Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947), was First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, as the wife of President Bill Clinton. Since January 3, 2001, she has served as the junior United States Senator from New York. She is a member of the Democratic Party.
Early life, education, and career
Ms. Clinton was raised in Park Ridge, Illinois. Her father ran a drapery-making business and her mother was a homemaker. She graduated from Wellesley College where she served as President of the College Republicans for a time. After attending the Wellesley in Washington program at the urging of Professor Alan Schechter , she became a Democrat and wrote her thesis on leftist organizer Saul Alinsky. In 1969, she entered Yale Law School, where she served on the Board of Editors of Yale Law Review, Social Action, and met her future husband, Bill Clinton. After graduation, she advised the Children's Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She joined the impeachment inquiry staff advising the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives in the impeachment inquiry against President Richard M. Nixon. It was then that she met Bernard Nussbaum , who would become the future White House Counsel for President Clinton.
In 1975, she moved to Arkansas and married Bill Clinton. She joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas Law School in 1975, and the Rose Law Firm in 1976. Her partners at the law firm included Webster Hubbell, who would serve in the U.S. Justice Department as Associate Attorney General during the Clinton Administration, and Vince Foster, who worked in the Clinton Administration for a brief time before he committed suicide.
First Lady of Arkansas
In 1978 Bill Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas, and Hillary served as Arkansas's First Lady for 12 years. In 1980 the Clintons' only daughter Chelsea was born. Ms. Clinton chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee, co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families , and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, Legal Services, and the Children's Defense Fund.
Allegations of Financial Impropriety During Term as First Lady of Arkansas
In 1979, Hillary Clinton's trades in cattle futures contracts generated criticism regarding conflict of interest. Her initial $1000 investment generated a 10000% return by the time she ceased trading ten months later. Chicago Mercantile Exchange records indicated that $40000 of her profits came from larger trades ordered by someone else and shifted to her account, according to Leo Melamed, the former chair of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Her lawyer and friend, James Blair, an experienced futures trader, directed her trading. According to records, the commodities broker that faciliated the trades allowed Clinton to maintain her positions even though she did not have enough money in her account to cover her activity. He reportedly did so because her friend Blair was a good client. The firm was later fined for violating Chicago Mercantile Exchange rules governing margin trading. However, Melamed concluded that Clinton had not broken any rules.
Blair was outside counsel to Tyson Foods, the largest employer in Arkansas, and therefore, subject to state regulation; subjecting him to conflict of interest violations. While Hillary Clinton said she made the decisions, Blair made most of the trades. Her situation was not unique for 1979, when large profits and losses were common in the volatile futures market.
Far more importantly, her role as an active partner at Rose Law Firm would later become a critical factor during the Whitewater Scandal, while her husband was President. While in Arkansas, the Clintons were partners with Jim and Susan McDougal in a real estate venture known as Whitewater. The McDougals also operated a savings and loan bank that retained Hillary Clinton's legal services at Rose Law Firm. When the McDougal's bank failed in 1994, Federal investigators subpoenaed her legal billing records for auditing purposes. Hillary Clinton's records were found in the White House and delivered to investigators in 1996.
The McDougals were jailed as a result of the federal investigations. Webster Hubbell from Arkansas, who also played a key role, pled guilty to felony charges of lying to federal investigators about Hillary's role in both Whitewater and the bank failure. However, despite years of investigations during Clinton's presidency, neither President Clinton nor Mrs. Clinton were charged with any criminal activity. According to reports, the Clintons lost their financial investment in the Whitewater business projects.
First Lady of the United States
Bill Clinton was the first Baby Boomer elected to the White House, a cultural shift which generated controversy, and his wife Hillary quickly became the most politically active First Lady in American history. In 1993 the President asked her to chair the Task Force on National Health Care Reform , dedicated to reforming the America health care system, commonly known as the Clinton health care plan, which was rejected by Republicans in Congress and was abandoned in September 1994. Critics called it inappropriate for a First Lady to play a role in matters of public policy.
At the same time, Clinton won many admirers for her staunch support for women's rights around the world and her commitment to children's issues. She continues to be a leading advocate for expanding health insurance coverage, child immunization, and promoting public awareness of health issues. She worked on other noteworthy projects like the CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) and breast cancer research funding.
Hillary Clinton testified before a grand jury on January 26, 1996 in the Whitewater scandal proceedings, initiated primarily by independent counsel Ken Starr. Though no investigations ever resulted in formal charges of wrong-doing on Hillary Clinton's part, Starr spent an estimated $40 million investigating the Clintons. Right-wingers tried to implicate the Clintons in the suicide of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster. The right wing also complained of Hillary Clinton's alleged role in firing White House travel agents.
During the Lewinsky scandal, Mrs. Clinton claimed that the allegations against her husband were the result of a "vast right-wing conspiracy." After the evidence of Clinton's affair with Lewinsky was incontrovertible, she remained resolute that their marriage was solid. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton's memoirs later revealed that the revelation of the affair was a very painful time in their marriage. Mrs. Clinton's brother Hugh Rodham obtained presidential pardons for Carlos Vignali, Jr. and Almon Glenn Braswell, sparking a controversy in some circles over the money Hugh Rodham received for the deal.
The 2000 Senate Race
When long-time New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan announced his intent to retire, intense speculation began over the possibility of Hillary Clinton moving to New York to run for Senate in the election. Leading New York Democrats, including Moynihan himself, urged her to run. Initially, she forcefully insisted she would not do so, but eventually changed her mind, and in a blaze of international publicity, made a run for the seat, thus becoming the first sitting First Lady to be a candidate for elected office. While she was initially expected to face New York City's Mayor Rudy Giuliani, he withdrew after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Instead, Clinton faced a lesser-known candidate, Rick Lazio, a Congressman representing Suffolk County on Long Island.
