Hillary Clinton

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Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop.jpg

Clinton in January 2009
67th United States Secretary of State
In office
January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013
President Barack Obama
Deputy Jim Steinberg
Bill Burns
Preceded by Condoleezza Rice
Succeeded by John Kerry
United States Senator
from New York
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 21, 2009
Preceded by Pat Moynihan
Succeeded by Kirsten Gillibrand
First Lady of the United States
In role
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Barbara Bush
Succeeded by Laura Bush
First Lady of Arkansas
In role
January 11, 1983 – December 12, 1992
Governor Bill Clinton
Preceded by Gay Daniels White
Succeeded by Betty Tucker
In role
January 9, 1979 – January 19, 1981
Governor Bill Clinton
Preceded by Barbara Pryor
Succeeded by Gay Daniels White
Personal details
Born Hillary Diane Rodham[nb 1]
October 26, 1947 (age 68)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic (Since 1968)
Other political
Republican (Before 1968)
Spouse(s) Bill Clinton (m. 1975)
Children Chelsea Clinton
Alma mater Wellesley College
Yale University
Website hillaryclinton.com

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton
(/ˈhɪləri dˈæn ˈrɒdəm ˈklɪntən/; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician and the nominee of theDemocratic Party for President of the United States in the 2016 election. She served as the 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, the junior United States Senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009, First Lady of the United States during the presidency of husband Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, and First Lady of Arkansas during the governorship of Bill Clinton from 1979 to 1981 and from 1983 to 1992.
Clinton was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburb of Park Ridge, Illinois. She attended Wellesley College, graduating in 1969, and earned a J.D. fromYale Law School in 1973. After serving as a congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas, marrying Bill Clinton in 1975. In 1977, she co-foundedArkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She was appointed the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978, and, the following year, became the first woman partner at Rose Law Firm. As First Lady of Arkansas (1979–81, 1983–92), she led a task force whose recommendations helped reform Arkansas’s public schools, and served on the boards of corporations including Walmart.

As First Lady of the United States, Clinton led the unsuccessful effort to enact the Clinton health plan of 1993. In 1997 and 1999, she helped create programs for children’s health insurance, adoption, and foster care. The only first lady to have been subpoenaed, she faced a federal grand jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy; no charges were ever brought against her related to this or any other controversy. Her marriage endured theLewinsky scandal of 1998, and her role as first lady drew a polarized response from the public.

Clinton was elected in 2000 as the first female senator from New York, the only first lady ever to have sought elective office. Following the September 11 attacks, she voted to approve the war in Afghanistan. She also voted for theIraq Resolution, which she later regretted. She was re-elected to the Senate in 2006. Running for president in 2008, she won far more delegates than any previous female candidate, but lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama.

As Secretary of State in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013, Clinton responded to the Arab Spring, during which she advocated the U.S. military intervention in Libya and accepted responsibility for security lapses in the 2012 Benghazi attack. Leaving office after Obama’s first term, she wrote her fifth book and undertook speaking engagements before announcing her second presidential run in the 2016 election. Clinton won the Democratic primariesand the 2016 Democratic nomination defeating Senator Bernie Sanders, becoming the first woman to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party.

Early life and education

Early life

Hillary[nb 2] Diane Rodham was born on October 26, 1947, at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.[2][3] She was raised in a United Methodist family, first in Chicago and then, from the age of three, in suburban Park Ridge, Illinois.[4] Her father, Hugh Ellsworth Rodham (1911–1993), was of Welsh and English descent;[5] he managed a successful small business in the textile industry.[6] Her mother, Dorothy Emma Howell (1919–2011), was a homemaker of English, Scottish, French-Canadian, and Welsh descent.[5][7][8]Hillary has two younger brothers, Hugh and Tony.[9] (On May 28, 1994, Tony married Nicole Boxer, daughter of Senator Barbara Boxer, in a ceremony at the White House attended by 250 guests.[10] Before the marriage ended in divorce, they had a child Zachary, born in 1995.[11] Zachary held a unique distinction of being both the grandson and nephew of sitting U.S. senators.)

Museum display case containing photographs, papers, shoes, doll, and other early childhood artifacts

Mementos of Hillary Rodham’s early life are shown at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center.

As a child, Rodham was a favorite of her teachers at the public schools she attended in Park Ridge.[12][13] She participated in sports, such as swimming and baseball, and earned numerous badges as a Brownie and a Girl Scout.[12][13] She has often told a story[14][15][16] of being inspired by U.S. efforts during the Space Race and sending a letter to NASA around 1961 asking what she could do to become an astronaut, only to be told that no women were being accepted into that program.[17]

She attended Maine East High School, where she participated in student council, the school newspaper, and was selected for National Honor Society.[2][18] She won election as class vice president for her junior year, but then lost an election for class president for her senior year against two boys, one of whom told her that “you are really stupid if you think a girl can be elected president.”[19] For her senior year, she and other students were transferred to the then new Maine South High School, where she was a National Merit Finalist and graduated in the top five percent of her class of 1965.[18][20] Rodham’s mother wanted her to have an independent, professional career,[8] and her father, otherwise a traditionalist, felt that his daughter’s abilities and opportunities should not be limited by gender.[21]

Raised in a politically conservative household,[8] Rodham helped canvass Chicago’s South Side at age thirteen following the very close 1960 U.S. presidential election, where she saw evidence of electoral fraud (such as voting list entries showing addresses that were empty lots) against Republican candidate Richard Nixon.[22] She then volunteered to campaign for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the U.S. presidential election of 1964.[23] Rodham’s early political development was shaped most by her high school history teacher (like her father, a fervent anti-communist), who introduced her to Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative, and by her Methodist youth minister (like her mother, concerned with issues of social justice), with whom she saw, and afterwards briefly met, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. at a 1962 speech in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall.[24]

Wellesley College years

In 1965, Rodham enrolled at Wellesley College, where she majored in political science.[25][26] During her freshman year, she served as president of the Wellesley Young Republicans;[27][28] with this Rockefeller Republican-oriented group,[29] she supported the elections of John Lindsay to Mayor of New York City and Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke to the United States Senate.[30] She later stepped down from this position, as her views changed regarding the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.[27] In a letter to her youth minister at this time, she described herself as “a mind conservative and a heart liberal”.[31] In contrast to the 1960s current that advocated radical actions against the political system, she sought to work for change within it.[32][33]

In her junior year, Rodham became a supporter of the antiwar presidential nomination campaign of Democrat Eugene McCarthy.[34] In early 1968, she was elected president of the Wellesley College Government Association and served through early 1969.[32][35] Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rodham organized a two-day student strike and worked with Wellesley’s black students to recruit more black students and faculty.[34] In her student government role, she played a role in keeping Wellesley from being embroiled in the student disruptions common to other colleges.[32][36] A number of her fellow students thought she might some day become the first female President of the United States.[32]

To help her better understand her changing political views, Professor Alan Schechter assigned Rodham to intern at theHouse Republican Conference, and she attended the “Wellesley in Washington” summer program.[34] Rodham was invited by moderate New York Republican Representative Charles Goodell to help Governor Nelson Rockefeller‘s late-entry campaign for the Republican nomination.[34] Rodham attended the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami. However, she was upset by the way Richard Nixon’s campaign portrayed Rockefeller and by what she perceived as the convention’s “veiled” racist messages, and left the Republican Party for good.[34] Rodham wrote her senior thesis, a critique of the tactics of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky, under Professor Schechter.[37] (Years later, while she was first lady, access to her thesis was restricted at the request of the White House and it became the subject of some speculation.[37])

In 1969, she graduated with a bachelor of arts,[38] with departmental honors in political science.[37] After some fellow seniors requested that the college administration allow a student speaker at commencement, she became the first student in Wellesley College history to speak at the event, following commencement speaker Senator Brooke.[35][39] Her speech received a standing ovation lasting seven minutes.[32][40][41] She was featured in an article published in Life magazine,[42]due to the response to a part of her speech that criticized Senator Brooke.[39] She also appeared on Irv Kupcinet‘s nationally syndicated television talk show as well as in Illinois and New England newspapers.[43] That summer, she worked her way across Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park and sliming salmon in a fish processing cannery inValdez (which fired her and shut down overnight when she complained about unhealthful conditions).[44]

