By Kate Harveston
Hillary Clinton is a well-known name that sparks an immediate reaction from most Americans. Whether that reaction will be positive or negative is a toss-up. Clinton has been a household name for decades now and has quite an interesting reputation. Many people hate her, and many people love her. Regardless, of how you feel about her, there’s no denying the influence she’s had on American politics.
Here’s a look at Clinton from the time she went to law school to her latest run for the presidency.
As a Young Adult
Hillary Clinton was raised as a Republican, but as she went through college at Wellesley College, she solidified her beliefs as a Democrat. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 and was given the honor of giving the Student Commencement Speech.
After college, she went to Yale Law School where she met her future husband, the equally famous Bill Clinton.
For the next decade or so, Hillary and Bill lived in Arkansas. Hillary spent her time working at various law firms while teaching at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Some say she was living in Bill’s shadow during this time, but she pursued her own passions.
In 1978, her husband was elected governor of Arkansas. During his time as governor, Hillary worked as chairperson of the Rural Health Advisory Committee, where she was in charge of introducing a health care plan for people in isolated areas of the state. She also headed the Arkansas Education Standards Committee during Bill’s time as governor, using her passion for education that she still has today.
As First Lady
In 1992, Hillary Clinton became the First Lady when Bill Clinton became the President of the United States. Again, Hillary was appointed to work on health care, leading a task force on National Healthcare Reform. The healthcare bill she worked hard to put together was eventually defeated in Congress, giving her a rough start in the White House.
However, in 2000, Hillary decided to run for a seat on the US Senate. A few months later, she was elected as New York State Senator, winning 55% of the vote. She was later re-elected for a second term.
During Hillary’s time as First Lady, President Bill Clinton was involved in a famous scandal with intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton and Lewinsky had sexual relations in 1995 and 1996, but the scandal did not become public until 1998. That same year, Clinton was impeached. Hillary remained quiet and supportive of Bill throughout the scandal, and their marriage survived.
Some see Hillary’s support of Bill Clinton after the Lewinsky scandal as loyal. Others see it as demeaning and sending the wrong message to women of the country.
Regardless of which side you fall on, it cannot go unnoticed that so many people later viewed Bill’s wrongdoings, both as a husband and as a president, as reasons to cast Hillary out as a viable presidential candidate. Here we see just one more reason we need feminism — a woman’s career should not be hindered this much by her husband’s. Hillary should not be judged for Bill’s mistakes.
As Presidential Candidate
Hillary’s love of politics and investment in change eventually led her to run for the presidency. In the 2008 election, she ran against Barack Obama. However, at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton interrupted the roll call and suspended her campaign, asking that Obama be nominated by the party.
Obama did win the presidency, and Clinton became his secretary of state. Unfortunately, two headlining stories defined her time as secretary of state. One was the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the other was the email scandal in which she used a private email server during her time as secretary of state, which raised security concerns.
In 2015, Clinton announced she would again be running for president. She fought a long and hard campaign against Donald Trump and lost in a heartbreaking defeat. Clinton is now laying low in comparison to her last 25 years, and her next moves are only speculation.
As a Change Maker
Hillary Clinton’s career has been surrounded by scandal, but people have differing opinions. Some people believe the email scandal has been far too overplayed, while some believe she should be in jail for the activity. Still others think that her entire political life has been a mess, while many think her political career has been empowering and inspiring.
Hillary Clinton has had a rocky road in politics, but through it all she has made important strides and has always fought hard. Her passion for education and female empowerment has made her a role model for many children and young adults, especially females.
It cannot be denied that Hillary made an impact on politics for women. Hillary has shown young girls that they have a chance of making it far in the political realm. She has inspired more women to run for a political office, and even inspired more women just to get involved in the 2016 election because of what she represented (especially running against Donald Trump…).
Hillary Clinton is a controversial figure, and strong opinions about her are not hard to find. She is a giant in politics, and it’s hard to believe her involvement in politics is over.