During the campaign, Clinton faced charges of carpetbagging, since the Clintons neither resided in the State of New York nor participated in state politics prior to her Senate race. Opponents made this a focal point throughout the campaign race, and in debates. Her candidacy was not without precedent in New York, however: Robert F. Kennedy was elected to the Senate in 1964 under similar circumstances. According to exit polls conducted in the 2000 race, more than two-thirds of the voters dismissed the "carpetbagging" issue as unimportant.
Clinton won comfortably on November 7, and became the first woman elected statewide in New York with 53% of the vote (to Lazio's 43%). Her campaign focused heavily on the traditionally Republican areas of Upstate New York, which resulted in a stronger than usual showing.
In 2000, two months after her election, President Clinton pardoned four residents of the New Square Hasidic enclave in Brooklyn, who had been convicted of defrauding the Federal government. Critics were skeptical, because the New Square district had a strong tradition of "block voting." Later, a Federal investigation cleared both Clintons of any illegal activity regarding the New Square district allegations.
Senator Clinton came under criticism in 2004 after commenting on Mahatma Gandhi during a Democratic fund-raiser, saying that Gandhi was someone "who ran a gas station down in Saint Louis". Many took Clintons' words as stereotyping South Asians living in the United States. Clinton later apologized, stating she was making "a lame attempt at humor" and "admired the work and life of Mahatma Gandhi and had spoken publicly about that many times." Michelle Naef, administrator of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence said she didn't think Clinton was trying to demean Mahatma Gandhi and credited both Clintons as long having supported the Gandhi message. However, Naef felt Hillary Clinton's remarks were offensive and could be "incredibly harmful".
Senator Clinton's former finance director, David Rosen, was indicted on January 7 2005 on campaign finance charges related to a fund-raising event produced by Peter F. Paul. Paul spent nearly $2 million to produce the "Hollywood tribute to honor President Clinton" event, which was both a tribute to honor President Clinton and to assist in raising funds for Senator Clinton's 2000 campaign. The Justice Department indictment charges Rosen with filing false reports with the Federal Election Commission by reporting only $400,000 in contributions, and fraudulent invoices. If convicted, Rosen faces up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines on each of four counts of making a false statement.
Future presidential bid?
Senator Clinton has a well-established national image that makes her future political aspirations a popular and highly controversial topic among media pundits, bloggers, and the public at large. In particular, she has been frequently discussed as a possible presidential candidate in 2008. After months of speculation, Clinton herself announced in November 2004 that she would run for a second term in the Senate in 2006. Confirming this in an article in The New York Times, her advisors and Congressional allies admit that this will further complicate an already contentious situation. One Congressional ally remarked that if Mrs. Clinton was perceived as a viable candidate for the 2008 nomination, "the whole Republican apparatus" would focus its attention on knocking her out of the Senate race in 2006. This proved to be an accurate prediction in February 2005, when associates of Republican spin doctor Arthur Finkelstein announced he would be forming a PAC entitled Stop Her Now with the stated goal of cutting off a Hillary Clinton presidential bid before with a Senatorial loss in 2006.
There is little room in the political calendar between the bid for the 2006 Senate race and the start of the 2008 campaign schedule: the Iowa caucuses will be held just 14 months after the Senate election. If Mrs. Clinton followed recent tradition, she would be sending out feelers for the presidential bid within weeks after her Senate race was completed. Sen. John Kerry was in a similar position in 2002 (though his seat in the Senate was broadly considered safely Democratic). Kerry was re-elected that November, and soon after, began his campaign for the presidency.
Clinton's Authorship & Recordings
As First Lady, Clinton was a prolific author. She wrote a weekly newspaper column entitled "Talking It Over," focusing on her experiences and her observations of women, children, and families she encountered during her travels around the world. Her 1996 book, written by ghostwriter Barbara Feinman, It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us was a best seller, and she received a Grammy Award for her recording of it that same year. Other books released by Clinton as First Lady include: An Invitation to the White House, and Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets.
Clinton's memoirs Living History (ISBN 0743222245) was released in 2003. The book sold more than one million copies in the first month following publication. In anticipation of these sales, the publisher Simon & Schuster paid her $8 million in advance - a record figure to an author for an advance at that time.
Her recording of Living History earned her a second Grammy nomination in the Best Spoken Word Album category in 2003. Interestingly, Bill Clinton also won a Grammy that same year, but in a different category: Best Spoken Word Album for Children.
- Blumenthal, Sidney. The Clinton Wars. ISBN 0374125023
- Brock, David. The Seduction of Hillary Rodham. ISBN 0684834510
- Clinton, Hillary Rodham. Living History. ISBN 0743222245
- Conason, Joe and Lyons, Gene . The Hunting of the President : The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton. ISBN 0684834510
- Morris, Dick. Rewriting History. ISBN 0060736682
- About Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Whitewater Timeline at the Washington Post website
- Hillary Rodham Clinton 2008 Discussion Board
- Unofficial Hillary Clinton for President 2008 site
- Hillary Clinton news
- LookSmart - Hillary Clinton directory category
- Yahoo! - Hillary Rodham Clinton directory category
- Open Directory Project - Hillary Rodham Clinton directory category
- FriendsOfHillary.com: Official 2006 Senate campaign website
- Clinton's positions in 2000 Senate Race
- Clinton enjoys strong support from Jewish voters
- Allegations during the Senate Race
- Jewish Vote Crucial
- Results & Demographic Breakdown of Votes
- New Square
- Prosecutors Clear Clintons in Hasidic Case
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Daniel Patrick Moynihan | width="40%" style="text-align: center;" |U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New York
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