Yale Law School and postgraduate studies

Rodham then entered Yale Law School. There she served on the editorial board of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action.[45] During her second year, she worked at the Yale Child Study Center,[46] learning about new research on early childhood brain development and working as a research assistant on the seminal work, Beyond the Best Interests of the Child (1973).[47][48] She also took on cases of child abuse at Yale–New Haven Hospital[47] and volunteered at New Haven Legal Services to provide free legal advice for the poor.[46] In the summer of 1970 she was awarded a grant to work atMarian Wright Edelman‘s Washington Research Project, where she was assigned to Senator Walter Mondale‘sSubcommittee on Migratory Labor. There she researched migrant workers‘ problems in housing, sanitation, health and education.[49] Edelman later became a significant mentor.[50] Rodham was recruited by political advisor Anne Wexler to work on the 1970 campaign of Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Joseph Duffey, with Rodham later crediting Wexler with providing her first job in politics.[51]

In the late spring of 1971, she began dating Bill Clinton, also a law student at Yale. That summer she interned at theOakland, California, law firm of Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein.[52] The firm was well known for its support of constitutional rights, civil liberties, and radical causes (two of its four partners were current or former Communist Party members);[52]Rodham worked on child custody and other cases.[nb 3] Clinton canceled his original summer plans in order to live with her in California;[56] the couple continued living together in New Haven when they returned to law school.[53] The following summer, Rodham and Clinton campaigned in Texas for unsuccessful 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern.[57] She received a Juris Doctor degree from Yale in 1973,[38] having stayed on an extra year to be with Clinton.[58] He first proposed marriage to her following graduation but she declined, uncertain if she wanted to tie her future to his.[58]

Rodham began a year of postgraduate study on children and medicine at the Yale Child Study Center.[59] Her first scholarly article, “Children Under the Law”, was published in the Harvard Educational Review in late 1973.[60] Discussing the newchildren’s rights movement, it stated that “child citizens” were “powerless individuals”[61] and argued that children should not be considered equally incompetent from birth to attaining legal age, but that instead courts should presume competence except when there is evidence otherwise, on a case-by-case basis.[62] The article became frequently cited in the field.[63]

Marriage and family, law career and First Lady of Arkansas

Formal black-and-white portrait of Clinton, 1992

Hillary Clinton, 1992

From the East Coast to Arkansas

During her postgraduate study, Rodham served as staff attorney for Edelman’s newly founded Children’s Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts,[64] and as a consultant to the Carnegie Council on Children.[65] In 1974 she was a member of the impeachment inquiry staff in Washington, D.C., advising the House Committee on the Judiciary during theWatergate scandal.[66] Under the guidance of Chief Counsel John Doar and senior memberBernard W. Nussbaum,[47] Rodham helped research procedures of impeachment and the historical grounds and standards for impeachment.[66] The committee’s work culminated in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974.[66]

By then, Rodham was viewed as someone with a bright political future: Democratic political organizer and consultant Betsey Wright had moved from Texas to Washington the previous year to help guide Rodham’s career.[67] Wright thought she had the potential to become a future senator or president.[68] Meanwhile, Bill Clinton had repeatedly asked Rodham to marry him and she continued to demur.[69] After failing the District of Columbia bar exam[70] and passing the Arkansas exam, Rodham came to a key decision. As she later wrote, “I chose to follow my heart instead of my head”.[71] She thus followed Clinton to Arkansas, rather than staying in Washington, where career prospects were brighter. He was then teaching law and running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in his home state. In August 1974, Rodham moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and became one of only two female faculty members in the School of Law at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.[72][73]

Early Arkansas years

At the university, Rodham gave classes in criminal law, where she was considered a rigorous teacher and tough grader.[74]She became the first director of a new legal aid clinic at the school, securing support from the local bar association and gaining federal funding.[75] Among her cases was one where she was obliged by request of the court to serve as defense counsel to a man accused of raping a twelve-year-old girl; she put on an effective defense that led to his pleading guilty to a much lesser charge.[76] Decades later, the woman involved said that the defense counsel had put her “through hell” during the legal process; Hillary Clinton has called the trial a “terrible case”.[76] During her time in Fayetteville, Rodham and several other women founded the city’s first rape crisis center.[75] Rodham still harbored doubts about marriage, concerned that her separate identity would be lost and that her accomplishments would be viewed in the light of someone else’s.[77]

Rodham and Bill Clinton bought a house in Fayetteville in the summer of 1975, and Rodham finally agreed to marry Clinton.[78] Their wedding took place on October 11, 1975, in a Methodist ceremony in their living room.[79] A story about the marriage in the Arkansas Gazette indicated that she was retaining the name Hillary Rodham.[79][80] The motivation was to keep the couple’s professional lives separate and avoid apparent conflicts of interest and because, as she told a friend at the time, “it showed that I was still me.”[81] The decision did upset both their mothers.[82] Clinton had lost the congressional race in 1974, but in November 1976 was elected Arkansas Attorney General, and so the couple moved to the state capital of Little Rock.[83] There, in February 1977, Rodham joined the venerable Rose Law Firm, a bastion of Arkansan political and economic influence.[84] She specialized in patent infringement and intellectual property law[45] while also working pro bono in child advocacy;[85] she rarely performed litigation work in court.[86]

Rodham maintained her interest in children’s law and family policy, publishing the scholarly articles “Children’s Policies: Abandonment and Neglect” in 1977[87] and “Children’s Rights: A Legal Perspective” in 1979.[88] The latter continued her argument that children’s legal competence depended upon their age and other circumstances and that in serious medical rights cases, judicial intervention was sometimes warranted.[62] An American Bar Association chair later said, “Her articles were important, not because they were radically new but because they helped formulate something that had been inchoate.”[62] Historian Garry Wills would later describe her as “one of the more important scholar-activists of the last two decades”,[89] while conservatives said her theories would usurp traditional parental authority,[90] would allow children to file frivolous lawsuits against their parents,[62] and exemplified legal “crit” theory run amok.[91]

Small, one-story brick-faced house with small yard in front

Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton lived in this 980-square-foot (91 m2) house in the Hillcrest neighborhood ofLittle Rock from 1977 to 1979 while he was Arkansas Attorney General.[92]

In 1977, Rodham cofounded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a state-level alliance with the Children’s Defense Fund.[45][93] Later that year, President Jimmy Carter (for whom Rodham had been the 1976 campaign director of field operations in Indiana)[94] appointed her to the board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation,[95] and she served in that capacity from 1978 until the end of 1981.[96] From mid-1978 to mid-1980,[nb 4] she was the chair of that board, the first woman to do so.[97] During her time as chair, funding for the Corporation was expanded from $90 million to $300 million; subsequently she successfully fought President Ronald Reagan‘s attempts to reduce the funding and change the nature of the organization.[85]

Following her husband’s November 1978 election as Governor of Arkansas, Rodham became First Lady of Arkansas in January 1979, her title for twelve years (1979–81, 1983–92). Clinton appointed her chair of the Rural Health Advisory Committee the same year,[98] where she secured federal funds to expand medical facilities in Arkansas’s poorest areas without affecting doctors’ fees.[99]

In 1979, Rodham became the first woman to be made a full partner of Rose Law Firm.[100] From 1978 until they entered the White House, she had a higher salary than that of her husband.[101] During 1978 and 1979, while looking to supplement their income, Rodham engaged in the trading of cattle futures contracts;[102] an initial $1,000 investment generated nearly $100,000 when she stopped trading after ten months.[103] The couple also began their ill-fated investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation real estate venture with Jim and Susan McDougal at this time.[102] Both of these became subjects of controversy in the 1990s.

