|In Brief - Elected to the U.S. Senate in Nov. 2000; re-elected in 2006 with about 67% of the vote. First Lady of the United States from Jan. 1993 to Jan. 2001. First Lady of Arkansas. Joined the Rose Law Firm in 1976. Worked for the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives during the Watergate scandal. Graduate of Yale Law School, 1973 and Wellesley College, 1969. Born Oct. 26, 1947 in Chicago, IL. [Timeline].|
With her high profile and prolific fundraising ability, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is seen as the heavyweight prospect for 2008. Many pundits predicted the 2008 Democratic nomination contest would boil down to a race between Hillary and a Hillary alternative, yet to emerge. After Sen. Barack Obama entered the picture in the latter part of 2006, conventional wisdom has portayed a Clinton-Obama race, with others relegated to second tier status.
Clinton herself steered well clear of any presidential talk in 2005 and 2006, stating she was focusing on re-election to the Senate. While other 2008 prospects made occasional trips to the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton kept away from those states; indeed she has not visited New Hampshire since Oct. 18, 1996, when as First Lady she participated in a panel with women at the Adult Learning Center in Nashua. (This does not mean she has been out of contact with Granite Staters; instead, she has done events such as attending a private fundraiser for Gov. Lynch's re-election campaign at the Harvard Club in Boston on the evening of Oct. 28, 2005). In her re-election campaign, Clinton easily fended off a primary challenge from organizer Jonathan Tasini and roundly defeated former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer in the general election. To meet this minor challenge Clinton re-election campaign raised a total of $51.3 million, including $39.6 million in 2005-06 and spent $37.2 million, finishing with about $14.3 million in cash on hand.
On January 20, 2007 Clinton finally made her much expected move, announcing formation of a presidential exploratory committee and stating, "I'm not just starting a campaign, though, I'm beginning a conversation -- with you, with America." The first quarter of 2007 proved Clinton's fundraising prowess; the exploratory committee announced on April 1 that it would report $26 million raised from Jan. 20 to March 31 (more than $366,000 per day) to which it added $10 million transfered over from her Senate committee for total receipts of $36 million.
Politics is always
and Clinton cannot be seen as the inevitable nominee. One recalls
President Mario Cuomo or President John Glenn. There is the
"Americans love an underdog." Above all Democrats are looking for
a candidate who can win. A scenario could unfold where a very
professional and calculated but ultimately joyless campaign is
successfully by a lesser funded but dynamic candidate who ignites
The (Bill) Clinton
After Senator Clinton spoke to the Alliance for Retired Americans' 2005 Legislative Conference in September 2005, Albert Thomas, a retired AFGE member from Griffith, IN, observed, "She's just like her husband...she's dynamic." To others, the Clintons' images are entwined to the extent that the word "Billary" has been created. Hillary Rodham Clinton, like Bill Clinton, possesses star quality, and the resonances and memories of her activities during her husband's administration remain, but she is of course her own entity and has her own approach to politics. No longer "The First Partner," she has proven to be a solid, focused U.S. Senator who has tended to the details of representing New York. In her own words, she has been working "for bipartisan, sensible, practical solutions." No doubt her experiences heading up the health care task force in the first term of Bill Clinton's administration provided some important lessons about big, complex programs.
Clinton has a reliably Democratic record. An April 2006 analysis of roll call votes by Congressional Quarterly's Martin Kady II found she has voted with the majority of Democrats more than 95 percent of the time. A frequent theme of news and analysis in 2005-06 is that Clinton is working to position herself as a centrist. One example of this was Clinton's January 24, 2005 speech to New York State NYS Family Planning Providers in which she spoke of finding common ground on abortion and stated, "There is no reason why government cannot do more to educate and inform and provide assistance so that the choice guaranteed under our constitution either does not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances."
