Bosnia. [18]
  • I remember, particularly, a trip to Bosnia where the welcoming ceremony had to be moved inside because of sniper fire.
    • February 29, 2008, regarding her 1996 trip to Bosnia. [19]
  • I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.... There was no greeting ceremony and we were basically told to run to our cars. That is what happened.
    • March 17, 2008, regarding her 1996 trip to Bosnia. [20]
  • So I made a mistake. That happens. It proves I'm human, which you know, for some people, is a revelation....I was also told that the greeting ceremony had been moved away from the tarmac but that there was this eight-year-old girl and I said, 'Well, I, I can't, I can't rush by her, I've got to at least greet her.' So I greeted her, I took her stuff and I left. Now that's my memory of it.
    • March 25, 2008, regarding her recent remarks on Bosnia. [21]
  • I was sleep-deprived, and I misspoke.
  • You know, I have written about this and described it in many different settings, and I did misspeak the other day. This has been a very long campaign.
    • March 24 & 25, 2008, retracting her remarks regarding Bosnia in private interviews. [22]
  • I can tell you that I may be a lot of things but I am not dumb. And I wrote about going to Bosnia in my book in 2004, I laid it all out there. And you’re right, on a couple of occasions in the last weeks I just said some things that weren’t in keeping with what I knew to be the case and what I had written about in my book. And you know, I‘m embarrassed by it. I‘m very sorry I said it. I have said that, you know, it just didn‘t jive with what I had written about and knew to be the truth. So I know that it is something that some people have said, “Wait a minute. What happened here?” But I have talked about this and written about it and then, unfortunately, in a few occasions I was not as accurate as I have been in the past.
    • April 16, 2008, Pennsylvania Democratic Presidential Debate, Philadelphia, when asked about her dishonesty concerning her recent comments about Bosnia. [23][24][25]
  • Rich people, God bless us. We deserve all the opportunities to make sure our country and our blessings continue to the next generation.
  • I'm not going to put my lot in with economists.
    • on her dismissal of economists' universal opposition to her gas tax holiday proposal [26]
  • Not too long ago, my opponent made a prediction. He said I would probably win Pennsylvania, he would win North Carolina, and Indiana would be the tiebreaker. Well, tonight we've come from behind, we've broken the tie, and, thanks to you, it's full speed on to the White House.
    • Speech following the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, May 6, 2008.

Quotes about Hillary Clinton

  • She could be president someday. She could go to any state and be elected to the Senate.
  • She is one of the most ruthless people we have ever seen in politics.
  • Hillary Clinton, our junior senator from New York , announced that she has no intentions of ever, ever running for office of the President of the United States. Her husband, Bill Clinton, is bitterly disappointed. He is crushed. There go his dreams of becoming a two-impeachment family.
  • A raisin-eyed, carrot-nosed, twig-armed, straw-stuffed, mannequin trundled on a go-cart by the mentally bereft powerbrokers of the Democratic Party.
  • "She's the most unbelievable actress I have ever met," said a woman who worked on Hillary's Senate campaign. "I remember one time at a Women's Leadership Forum event in New York, thirty of us sat around Hillary, talking about politics. And she said, 'You know, I love this organization, not just because we sit around and talk about politics, but because of the bonds of friendship forming around us.' The way she said it, people were riveted by her performance. But I had gotten to know her, and I could tell she didn't mean it. She has this unbelievable ability to be a liar. She is soulless."
  • Hillary Clinton said that her childhood dream was to be an Olympic athlete. But she was not athletic enough. She said she wanted to be an astronaut, but at the time they didn't take women. She said she wanted to go into medicine, but hospitals made her woozy. Should she be telling people this story? I mean she's basically saying she wants to be president because she can't do anything else.'
  • It's not a very big thing to say, "I made a mistake" on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can't. She's advised by so many smart advisers who are covering every base. I think that America was better served when the candidates were chosen in smoke-filled rooms.