On February 27, 1980, Rodham gave birth to Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea. In November 1980, Bill Clinton was defeated in his bid for re-election.[104]

Later Arkansas years

The Reagans and the Clintons walking a red carpet

Governor Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton attend the 1987 Dinner Honoring the Nation’s Governors with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Bill Clinton returned to the governor’s office two years later after winning the election of 1982. During her husband’s campaign, Rodham began to use the name Hillary Clinton, or sometimes “Mrs. Bill Clinton”, to assuage the concerns of Arkansas voters;[nb 1] she also took a leave of absence from Rose Law to campaign for him full-time.[110] As First Lady of Arkansas again, she made a note of using Hillary Rodham Clinton as her name.[nb 1] She was named chair of the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee in 1983, where she sought to reform the state’s court-sanctioned public education system.[111][112] In one of the Clinton governorship’s most important initiatives, she fought a prolonged but ultimately successful battle against the Arkansas Education Association to establish mandatory teacher testing and state standards for curriculum and classroom size.[98][111] It became her introduction into the politics of a highly visible public policy effort.[80][111] In 1985, she introduced Arkansas’s Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth, a program that helps parents work with their children in preschool preparedness and literacy.[113] She was named Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983 and Arkansas Mother of the Year in 1984.[114][115]

Clinton continued to practice law with the Rose Law Firm while she was First Lady of Arkansas. She earned less than the other partners, as she billed fewer hours,[116] but still made more than $200,000 in her final year there.[117] The firm considered her a “rainmaker” because she brought in clients, partly thanks to the prestige she lent it and to her corporate board connections.[117] She was also very influential in the appointment of state judges.[117] Bill Clinton’s Republican opponent in his 1986 gubernatorial re-election campaign accused the Clintons of conflict of interest, because Rose Law did state business; the Clintons countered the charge by saying that state fees were walled off by the firm before her profits were calculated.[118]

From 1982 to 1988, Clinton was on the board of directors, sometimes as chair, of the New World Foundation,[119] which funded a variety of New Left interest groups.[120] From 1987 to 1991, she was the first chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession,[121] created to address gender bias in the legal profession and induce the association to adopt measures to combat it.[121] She was twice named by The National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America: in 1988 and in 1991.[122] When Bill Clinton thought about not running again for governor in 1990, Hillary Clinton considered running, but private polls were unfavorable and, in the end, he ran and was re-elected for the final time.[123]

Clinton served on the boards of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Legal Services (1988–92)[124] and the Children’s Defense Fund (as chair, 1986–92).[2][125] In addition to her positions with nonprofit organizations, she also held positions on the corporate board of directors of TCBY (1985–92),[126] Wal-Mart Stores (1986–92)[127] and Lafarge (1990–92).[128] TCBY and Wal-Mart were Arkansas-based companies that were also clients of Rose Law.[117][129] Clinton was the first female member on Wal-Mart’s board, added following pressure on chairman Sam Walton to name a woman to it.[129] Once there, she pushed successfully for Wal-Mart to adopt more environmentally friendly practices, was largely unsuccessful in a campaign for more women to be added to the company’s management, and was silent about the company’s famously anti-labor union practices.[127][129][130]

Bill Clinton presidential campaign of 1992

Hillary Clinton received sustained national attention for the first time when her husband became a candidate for theDemocratic presidential nomination of 1992. Before the New Hampshire primary, tabloid publications printed assertions that Bill Clinton had engaged in an extramarital affair with Arkansas lounge singer Gennifer Flowers.[131] In response, the Clintons appeared together on 60 Minutes, where Bill denied the affair, but acknowledged “causing pain in my marriage”.[132] This joint appearance was credited with rescuing his campaign.[133] During it, Hillary made culturally disparaging remarks about Tammy Wynette‘s outlook on marriage as described in her classic song “Stand by Your Man“,[nb 5] and later in the campaign about how she could have chosen to be like women staying home and baking cookies and having teas, but wanted to pursue her career instead.[nb 6] The remarks were widely criticized, particularly by those who were, or defended, stay-at-home mothers, and in retrospect, were ill-considered by her own admission. Bill said that in electing him, the nation would “get two for the price of one”, referring to the prominent role his wife would assume.[139]Beginning with Daniel Wattenberg‘s August 1992 The American Spectator article “The Lady Macbeth of Little Rock”, Hillary’s own past ideological and ethical record came under attack from conservatives.[90] At least twenty other articles in major publications also drew comparisons between her and Lady Macbeth.[140]

First Lady of the United States

Role as first lady

When Bill Clinton took office as president in January 1993, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the First Lady of the United States, and her press secretary reiterated that she would be using that form of her name.[nb 1] She was the initial first lady to hold a postgraduate degree and to have her own professional career up to the time of entering the White House.[141] She was also the first to have an office in the West Wing of the White House in addition to the usual first lady offices in the East Wing.[59][142] She was part of the innermost circle vetting appointments to the new administration and her choices filled at least eleven top-level positions and dozens more lower-level ones.[143] After Eleanor Roosevelt, Clinton is regarded as the most openly empowered presidential wife in American history.[144][145]

Chelsea, Hillary, and Bill Clinton depart a helicopter

The Clinton family arrives at theWhite House on Marine One, 1993.

Some critics called it inappropriate for the first lady to play a central role in matters of public policy. Supporters pointed out that Clinton’s role in policy was no different from that of other White House advisors and that voters had been well aware that she would play an active role in her husband’s presidency.[146] Bill Clinton’s campaign promise of “two for the price of one” led opponents to refer derisively to the Clintons as “co-presidents” or sometimes the Arkansas label “Billary”.[98][147][148]The pressures of conflicting ideas about the role of a first lady were enough to send Hillary Clinton into “imaginary discussions” with the also-politically-active Eleanor Roosevelt.[nb 7] From the time she came to Washington, Hillary also found refuge in a prayer group of The Fellowship that featured many wives of conservative Washington figures.[152][153] Triggered in part by the death of her father in April 1993, she publicly sought to find a synthesis of Methodist teachings, liberal religious political philosophy, and Tikkun editorMichael Lerner‘s “politics of meaning” to overcome what she saw as America’s “sleeping sickness of the soul”; that would lead to a willingness “to remold society by redefining what it means to be a human being in the twentieth century, moving into a new millennium.”[154][155] Other segments of the public focused on her appearance, which had evolved over time from inattention to fashion during her days in Arkansas,[156] to a popular site in the early days of the World Wide Web devoted to showing her many different, and frequently analyzed, hairstyles as first lady,[157][158] to an appearance on the cover ofVogue magazine in 1998.[159]

Health care and other policy initiatives

In January 1993, President Clinton named First Lady Clinton to chair a Task Force on National Health Care Reform, hoping to replicate the success she had in leading the effort for Arkansas education reform.[160] Unconvinced regarding the merits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), she privately urged that passage of health care reform be given higher priority.[161][162] The recommendation of the task force became known as the Clinton health care plan, a comprehensive proposal that would require employers to provide health coverage to their employees through individual health maintenance organizations. Its opponents quickly derided the plan as “Hillarycare”, and it faced opposition from even some Democrats in Congress.[163][164] Some protesters against the proposed plan became vitriolic, and during a July 1994 bus tour to rally support for the plan, Clinton wore a bulletproof vest at times.[163][164]

Clinton greets U.S. troops at Tuzla Air Base in Bosnia during a visit in December 1997.

Failing to gather enough support for a floor vote in either the House or the Senate, although Democrats controlled both chambers, the proposal was abandoned in September 1994.[163] Clinton later acknowledged in her memoir that her political inexperience partly contributed to the defeat, but cited many other factors. The First Lady’s approval ratings, which had generally been in the high-50s percent range during her first year, fell to 44 percent in April 1994 and 35 percent by September 1994.[165]

Republicans made the Clinton health care plan a major campaign issue of the 1994 midterm elections,[166] which saw a net Republican gain of fifty-three seats in the House election and seven in the Senate election, winning control of both; many analysts and pollsters found the plan to be a major factor in the Democrats’ defeat, especially among independent voters.[167] The White House subsequently sought to downplay Hillary Clinton’s role in shaping policy.[168] Opponents of universal health care would continue to use “Hillarycare” as a pejorative label for similar plans by others.[169]

Clinton reads a book to an African American grade school class

Clinton reads to a Maryland child during Read Across America Day, 1998.