Observers also point to examples where Clinton has teamed up with various Republican leaders. On March 9, 2005 she joined with Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rick Santorum (R-PA) to re-introduce the Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act (S.579), a bill to "amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize funding for the establishment of a program on children and the media within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study the role and impact of electronic media in the development of children." On May 11, 2005 she appeared with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at a press conference in support of the 21st Century Health Information Act of 2005 (H.R.2234). In June 2005 she joined with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) as an original co-sponsor of the Health Technology to Enhance Quality Act of 2005 (S.1262). In October 2005 she joined with Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) to sponsor the Flag Protection Act of 2005 (S.1911); this legislation, whilch would have imposed federal penalties for destroying or damaging an American flag belonging to another person or if that act promoted violence, was an alternative to the constitutional amendment advocated by some.
Clinton also has a role in the centrist Democratic Leadership Council; chairman Gov. Tom Vilsack announced on July 25, 2005 that she would serve as chair of the DLC's American Dream Initiative, "a year-long project of the DLC that will engage political, business, labor, civic and intellectual leaders in a 'national conversation' to help shape a positive agenda for our country and the Democratic party." Clinton has even reached out to members of the "vast right wing conspiracy." In April 2006 she attended a party celebrating Fox News' 10th anniversary and in May 2006 the Financial Times reported that News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch would be hosting a fundraiser for her Senate re-election campaign.
Clinton, who is a
of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is seen as somewhat of a hawk
defense. She voted for resolution authorizing the use of force in
Iraq, and while she has subsequently questioned "how we got there, why
we are still there, how we have executed the war and what we should do
now" (Nov. 29, 2005 letter
constituents) she has not joined those like former Sen. John Edwards,
termed his vote for the resolution a mistake. In her formulation
she regrets "the way the president used the authority he was given."
The possibility of Hillary Rodham Clinton as president generates a fervid response among conservatives. Introducing her before a speech on May 23, 2006, National Press Club President Jonathan D. Salant noted that, "Today's speaker has proven to be a prolific fundraiser -- for the Republicans." Whole books have been written on the dangers posed by Clinton. Columnist and commentator John Podhoretz recently weighed in with the latest treatise CAN SHE BE STOPPED?: Hillary Clinton Will be the Next President of the United States Unless... (Crown Forum, May 2006). He writes, "Mrs. Clinton will almost surely use her time in the White House to advance frankly liberal or leftist ideas. At a time when the Left poses a colossal threat to the nation's economic viability and its national security, she will try to run for office from the center, but govern from the Left." Pohoretz presents a ten-point "Stop Hillary" plan. There have been more than half a dozen such broadsides going back to her days as First Lady.
There is similar activity on the Internet. For example, "The Hillary Project" blog, launched in November 2004, offers "The truth about Hillary Clinton and why she's bad for our country." The author of the Hilldabeast site opines that, "There is no other realistic candidate running for any public office that can single handedly cause so much harm to the United States as Hillary Clinton." Further, according to the site, Clinton "is as conniving, manipulative and absent of character as any viable candidate could ever be." Former Congressman John LeBoutillier launched StopHillaryPAC.com in the first part of 2005. The website notes, "Those Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were the real heroes of the 2004 election. We at the StopHillaryPAC want to do the same thing to Hillary." "We must damage her in 2006 in order to defeat her in 2008," the site proclaims.
RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, appearing on ABC News' "This Week" on Feb. 5, 2006, aired another line of attack against Clinton when he said that, "Hillary Clinton seems to have a lot of anger."
For Democrats looking to regain
White House, such attacks raise concerns. For example, an
at the DNC's February 2005 meeting stated, "I love Hillary."
the woman said, the most important thing is to break the Republican
in her view Clinton cannot not win the presidency because she is a
because the country is not ready for a woman, and because she is such a
Ending her candidacy, Washington, DC, June 7, 2008. [transcript]
MT/SD Primary Night Rally, New York, NY, June 3, 2008. [transcript]
KY Primary Night Rally, Louisville, KY, May 20, 2008. [transcript]
WV Primary Night Rally, Charleston, WV, May 13, 2008. [transcript]
IN/NC Primary Night Rally, Indianapolis, IN, May 6, 2008. [transcript]
PA Primary Night Rally, Philadelphia, PA, April 22, 2008. [transcript]
March 4 Primary Night Rally, Columbus, OH, March 4, 2008. [transcript]
Super Tuesday Night Rally, New York, NY, Feb. 5, 2008. [remarks from the campaign]
NH Primary Night Rally, Manchester, NH, Jan. 8, 2008. [remarks from the campaign]
IA Caucus Night Rally, Des Moines, IA, Jan. 3, 2008. [remarks from the campaign]
DNC Winter Meeting, Washington, DC, Feb. 2, 2007. [transcript]
Video Statement on Formation of Exploratory Committee, Jan. 20, 2007. [transcript]
"Take Back America" Conference, Washington, DC, June 13, 2006. [transcript]
June 7, 2008-Suspending her campaign and endorsing Sen. Obama.