  • "When Hillary had the class reunion at the White House, there were 325 of us there," said Catherine S. Gidlow, a lawyer in St. Louis. "I turned to someone and said, 'I think there are 324 of us here who feel like failures,' and she said, 'No, I think there are 325 of us who feel like failures.'"
    • New York Times Online (14 April 2007)
  • Without nepotism, Hillary would be running for the president of Vassar.
  • We need a bitch facing down terrorists, Iran and Congress.
  • When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.
  • I can't make her younger, taller, or change her gender. I can't do anything other than to tell you who she is.
  • With Hillary at her side, Suha Arafat made the deliberately false allegation that "Our [Palestinian] people have been submitted to the daily and intensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children." Mrs. Arafat also accused Israel of contaminating much of the water sources used by Palestinians with "chemical materials" and poisoning Palestinian women and children with toxic gases. Instead of reacting with outrage, Hillary Clinton sat by silently - and gave her a hug and a kiss when she finished speaking. Later, many hours after the event, and only after a media furor put her on the spot for what many view as a bit more than a mere political "faux pas", Mrs. Clinton called on "all sides" to refrain from "inflammatory rhetoric and baseless accusations" - including Israel, whose leaders made no such accusations. Glossing over this remarkably repugnant affair, Mrs. Clinton has yet to specifically contradict and denounce the monstrous lies uttered by Yasser Arafat's wife in her presence.
    • November 1999 on a visit to the Middle East [33]
  • Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s latest campaign finance report, published Wednesday night, appeared even to her most stalwart supporters and donors to be a road map of her political and management failings.
    • NYT article, February 22, 2008 [34]
  • They did that when they tried to link Obama to Reagan early in the campaign. They're essentially assuming that people are too stupid to realize that this is a bad idea that won't save them any money at the pump... Hillary Clinton starts her rallies by saying we need jobs, jobs, jobs. Well, by the estimates of the Department of Transportation this will cost 300,000 jobs just this summer in the construction trade... It will bring repairs of our highways to a screeching halt. She talks about a findfall profits tax on the oil companies, which is a good idea: Obama and others support this as well. The problem is, that won't pay for this gas tax holiday because she's already said that the money from a windfall profits tax would be used to develop renewable energy. So she's spending that nine billion dollars twice. What she's hoping is that only elites will know any of this and that everybody else just won't care. The problem with this is that a lot of elites are superdelegates and they're not buying this.... It's a hail Mary pass, and what they're figuring is if they can run up a big victory in Indiana with this pander, and a lot of people drive long distances in Indiana, then the superdelegates will figure, Hey, maybe the best pander is the best ticket in the fall and that Obama is too hung up on the merits of these issues, the substance of these issues instead of the politics of the issues that we need to win in the old-fashioned way. That might work with the superdelegates even though they don't agree with her on the merits of the gas tax. There are a lot of what are called low-information voters. They're really not reading the unanimous newspaper editorials against this.... The thing that's so onious about this idea is that there are other kinds of relief. You could get a tax credit for people at the low end of the income scale. You could give them other forms of relief. This is the single worst kind of relief because it's terrible for global warming, terrible for foreign policy, and terrible for jobs. It's just unfortunate that she had to embrace what people agree is the single worst policy idea of the entire campaign.
  • I am watching Hillary Clinton in her victory speech in New Hampshire… they just threw a bunch of college kids behind her, and had her talk about student loans, and had her daughter come out for a long awkward hug… does anyone actually buy it? Surely young people are too media savvy to be fooled by this kind of shit. Do we live in a democracy so we can just keep electing the same families? Barack is the first candidate in my lifetime to strip some of this bullshit away, and I just hope we don't blow this chance. Man if we miss this opportunity we don't deserve it… how bad does it have to get?
  • Say what you will about the Clintons, you cannot acquit them of having played the race card several times in both directions and of having done so in the most vulgar and unscrupulous fashion. Anyone who thinks that this equals "change" is a fool, and an easily fooled fool at that.