Along with Senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch, Clinton was a force behind the passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997, a federal effort that provided state support for children whose parents could not provide them with health coverage, and conducted outreach efforts on behalf of enrolling children in the program once it became law.[170] She promoted nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses and encouraged older women to seek a mammogram to detect breast cancer, with coverage provided by Medicare.[171] She successfully sought to increase research funding forprostate cancer and childhood asthma at the National Institutes of Health.[59] The First Lady worked to investigate reports of an illness that affected veterans of the Gulf War, which became known as the Gulf War syndrome.[59]

Enactment of welfare reform was a major goal of Bill Clinton’s, but when the first two bills on it came from the Republican-controlled Congress lacked protections for people going off welfare, Hillary Clinton urged him to veto them, which he did.[172][173] A third version came up during his 1996 general election campaign that restored some of the protections but cut the scope of benefits in other areas; critics, including her past mentor Edelman, urged her to get the president to veto it again.[172] But she decided to support the bill, which became the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, as the best political compromise available.[172][173] This caused a rift with Edelman that Hillary later called “sad and painful”.[173]

Together with Attorney General Janet Reno, Clinton helped create the Office on Violence Against Women at theDepartment of Justice.[59] In 1997, she initiated and shepherded the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which she regarded as her greatest accomplishment as first lady.[59][174] In 1999, she was instrumental in the passage of the Foster Care Independence Act, which doubled federal monies for teenagers aging out of foster care.[174] As first lady, Clinton hosted numerous White House conferences, including ones on Child Care (1997),[175] on Early Childhood Development and Learning (1997),[176] and on Children and Adolescents (2000).[177] She also hosted the first-ever White House Conference on Teenagers (2000)[178] and the first-ever White House Conference on Philanthropy (1999).[179]

Clinton traveled to 79 countries during this time,[180] breaking the mark for most-traveled first lady held by Pat Nixon.[181]She did not hold a security clearance or attend National Security Council meetings, but played a role in U.S. diplomacy attaining its objectives.[182] A March 1995 five-nation trip to South Asia, on behest of the U.S. State Department and without her husband, sought to improve relations with India and Pakistan.[183] Clinton was troubled by the plight of women she encountered, but found a warm response from the people of the countries she visited and gained a better relationship with the American press corps.[183][184] The trip was a transformative experience for her and presaged her eventual career in diplomacy.[185]

Clinton speaking at a podium with several onlookers

Clinton delivering her famous “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights” speech in Beijing in September 1995

In a September 1995 speech before the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, Clinton argued very forcefully against practices that abused women around the world and in the People’s Republic of China itself,[186] declaring that “it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights”.[186]Delegates from over 180 countries heard her say: “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”[187] In doing so, she resisted both internal administration and Chinese pressure to soften her remarks.[180][187] The speech became a key moment in the empowerment of women and years later females around the world would recite Clinton’s key phrases.[188]She was one of the most prominent international figures during the late 1990s to speak out against the treatment of Afghan women by the Taliban.[189][190] She helped create Vital Voices, an international initiative sponsored by the U.S. to promote the participation of women in the political processes of their countries.[191] It and Clinton’s own visits encouraged women to make themselves heard in theNorthern Ireland peace process.[192]

Whitewater and other investigations

For more details on these investigations, see Whitewater controversy, Travelgate, Filegate, and Hillary Rodham cattle futures controversy.

First Lady Clinton was a subject of several investigations by the United States Office of the Independent Counsel, committees of the U.S. Congress, and the press.

The Whitewater controversy was the focus of media attention from the publication of a New York Times report during the 1992 presidential campaign[193] and throughout her time as first lady. The Clintons had lost their late-1970s investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation;[194] at the same time, their partners in that investment, Jim and Susan McDougal, operated Madison Guaranty, a savings and loan institution that retained the legal services of Rose Law Firm[194]and may have been improperly subsidizing Whitewater losses.[193] Madison Guaranty later failed, and Clinton’s work at Rose was scrutinized for a possible conflict of interest in representing the bank before state regulators that her husband had appointed.[193] She said she had done minimal work for the bank.[195] Independent counsels Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr subpoenaed Clinton’s legal billing records; she said she did not know where they were.[196][197] The records were found in the First Lady’s White House book room after a two-year search and delivered to investigators in early 1996.[197]The delayed appearance of the records sparked intense interest and another investigation concerning how they surfaced and where they had been.[197] Clinton’s staff attributed the problem to continual changes in White House storage areas since the move from the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.[198] On January 26, 1996, Clinton became the first first lady to besubpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury.[196] After several Independent Counsels had investigated, a final report was issued in 2000 that stated there was insufficient evidence that either Clinton had engaged in criminal wrongdoing.[199]

Chelsea, Bill, and Hillary Clinton take an inauguration day walk

The Clinton family takes anInauguration Day walk downPennsylvania Avenue to start President Bill Clinton’s second term in office, January 20, 1997.

Scrutiny of the May 1993 firings of the White House Travel Office employees, an affair that became known as “Travelgate“, began with charges that the White House had used audited financial irregularities in the Travel Office operation as an excuse to replace the staff with friends from Arkansas.[200] The 1996 discovery of a two-year-old White House memo caused the investigation to focus on whether Clinton had orchestrated the firings and whether the statements she made to investigators about her role in the firings were true.[201][202] The 2000 final Independent Counsel report concluded she was involved in the firings and that she had made “factually false” statements, but that there was insufficient evidence that she knew the statements were false, or knew that her actions would lead to firings, to prosecute her.[203]

Following deputy White House counsel Vince Foster‘s July 1993 suicide, allegations were made that Clinton had ordered the removal of potentially damaging files (related to Whitewater or other matters) from Foster’s office on the night of his death.[204] Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr investigated this, and, by 1999, Starr was reported to be holding the investigation open, despite his staff having told him there was no case to be made.[205] When Starr’s successor Robert Ray issued his final Whitewater reports in 2000, no claims were made against Clinton regarding this.[199] An outgrowth of the “Travelgate” investigation was the June 1996 discovery of improper White House access to hundreds of FBI background reports on former Republican White House employees, an affair that some called “Filegate“.[206] Accusations were made that Clinton had requested these files and that she had recommended hiring an unqualified individual to head the White House Security Office.[207] The 2000 final Independent Counsel report found no substantial or credible evidence that Clinton had any role or showed any misconduct in the matter.[206]

In March 1994, newspaper reports revealed her spectacular profits from trading in 1978–79, thus leading to the cattle futures controversy.[208] Allegations were made in the press of conflict of interest and disguised bribery, and several individuals analyzed her trading records, but no formal investigation was made and she was never charged with any wrongdoing.[209]

There was a controversy that arose in early 2001 over gifts made to the White House, rather than to the Clintons personally, that were removed and shipped to the Clintons’ private residence during the last year of Bill Clinton’s time in office.[210] Following public pressure the couple returned $134,000 worth of such gifts.[211] Hillary Clinton faced additional criticism for having possibly solicited personal gifts shortly before being sworn in as a senator, at which time she would have been barred from accepting them.[211]

Response to Lewinsky scandal

Lewinsky scandal

The Lewinsky scandal was an American political sex scandal that came to light in 1998, referring to a sexual relationship between 1995 and 1996 with then 49-year-old President Bill Clinton and a 22-year-old White House intern,Monica Lewinsky. During a televised speech, Clinton ended with the statement that he did not have sexual relations with Lewinsky. Further investigation led to charges of perjury and led to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives and his subsequent acquittal on all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a 21-day Senatetrial.[1] President Clinton was held in civil contempt of court by Judge Susan Webber Wright for giving misleading testimony in the Paula Jones caseregarding Lewinsky,[2] and was also fined $90,000 by Wright.[3] His license to practice law was suspended in Arkansas for five years and later by the United States Supreme Court.[4]

In 1995, Lewinsky, a graduate of Lewis & Clark College, was hired to work as an intern at the White House during Clinton’s first term, and was later an employee of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. While working at the White House she began a personal relationship with Clinton, the details of which she later confided to her friend and Defense Department co-workerLinda Tripp, who secretly recorded their telephone conversations.[5]

When Tripp discovered in January 1998 that Lewinsky had sworn an affidavitin the Paula Jones case denying a relationship with Clinton, she delivered the tapes to Kenneth Starr, the Independent Counsel who was investigating Clinton on other matters, including the Whitewater scandal, the White House FBI files controversy, and the White House travel office controversy. During the grand jury testimony Clinton’s responses were carefully worded, and he argued, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is,”[6] with regard to the truthfulness of his statement that “there is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship or any other kind of improper relationship.”[7]

The wide reporting of the scandal led to criticism of the press for over-coverage.[8][9][10] The scandal is sometimes referred to as “Monicagate,”[11]Lewinskygate,”[12]Tailgate,”[13]Sexgate,”[14] and “Zippergate,”[14] following the “-gate” nickname construction that has been popular since the Watergate scandal.