March 26, 2008-Low dollar "March to Victory" fundraiser.
March 21, 2008-Volunteers at work at Pennsylvania headquarters.
March 17, 2008-Major policy speech on Iraq.
Feb. 25, 2008-Major foreign policy speech and fundraiser.
Feb. 6, 2008-Post-Super Tuesday press conference at campaign headquarters.
Oct. 16, 2007-Women's summit organized by the campaign.
Oct. 3, 2007-Receiving endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers.
Sept. 24, 2007-Receiving endorsement of Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN).
Sept. 17, 2007-SEIU Member Political Action Conference.
Sept. 12, 2007-Receiving endorsement of the National Association of Letter Carriers.
Sept. 4, 2007-Alliance for Retired Americans' 2007 Legislative Conference.
June 19, 2007-Campaign for America's Future's "Take Back America" Conference.
June 19, 2007-AFSCME Democratic Presidential Forum.
June 12, 2007-Receiving endorsement of Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
June 2, 2007-Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaking on behalf of Clinton at the NHDP Convention in Concord, NH.
May 17, 2007-IAM "Enough is Enough" rally.
May 16, 2007-Endorsement of Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) and launch of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary.
April 27, 2007-NYSUT annual convention.
March 28, 2007-Building and Construction Trades Department Presidential Forum.
March 20, 2007-Fundraiser with former President Bill Clinton.
March 14, 2007-IAFF 2008 Presidential Forum.
March 13, 2007-National League of Cities' Congressional City Conference.
March 7, 2007-SCDP "Countdown to the South Carolina 2008 Primary."
March 6, 2007-EMILY's List "Women in Power" Luncheon.
Feb. 2, 2007-DNC Winter Meeting.
Jan. 25, 2007-United States Conference of Mayors' 75th Winter Meeting.
Sept. 28, 2006-Women's Leadership Forum's 13th Annual National Issues Conference.
July 19, 2006-NAACP 97th Annual Convention.
July 19, 2006-Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA), Sen. Clinton (D-NY) and others announce college proposal as part of "American Dream Initiative."
June 23, 2006-NDN 2006 Annual Meeting.
June 16, 2006-Major policy speech on privacy rights at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Convention.
June 13, 2006-Campaign for America's Future's "Take Back America" Conference.
May 23, 2006-Major energy policy speech at the National Press Club.
Jan. 25, 2006-Mayors Arts Luncheon during the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 74th winter meeting.
Sept. 29, 2005-12th Annual Issues Conference of the DNC Women's Leadership Forum.
Sept. 8, 2005-Alliance for Retired Americans' 2005 Legislative Conference.
July 22, 2005-College Democrats of America's 2005 National Convention.
Offices: IA, 2; NH; NV; SC; CA; MN; PA.
Cash on Hand/Debts
|May 2008 1
(Apr. 1-Apr. 30)
|$ 21,066,827.18||l $5,000,000.00||$26,911,626.98||$28,956,919.81||$29,666,453.10
(Mar. 1-Mar. 31)
(Feb. 1-Feb. 29)
(Jan. 1-Jan. 31)
|Year End 2007
(Oct. 1-Dec. 31)
|3rd Q 2007 1, 2
(Jul. 1-Sep. 30)
|2nd Q 2007
Readings and Articles
has co-written two books
LIVING HISTORY. New York: Simon & Schuster. (June 9, 2003)
IT TAKES A VILLAGE: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us. New York: Simon & Schuster. (January 1996)
About two dozen books have been written about Hillary Rodham Clinton.
On the Web
Clinton for President
(Jan. 21, 2007 grab)
Friends of Hillary
(March 31, 2006 grab)
(March 31, 2006 grab)
|Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action|