  • At what point does somebody who's been endorsed by Richard Mellon Scaife, who compliments Fox News, and who touts Karl Rove's math ability actually cease to be a Democrat anymore?
  • The cab's idling out front, and she's opening a new bottle of wine.
    • Tucker Carlson, MSNBC host, comparing Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton to "a drunk party guest who won't go home" for her refusal to drop out of the race; May 28, 2008 [37]
  • The Democrats are throwing the election away. For what? An inadequate black male who would not have been running if there had not been a white woman who was running for president. ... and God damn the Democrats. ... Why would you like my name? Are you in the CIA, the FBI? (Spectator: My mother gets a little exorcised.)
    • Hillary Clinton supporter Harriet Christian after Rules & Bylaws committee meeting on Florida and Michigan; May 31, 2008; [38]
  • Our correspondent Andrea Mitchell reporting tonight that 23 members of Congress, strong Clinton supporters, calling her today, saying they would have to throw their support to Senator Obama; Senator Clinton replying she thought that made sense, adding that she would have another meeting with supporters on Friday to discuss the next steps. No indication if those steps will be the termination of her campaign or merely its suspension. Her decision, the New York Times reporting tonight, came after a day of telephone conversations with supporters on Capital Hill on what she should do now, now that Mr. Obama had claimed enough delegates to be able to clinch the nomination. Mrs. Clinton had initially said she had wanted to wait before making any decision, but her aids said that in conversations some of her closest supporters had said it was urgent that she step aside.
    • MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, on Clinton supporters' call for Clinton to endorse Obama the day after the final primaries; June 4, 2008; [39]
  • [The conference call] expanded because more members of Congress wanted to get in on it. They wanted to sound off on Hillary Clinton's inclination to stretch this out, to wait until she heard those emails from her supporters, to give herself space and time. She wanted to use leverage, and she thought she would have more leverage if she waited. In fact her leverage was dissipating day by day because these members of Congress ... were telling us that Senators were coming up [to Charlie Rangle, asking to join a conference call], I want to switch over but I can't without her releasing us. So there was a lot of frustration and embarassment and anger among her supporters on the Hill. ... House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issuing that letter saying it had to be done by Friday. ... I'm persuaded that this was pressure from her supporters, that Barack Obama really did respect her desire for the time to unwind this. I think there was a lot of discomfort and displeasure with the way she addressed her supporters last night. They were not happy about [Clinton campaign chairman] Terry McAuliffe announcing ... , "This is the next president of the United States." That really rubbed them the wrong way. And Charlie Rangle said openly and on the record ... , "I didn't like what I heard. It was not gracious. Once he hit the magic number, she should have conceded and endorsed, and it put us in a terrible spot."
    • NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, on a conference call set up by Rep. Charlie Rangle, between Clinton and supporters after refusing to concede to Sen. Obama the day before; June 4, 2008; [40]
  • They were urged to assemble that conference call and to speak frankly to Hillary by some of the top strategists around Hillary. ... Close associates of hers, friends of hers were saying she really didn't want the vice presidency. She really didn't want it, even though she wouldn't mind being offered it, or talked about it. Some of what we know tonight is that in the vetting [of potential VP candidates] process that's going to be set up, they were going to demand, that is, Jim Johnson and the others looking at her as a possible candidate, that Bill Clinton open up the records of the Clinton Library -- all the donors, the tens of millions of dollars, where they came from? And I think Hillary's reluctance to more fully really consider or give her heart to the notion of the vice presidency is she knew that it would require a legal vetting of her husband, and she he couldn't pass it. ... If she wants Obama's fundraising prowess, if she wants contributors to help erase that enormous debt that she's got, she needs to quickly get back in the fold and get with the program, and I think that's what she's doing now. I really don't think it's about the Veep thing because the Obama people have pretty much already said as of today that they're really not interested.
    • Howard Fineman of Newsweek, on another conference call, between Clinton and eight Clinton supporters in the Senate, urging her to concede and endorse Sen. Obama, and her unwillingness to pursue the vice presidency; June 4, 2008; [41]

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