Allegations of sexual contact[edit]

Lewinsky stated that she had sexual encounters with Bill Clinton on nine occasions from November 1995 to March 1997. According to her published schedule, First LadyHillary Clinton was at the White House for at least some portion of seven of those days.[15]

In April 1996, Lewinsky’s superiors relocated her job to the Pentagon, because they felt that she was spending too much time around Clinton.[16] According to his autobiography, then-United Nations Ambassador Bill Richardson was asked by the White House in 1997 to interview Lewinsky for a job on his staff at the UN. Richardson did so, and offered her a position, which she declined.[17] The American Spectatoralleged that Richardson knew more about the Lewinsky affair than he declared to thegrand jury.[18]

Lewinsky confided in Linda Tripp about her relationship with Clinton. Tripp persuaded Lewinsky to save the gifts that Clinton had given her, and not to dry clean a semen-stained blue dress. Tripp reported their conversations to literary agent Lucianne Goldberg, who advised her to secretly record them,[19] which Tripp began doing in September 1997. Goldberg also urged Tripp to take the tapes to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and bring them to the attention of people working on thePaula Jones case.[20] In the fall of 1997, Goldberg began speaking to reporters (notably Michael Isikoff of Newsweek) about the tapes.[21]

In January 1998, after Lewinsky had submitted an affidavit in the Paula Jones case denying any physical relationship with Clinton, she attempted to persuade Tripp to lie under oath in the Jones case. Instead, Tripp gave the tapes to Starr who was investigating the Whitewater controversy and other matters. Now armed with evidence of Lewinsky’s admission of a physical relationship with Clinton, he broadened the investigation to include Lewinsky and her possible perjury in the Jones case.

Denial and subsequent admission[edit]

File:Response to the Lewinsky Allegations (January 26, 1998) Bill Clinton.ogv
Bill Clinton making a presentation that ends with a short commentary on theMonica Lewinsky scandal. The presentation is known for the quote “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” (6:20)

Problems playing these files? See media help.

News of the scandal first broke on January 17, 1998, on the Drudge Report,[22] which reported that Newsweek editors were sitting on a story by investigative reporter Michael Isikoff exposing the affair. The story broke in the mainstream press on January 21 in The Washington Post.[23] The story swirled for several days and, despite swift denials from Clinton, the clamor for answers from the White House grew louder. On January 26, President Clinton, standing with his wife, spoke at a White House press conference, and issued a forceful denial in which he said:[24]

Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you.[25]

Pundits debated whether Clinton would address the allegations in his State of the Union Address. Ultimately, he chose not to mention them. Hillary Clinton remained supportive of her husband throughout the scandal. On January 27, in an appearance on NBC‘s Today she said, “The great story here for anybody willing to find it and 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.”

For the next several months and through the summer, the media debated whether an affair had occurred and whether Clinton had lied or obstructed justice, but nothing could be definitively established beyond the taped recordings because Lewinsky was unwilling to discuss the affair or testify about it. On July 28, 1998, a substantial delay after the public break of the scandal, Lewinsky received transactional immunity in exchange for grand jury testimony concerning her relationship with Clinton.[26] She also turned over a semen-stained blue dress (that Linda Tripp had encouraged her to save without dry cleaning) to the Starr investigators, thereby providing unambiguous DNA evidence that could prove the relationship despite Clinton’s official denials.[27]

Clinton admitted in taped grand jury testimony on August 17, 1998, that he had had an “improper physical relationship” with Lewinsky. That evening he gave a nationally televised statement admitting his relationship with Lewinsky which was “not appropriate”.[28]

Perjury charges[edit]

In his deposition for the Jones lawsuit, Clinton denied having “sexual relations” with Lewinsky. Based on the evidence provided by Tripp, a blue dress with Clinton’s semen, Starr concluded that the president’s sworn testimony was false andperjurious.

During the deposition, Clinton was asked “Have you ever had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, as that term is defined in Deposition Exhibit 1?” The judge ordered that Clinton be given an opportunity to review the agreed definition. Afterwards, based on the definition created by the Independent Counsel’s Office, Clinton answered, “I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.” Clinton later stated, “I thought the definition included any activity by [me], where [I] was the actor and came in contact with those parts of the bodies” which had been explicitly listed (and “with an intent to gratify or arouse the sexual desire of any person”). In other words, Clinton denied that he had ever contacted Lewinsky’s “genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks”, and effectively claimed that the agreed-upon definition of “sexual relations” includedgiving oral sex but excluded receiving oral sex.[29]

Two months after the Senate failed to convict him, President Clinton was held in civil contempt of court by Judge Susan Webber Wright for giving misleading testimony regarding his sexual relationship with Lewinsky, and was also fined $90,000 by Wright.[2][3] Clinton declined to appeal the civil contempt of court ruling, citing financial problems,[2] but still maintained that his testimony complied with Wright’s earlier definition of sexual relations.[2] in 2001, his license to practice law was suspended in Arkansas for five years and later by the United States Supreme Court.[4]


In December 1998, Clinton’s political party, the Democratic Party, was in the minority in both chambers of Congress. A few Democratic members of Congress, and most in the opposition Republican Party, believed that Clinton’s giving false testimony and allegedly influencing Lewinsky’s testimony were crimes of obstruction of justice and perjury and thus impeachable offenses. The House of Representatives voted to issue Articles of Impeachment against him which was followed by a 21-day trial in the Senate.

All of the Democrats in the Senate voted for acquittal on both the perjury and the obstruction of justice charges. Ten Republicans voted for acquittal for perjury: John Chafee (Rhode Island), Susan Collins (Maine), Slade Gorton(Washington), Jim Jeffords (Vermont), Richard Shelby (Alabama), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania),Ted Stevens (Alaska), Fred Thompson (Tennessee), and John Warner (Virginia). Five Republicans voted for acquittal for obstruction of justice: Chafee, Collins, Jeffords, Snowe, and Specter.

President Clinton was thereby acquitted of all charges and remained in office. There were attempts to censure the president by the House of Representatives, but those attempts failed.


Clinton and Lewinsky on a 1998Abkhazia stamp

Effect on 2000 presidential election[edit]

The scandal arguably affected the 2000 U.S. presidential election in two contradictory ways. Democratic Party candidate and sitting vice president Al Goresaid that Clinton’s scandal had been “a drag” that deflated the enthusiasm of their party’s base, and had the effect of reducing Democratic votes. Clinton said that the scandal had made Gore’s campaign too cautious, and that if Clinton had been allowed to campaign for Gore in Arkansas and New Hampshire, either state would have delivered Gore’s needed electoral votes regardless of what happened in Florida.[30]

Political analysts have supported both views. Before and after the 2000 election, John Cochran of ABC News connected the Lewinsky scandal with a voter phenomenon he called “Clinton fatigue”.[31] Polling showed that the scandal continued to affect Clinton’s low personal approval ratings through the election,[32]and analysts such as Vanderbilt University‘s John G. Geer later concluded “Clinton fatigue or a kind of moral retrospective voting had a significant impact on Gore’s chances”.[33] Other analysts sided with Clinton’s argument, and argued that Gore’s refusal to have Clinton campaign with him damaged his appeal.[34][35][36][37]

Collateral scandals[edit]

During the scandal, supporters of President Clinton alleged that the matter was private and “about sex”, and they claimed hypocrisy by at least some of those who advocated for his removal. For example, during the House investigation it was revealed that Henry Hyde, Republican chair of the House Judiciary Committee and lead House manager, also had an affair while in office as a state legislator. Hyde, aged 70 during the Lewinsky hearings, dismissed it as a “youthful indiscretion” when he was 41.[38]

A highly publicized investigation campaign actively sought information that might embarrass politicians who supported impeachment. According to the British newspaper The Guardian,

Larry Flynt…the publisher of Hustler magazine, offered a $1 million reward… Flynt was a sworn enemy of the Republican party [and] sought to dig up dirt on the Republican members of Congress who were leading the impeachment campaign against President Clinton.

[…Although] Flynt claimed at the time to have the goods on up to a dozen prominent Republicans, the ad campaign helped to bring down only one. Robert Livingston – a congressman from Louisiana…abruptly retired after learning that Mr. Flynt was about to reveal that he had also had an affair.[39]

Republican congressman Bob Livingston had been widely expected to become Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in the next Congressional session.[40] Then just weeks away after Flynt revealed the affair, Livingston resigned and challenged Clinton to do the same.

Following Livingston’s resignation, Dennis Hastert, Republican Representative from Illinois, gained the support of the Republican leadership to seek the speakership as Livingston’s successor. He began serving as Speaker in January 1999, and held that role while the Senate conducted the impeachment trial.

