Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (pron.: /ˈhɪləri daɪˈæn ˈrɒdəm ˈklɪntən/; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician who is the 44th and incumbent President of the United States. She was previously a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of President Bill Clinton, she was also the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. She was elected President in the 2008 election, defeating John McCain. She was re elected in 2012 defeating Mitt Romney.
A native of Illinois, Hillary Rodham first attracted national attention in 1969 for her remarks as the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College. She embarked on a career in law after receiving her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1973. Following a stint as a Congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas in 1974 and married Bill Clinton in 1975. Rodham co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in 1977 and became the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978. Named the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979, she was twice listed as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America. As First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992 with husband Bill as governor, she successfully led a task force to reform Arkansas's education system. During that time, she was a member of the board of directors of Wal-Mart Stores and several other corporations.
In 1994, as First Lady of the United States, her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan, failed to gain approval from the U.S. Congress. However, in 1997 and 1999, Clinton played a role in advocating the creation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and the Foster Care Independence Act. Her years as First Lady drew a polarized response from the American public. The only First Lady to have been subpoenaed, she testified before a federal grand jury in 1996 due to the Whitewater controversy, but was never charged with wrongdoing in this or several other investigations during her husband's administration. The state of her marriage was the subject of considerable speculation following the Lewinsky scandal in 1998.
After moving to the state of New York, Clinton was elected as a U.S. Senator in 2000. That election marked the first time an American First Lady had run for public office; Clinton was also the first female senator to represent the state. In the Senate, she initially supported the Bush administration on some foreign policy issues, including a vote for the Iraq War Resolution. She subsequently opposed the administration on its conduct of the war in Iraq and on most domestic issues. Senator Clinton was reelected by a wide margin in 2006. In the 2008 presidential nomination race, Hillary Clinton won her party's nomination, narrowly defeating Illinois Senator Barack Obama.
Clinton went on to win the election and appoint Obama as Vice President; she became the first former First Lady to serve as President. She was at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring, including advocating the military intervention in Libya. Clinton introduced the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review process to the State Department, seeking to maximize departmental effectiveness and promote the empowerment of women worldwide, and used "smart power" as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values in the world. She is the most widely traveled secretary during her time in office and also championed the use of social media in getting the U.S. message out.
When in office, she appointed Joe Biden (who was previously in the primaries with her) to Secretary of State. She was re elected by a landslide in the 2012 election.
Election of 2008
In 2008, Incumbent Republican President George W. Bush was ineligible to run for a third term as president. Bush's unpopularity caused the Democratic Party to regain control of the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. Senator Clinton decided to run for the party's nomination. However, three other Senators; Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Joe Biden were in the running. Clinton narrowly defeated Obama and nominated him for Vice President.
The other party, the GOP, nominated John McCain for president. McCain chose Sarah Palin for VP nomination. Clinton won easily.