On April 27, 2016, former Speaker Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for structuring $1.7 million in payments to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct he had made, in which federal prosecutors have said he hadmolested at least four boys as young as 14 while he worked as a high school wrestling coach decades earlier.[41] At the sentencing hearing during the trial, Hastert admitted under pressure from the judge that he had sexually abused boys. The judge in the case referred to Hastert as a “serial child molester”, and alongside imposing a sentence of fifteen months in prison, he also charged him with two years’ supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.[42][43] Hastert is “one of the highest-ranking politicians in American history to be sentenced to prison.”[42]

Flynt’s investigation also claimed that Congressman Bob Barr, another Republican House manager, had an affair while married; Barr had been the first lawmaker in either chamber to call for Clinton’s resignation due to the Lewinsky affair. Barr lost a primary challenge less than three years after the impeachment proceedings.[44]

Dan Burton, Republican Representative from Indiana, had stated “No one, regardless of what party they serve, no one, regardless of what branch of government they serve, should be allowed to get away with these alleged sexual improprieties….”[45] In 1998, Burton admitted that he himself had an affair in 1983 that produced a child.[46]

Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Representative from Georgia and leader of the Republican Revolution of 1994,[47]admitted in 1998 to having had an affair with a House intern while he was married to his second wife, at the same time as he was leading the impeachment of Bill Clinton for perjury regarding an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.[48][49]

Republican Helen Chenoweth-Hage from Idaho aggressively called for the resignation of President Clinton and admitted to her own six-year affair with a married rancher during the 1980s.[50]

Personal acceptance[edit]

Historian Taylor Branch implied that Clinton had requested changes to Branch’s 2009 Clinton biography, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President, regarding Clinton’s revelation that the Lewinsky affair began because “I cracked; I just cracked.” Branch writes that Clinton had felt “beleaguered, unappreciated, and open to a liaison with Lewinsky” following “the Democrats’ loss of Congress in the November 1994 elections, the death of his mother the previous January, and the ongoing Whitewater investigation“.[51] Publicly, Clinton had previously blamed the affair on “a terrible moral error” and on anger at Republicans, stating, “if people have unresolved anger, it makes them do non-rational, destructive things.”[52]

Traditional duties

Clinton initiated and was founding chair of the Save America’s Treasures program, a national effort that matched federal funds to private donations to preserve and restore historic items and sites,[221] including the flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the First Ladies Historic Site in Canton, Ohio.[59] She was head of the White House Millennium Council[222] and hosted Millennium Evenings,[223] a series of lectures that discussed futures studies, one of which became the first live simultaneous webcast from the White House.[59] Clinton also created the first White House Sculpture Garden, located in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, which displayed large contemporary American works of art loaned from museums.[224]

In the White House, Clinton placed donated handicrafts of contemporary American artisans, such as pottery and glassware, on rotating display in the state rooms.[59] She oversaw the restoration of the Blue Room to be historically authentic to the period of James Monroe[225] and the Map Room to how it looked during World War II.[226] Working with Arkansas interior decorator Kaki Hockersmith over an eight-year period, she oversaw extensive, privately funded redecoration efforts around the building, often trying to make it look brighter.[227] These included changing the look of the Treaty Room, a presidential study, to along 19th century lines.[226] Overall the redecoration brought mixed notices, with Victorian furnishings for theLincoln Sitting Room being criticized the most.[227] Clinton hosted many large-scale events at the White House, such as aSaint Patrick’s Day reception, a state dinner for visiting Chinese dignitaries, a contemporary music concert that raised funds for music education in public schools, a New Year’s Eve celebration at the turn of the 21st century, and a state dinner honoring the bicentennial of the White House in November 2000.

United States Senate election in New York, 2000

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
United States Senate election in New York, 2000
New York (state)

1994 ← November 7, 2000 → 2006

Hillary Rodham Clinton-cropped.jpg Lazio.jpg
Nominee Hillary Clinton Rick Lazio
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 3,747,310 2,915,730
Percentage 55.27% 43.01%


County Results

Senator before election
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Elected Senator
Hillary Clinton

The United States Senate election in New York in 2000was held on November 7, 2000. First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first First Lady to run for political office, defeated Congressman Rick Lazio. The general election coincided with the presidential election.

The race began in November 1998 when four-term incumbent New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihanannounced his retirement. Both the Democratic Party andRepublican Party sought high-profile candidates to compete for the open seat. By early 1999 Clinton and Mayor of New York City Rudolph Giuliani were the likely respective nominees. Clinton and her husband, President Bill Clinton, purchased a house in Chappaqua, New York, in September 1999; she thereby became eligible for the election, although she faced characterizations of carpetbagging since she had never resided in the state before. The lead in statewide polls swung from Clinton to Giuliani and back to Clinton as the campaigns featured both successful strategies and mistakes as well as dealing with current events. In late April and May 2000, Giuliani’s medical, romantic, marital, and political lives all collided in a tumultuous four-week period, culminating in his withdrawing from the race on May 19.

The Republicans chose lesser-known Congressman Rick Lazio to replace him. The election included a record $90 million in campaign expenditures between Clinton, Lazio, and Giuliani and national visibility. Clinton showed strength in normally Republican upstate areas and a debate blunder by Lazio solidified Clinton’s previously shaky support among women. Clinton won the election in November 2000 with 55 percent of the vote to Lazio’s 43 percent.

An open seat draws high-profile candidates[edit]

When four-term New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan announced his retirement in November 1998,[1] his previously safe Senate seat became open in the 2000 U.S. Senate election. Both parties tried to find high-profile candidates to run for it.

New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was prevented by term limits from running for mayoral reelection in 2001, immediately indicated interest.[1] Due to his high profile and visibility, Giuliani was supported by the state Republican Party, even though he had irritated many by endorsing incumbent Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo over Republican George Pataki in 1994.[2] Giuliani became the presumptive Republican nominee, and by April 1999 had formed a formal exploratory committee for a Senate run. There were still possible Republican primary opponents. Rick Lazio, a Congressmanrepresenting Suffolk County on Long Island, was raising money and had a candidacy announcement scheduled for August 16;[3] he had openly discussed a primary against Giuliani, believing his more conservative record would be appealing to Republican primary voters. In early August, under pressure from state and national Republican figures, Pataki endorsed Giuliani.[3] Pataki prevailed upon Lazio to forgo his candidacy, which Lazio agreed to despite frustration that Giuliani had still not officially announced that he was running; Lazio said, “If the mayor wants to be a candidate, I think he needs to get into this race. It’s time to put the soap opera aside and step up to the plate.”[3] Nassau County Congressman Pete King also considered running and had raised some funds.[3]

New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey was the candidate first expected to be the Democratic nominee,[4] while other mentioned possible candidates included Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo, New York State Comptroller Carl McCall, and New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.[5] State Democratic figures were concerned that neither Lowey nor the others had the star power to rival Giuliani, and that the seat would be lost. Late in 1998, prominent Democratic politicians and advisors, including New York Representative Charles Rangel,[6] urged First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for the New York Senate seat. An unprecedented action if she did it, Clinton spent considerable time mulling over the idea while Lowey waited in the wings.[4] Her political advisors told her the race would be difficult and some of them told her she would lose.[7] She waited for the impeachment proceedings of Bill Clinton to conclude,[7] which it did with his acquittal on February 12, 1999.

Clinton’s early campaign[edit]

On February 16, 1999, the First Lady’s office announced that she was considering running for the Senate position.[7] Once it was clear Clinton was going to run, Lowey stepped aside, although she would be disappointed at the lost opportunity.[8]On July 7, 1999, Clinton formally announced an exploratory committee for the Senate run;[9] the setting was Moynihan’s farm in Pindars Corners, in rural Delaware County.[10] Bill Clinton was less than enthusiastic about her candidacy.[9][10] The staging of the event was brokered by the Clintons’ political consultant Mandy Grunwald.[11] Hillary Clinton embarked upon a “listening tour” of all parts of New York after her entrance into the race.[12] She planned to visit all 62 counties in New York, talking to New Yorkers in small-group settings according to the principles of retail politics.[13] During the race, she spent considerable time campaigning in traditionally Republican upstate regions. Clinton faced charges of carpetbagging,[14] since she had never resided in the State of New York nor directly participated in state politics prior to her Senate race.

Meanwhile, in September 1999, the Clintons purchased a $1.7 million, 11-room, Dutch Colonial style home in Chappaqua, New York, north of New York City.[15] Even the commonplace activity of house hunting leading up to this was the subject of considerable media attention; coverage of personal lives would be the norm in this contest of two “electrifying and polarizing figures” (as one reporter put it).[16] In November 1999, Hillary Clinton announced that she would set aside most of her official duties as First Lady in order to take up residency in New York and pursue her campaign.[17] Her move-in took place in January 2000, with the house furnished with many of the couple’s possessions from their Arkansas days.[18] It became the first time since Woodrow Wilson‘s first wife died in 1914 that a president lived in the White House without a spouse.[17]

The early stages of her campaign were not without mistakes,[19] and as she later wrote, “Mistakes in New York politics aren’t easily brushed aside.”[19] In a much-publicized move, Clinton donned a New York Yankees baseball cap at a June 1999 event when she had been a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs.[20][21][22] This brought her much criticism,[22][23] and Thomas Kuiper would later write an anti-Clinton book titled: I’ve Always Been a Yankees Fan: Hillary Clinton in Her Own Words. Clinton said she had to develop an American League rooting interest, since fans of the Cubs were not expected to root for the American League Chicago White Sox.[23] In her 2003 autobiography, she said that putting on the hat had been a “bad move”, but reiterated what had been reported in the press prior to the incident, that she had been “a die-hardMickey Mantle fan;”[24] the book included a photograph of her with a Yankees cap on from 1992.[25]

Hillary Clinton kissing Suha Arafat, a November 1999 political mistake that she recovered from.

More seriously, on November 11, 1999, at the dedication of a U.S.-funded health program in the West Bank, she exchanged kisses with Suha Arafat, wife of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, after Suha Arafat had delivered a speech claiming that Israelhad deliberately poisoned Palestinians through environmental degradation and the use of “poisonous gas”.[26] Some Israeli supporters said that Clinton never should have kissed the wife of the Palestinian leader, especially after such inflammatory remarks. The following day, Clinton denounced Suha Arafat’s allegations, and said that Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had told her Suha Arafat had been referring to ‘tear gas‘ and not ‘poison gas‘.[26] The kiss became a campaign issue, especially with Jewish voters.[14][27][28] Clinton said it as a formality akin to a handshake, saying that to not have done so would have caused a diplomatic incident.[28] Clinton later wrote that the liveArabic-to-English translation had failed to convey the accurate nature of her remarks: “Had I been aware of her hateful words, I would have denounced them on the spot.”[29]

Somewhat surprisingly, Clinton faced an erosion of support from women voters during her campaign, with her numbers declining throughout 1999.[30] This was partly a typical pattern seen with women candidates where they have an early surge of female support, which then wears off, and it was partly due to her early campaign stumbles.[30] But it also reflected the particular set of mixed feelings that women had towards Clinton’s marriage and the ambition and the power she derived from it.[30] The problem was especially acute among some female demographics; one of her longtime advisers later said, “Women in the educated professional class? They fucking couldn’t stand her. We could never figure out why. We had psychologists come in.”[31]

Clinton’s campaign to all counties, carried by a Ford conversion van,[13] helped to defuse the carpetbagger issue,[32] with many New York residents saying that Clinton “seems like one of us.”[13] She discussed local issues such as price supportsfor the dairy industry, fares for air travel, college tuition levels, and the brain drain in parts of the state.[14] Her political positions were well matched to the different constituencies in the state that she targeted.[32] In a January 2000 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, she established a rapport with the host that would continue throughout her Senate years and into her 2008 presidential campaign.[33] Clinton formally announced her official candidacy in Purchase, New Yorkin February 2000,[33] adopting the simple name “Hillary” for her campaign literature.[33]

Distrustful of the press since her husband’s 1992 presidential campaign and her early days as First Lady,[34] she imposed limits on her availability to the press van following her. Associated Press reporter Beth Harpaz later recounted a typical day from this time: “But we’d been told there’d be no ‘avail’ today, and we’d accepted it. That didn’t prevent me from feeling slightly humiliated. I was so worn down and so exasperated by the lack of access and the lack of news in this campaign that I’d given up fighting.”[35]

Early campaign of Giuliani[edit]

An early January 1999 Marist Institute of Public Opinion poll showed Giuliani trailing Clinton by 10 points.[36] By January 2000, the Marist poll showed Giuliani up by 9 points.[36] Giuliani’s tactics involved intentionally baiting the Clinton campaign with deliberate overstatements, keeping them off balance and behind in the response cycle.[37] Giuliani emphasized his depiction of Clinton as a carpetbagger. He made a one-day visit to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he announced he would fly the Arkansas state flag over New York’s City Hall.[37] When Hillary Clinton visited New York from Washington, he said, “I hope she knows the way. I hope she doesn’t get lost on one of the side streets.”[37] Giuliani’s campaign prepared a 315-page opposition research dossier that went back to her time at Wellesley College; it included eleven pages of what they termed “Stupid Actions and Remarks”.[37] The Giuliani campaign had no problems raising money, getting over 40 percent of its funds from out-of-state and outraising Clinton overall two-to-one.[14]

The Giuliani campaign showed some structural weaknesses. So closely identified with New York City, he had somewhat limited appeal to naturally Republican voters in Upstate New York.[38] The Farmersville Garbage Scandal was indicative of his lower levels of support upstate.[38][39] By late December 1999, Clinton adapted to Giuliani’s psychological warfare, saying in response to one such gambit, “I can’t be responding every time the mayor gets angry. Because that’s all I would do.”[37] A February 2000 attempt by Giuliani to capitalize on a Clinton campaign event’s accidental playing of Billy Joel‘s suburban drug tale “Captain Jack[40] led to more ridicule for him than for her.[14]

On March 11, 2000, Giuliani and Clinton met face-to-face for the first time since the campaigning began, at the New York Inner Circle press dinner, an annual event in which New York politicians and the press corps stage skits, roast each other and make fun of themselves, with proceeds going to charity.[41] Giuliani was on stage in male disco garb spoofing John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, but also appeared in drag in taped video clips that reworked the “Rudy/Rudia” theme of a past Inner Circle dinner,[42] as well as in an exchange with Joan Rivers that sought to make fun of Clinton.[43] Other performers’ skits made fun of Clinton’s Yankees claim and the infidelity of her husband.[43]

The New York Police Department‘s fatal shooting of Patrick Dorismond on March 15, 2000 inflamed Giuliani’s already strained relations with the city’s minority communities,[33] and Clinton seized on it as a major campaign issue.[33] By April, reports showed Clinton gaining upstate and generally outworking Giuliani, who stated that his duties as mayor prevented him from campaigning more.[44] He gave priority to city duties over campaign activities.[37] Some Giuliani aides and national Republican figures concluded that his interest in the campaign was flagging, as although he was desirous of winning in political combat against a Clinton, he was by nature an executive personality and the prospect of serving as one of a hundred legislators was unappealing to him.[37]

By this time, Clinton was 8 to 10 points ahead of Giuliani in the polls.[33][45] In retrospect, The New York Times would write that the battle so far between the two had comprised “a blistering year of mental gamesmanship, piercing attacks, contrasts in personalities and positions, and blunders, played out by two outsize political figures in a super-heated atmosphere.”[37]

A tumultuous four weeks[edit]

Giuliani’s marriage to his wife, broadcast journalist and actress Donna Hanover, had been distant since 1996, and the two were rarely seen in public together.[46] There had been no formal announcement of any change in their relationship, although Hanover had indicated that she and their children would not move to Washington if Giuliani won the race.[47]Beginning in October 1999, a new woman was being spotted at mayoral functions.[48] By March 2000, Giuliani had stopped wearing his wedding ring[46] and was being seen more in the company of this other woman, including at the Inner Circle press dinner, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and town hall meetings, but it was not yet fully clear whether the relationship was personal or professional.[49][50] While this woman had become a frequent subject of insider talk among the New York political circle, she had not been mentioned in the press.[48]

On April 20 Hanover announced that she would soon be taking over the lead role in Eve Ensler‘s controversial play The Vagina Monologues.[51] Political observers speculated that Hanover was partly engaging in a political act against her husband, as Ensler was a friend and supporter of Hillary Clinton[51] and the role would not go over well with social conservatives within the Republican Party. Giuliani declined to say whether he would attend one of her performances.[52] On April 22, the New York Post obtained photographs of Giuliani openly strolling on a Manhattan street with the other woman after they left a restaurant, but did not have more than a first name for her;[49][53] the Post sat on the story, but it was clear the relationship was a personal one.[49]

On April 26, television channel NY1 reported that Giuliani had undergone a second round of tests for prostate cancer atMount Sinai Medical Center;[54] the same disease had led to the death of his father.[54] On April 28, Giuliani held a news conference to announce that he did in fact have prostate cancer, but it was in an early stage.[55] He was unsure of which of several types of treatment he might undergo, and that decision would impact whether he could stay in the senate race or not.[55] Hanover was not present at the conference, but issued a note saying she would support him in his decision process.[56]

As Giuliani mulled over his medical options, on May 1 Hanover announced that she was postponing her appearance in The Vagina Monologues due to “personal family circumstances.”[57] On May 2 the New York Daily News published a brief item about Giuliani’s other woman, without name or description.[58] On May 3 the New York Post finally published its photographs of Giuliani and the woman, now identified as Judith Nathan,[58] leaving a restaurant together,[46][59] under the front page headline “Rudy’s Mystery Brunch Pal is Upper East Side Divorcée”.[60] (Some observers felt that Giuliani, known for his ability to manipulate the New York media,[61] had been eager for news of the relationship to come out.[53][61]) Later that day, Giuliani responded to a barrage of questions on the subject at a news conference by acknowledging Judith Nathan publicly for the first time, calling her “a very good friend” and expressing his annoyance that her privacy was being invaded.[46] The next days were filled with New York media coverage on Nathan’s background and on the relationship.[53]On May 6 Hanover held an unusually-located news conference at the back of St. Patrick’s Cathedral before the funeral ofCardinal John O’Connor;[50] visibly trembling, she said, “I will be supportive of Rudy in his fight against his illness, as this marriage and this man have been very precious to me.”[50] The following day half the press tried to stake out Nathan’s known locations while the rest pestered Nathan’s hometown relatives in Hazleton, Pennsylvania;[62] Giuliani looked weak in a public appearance.[62]

On May 10, Giuliani held what The New York Times described as an “extraordinary, emotional news conference” in Bryant Park to announce that he was seeking a separation from Hanover,[59] saying, “This is very, very painful. For quite some time it’s probably been apparent that Donna and I lead in many ways independent and separate lives.”[59] Regarding Nathan, Giuliani said “I’m going to need her now more than maybe I did before”, making reference to his battle with cancer[59] and her background in nursing.[48] Regarding the senate race, he again did not commit to a decision, saying, “I don’t really care about politics right now. I’m thinking about my family, the people that I love and what can be done that’s honest and truthful and that protects them the best. I’m not thinking about politics. Politics comes at least second, maybe third, maybe fourth, somewhere else. It’ll all work itself out some way politically.”[59] Giuliani had, however, neglected to inform Hanover in advance of his announcement; her reaction was described as distraught.[59] Three hours later, she held her own news conference at Gracie Mansion, where she said, “Today’s turn of events brings me great sadness. I had hoped to keep this marriage together. For several years, it was difficult to participate in Rudy’s public life because of his relationship with one staff member.”[59] In this, she was making reference to Cristyne Lategano, the former communications director for Giuliani;[59][63] Vanity Fair had reported in 1997 that Lategano and Giuliani were having an affair, which both of them had denied.[63] Hanover continued, “Beginning last May, I made a major effort to bring us back together. Rudy and I re-established some of our personal intimacy through the fall. At that point, he chose another path.”[59]

State Republican leaders, who until now had avoided talk of replacements for Giuliani should he not run, now gave more attention to the matter, with the state party convention coming up on May 30.[64] Former possible contenders Rick Lazioand Pete King immediately indicated they were available;[64][65] other names mentioned included Wall Street financierTheodore J. Forstmann and Governor Pataki, although the latter indicated no interest.[64] Giuliani continued to ponder his senate race decision; when he had dinner with Nathan on May 12, they were trailed by a flock of photographers.[66] Giuliani canceled campaigning and fundraising trips to upstate New York and California on May 13, suggesting he would not run,[66]but then resumed fundraising and suggested he was inclined towards running on May 15.[67] Two Republican county chairmen became upset at the indecision, saying, “Like Waiting for Godot, we have Waiting for Rudy“, and, “We need a decision. Like tomorrow would be nice. Because this is getting ridiculous.”[67] A top state Republican said, “He seem[s] to like the attention. He seems to be going through some sort of catharsis in public. And we’re like psychiatrists watching it. I can’t quite figure it out. I don’t think anybody can.”[67] Clinton, meanwhile, said as little as possible about the situation, preferring to let Giuliani’s drama play out on its own;[68] on May 17, as he huddled with his doctors over whether to choose surgery or radiation as his treatment[69] while facing conflicting political advice from his aides,[70] she won the unanimous approval of delegates to the Democratic Party state convention at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York, giving a constrained acceptance speech because she did not know her general election opponent.[71]

Finally, on May 19, Giuliani held what The New York Times again described as “an emotional, riveting news conference” that “reached a new level of introspection” to announce that he was dropping out of the senate race:[72] “This is not the right time for me to run for office. If it were six months ago or it were a year from now or the timing were a little different, maybe it would be different. But it isn’t different and that’s the way life is.”[72] He added that, “I used to think the core of me was in politics, probably. It isn’t. When you feel your mortality and your humanity you realize that, that the core of you is first of all being able to take care of your health.”[72] He said that he would instead devote the remainder of his mayoralty trying to overcome the hostile relations he had with many of the city’s minority groups.[72]

A change of Republicans: Lazio[edit]

After Giuliani withdrew in May 2000, lesser-known Long Island Congressman Rick Laziotook his place.

While previous Republican nominee candidates and fellow Long Island Congressmen Rick Lazio and Pete King had both indicated an interest in replacing Giuliani,[73] upon Giuliani’s withdrawal the state party quickly rallied around Lazio,[74] who had more campaign funds and who was viewed as a potentially strong candidate.[73] In particular, Governor Pataki — who never cared much for Giuliani to begin with[74] — was strongly in favor of Lazio, and praised him as “fresh, unencumbered challenger” to Clinton.[74] This also caused a shuffle in New York’s unique third-party ballot-line alignments: the Liberal Party of New York, which was previously set to run Giuliani (whom they had supported in all three of his mayoral races), now switched to Clinton, while the Conservative Party of New York, which had previously been loath to endorse the socially liberal Giuliani[14] (and was set to nominate former Westchester Congressman Joe DioGuardi) lined up behind Lazio.[75] Lazio accepted the unanimous approval of delegates to the Republican Party state convention at a hotel ballroom in Buffalo on May 30.[76]

Clinton now faced a lesser-known candidate in Lazio. While a relative moderate among House Republicans,[77] Lazio had frequently supported former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a largely despised figure among many New Yorkers.[78] Lazio did bring to the table an ethnic suburban background familiar to many New Yorkers, and had a reputation as an energetic campaigner.[73][79]

One formality left were New York’s late-in-the-season primary elections on September 12, which in this case merely served to ratify the state party conventions’ choices. Lazio won unopposed,[80] while Clinton won 82 percent of the vote[81] in easily defeating unknown Manhattan doctor Mark McMahon, who ran on the grounds that “the Clintons have tried to hijack the Democratic Party.”[81] For her part, Clinton said that she was “surprised, in a way [to see her name in the voting booth]. I stood there for a minute, staring at my name.”[80] In any case, the general election was already well underway.

Democratic primary results[edit]

Democratic primary[82]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton 565,353 81.97%
Democratic Mark McMahon 124,315 18.02%

Republican primary[edit]


Source Date Rudolph Giuliani Rick Lazio Peter King George Pataki
Quinnipiac May 24, 1999 36% 8% 45%
Quinnipiac June 30, 1999 67% 6% 9%

General election[edit]


Source Date Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) Rudolph Giuliani (R) Joseph DioGuardi (Con)
Quinnipiac February 3, 1999 51% 42%
Quinnipiac February 23, 1999 54% 36%
Quinnipiac March 23, 1999 50% 39%
Quinnipiac April 15, 1999 47% 42%
Quinnipiac April 22, 1999 49% 41%
Quinnipiac May 24, 1999 48% 42%
Quinnipiac June 30, 1999 46% 44%
Quinnipiac July 29, 1999 45% 45%
Quinnipiac September 16, 1999 45% 44%
Quinnipiac October 5, 1999 43% 46%
Quinnipiac November 10, 1999 42% 47%
Quinnipiac December 16, 1999 42% 46%
Quinnipiac January 20, 2000 42% 46%
Quinnipiac February 6, 2000 42% 45%
Quinnipiac March 2, 2000 41% 48%
Quinnipiac April 5, 2000 46% 43%
Quinnipiac May 1, 2000 46% 44%
Quinnipiac May 16, 2000 42% 41% 5%
Source Date Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) Alfonse D’Amato (R)
Quinnipiac February 23, 1999 60% 30%
Quinnipiac March 23, 1999 56% 34%
Quinnipiac April 15, 1999 54% 34%
Quinnipiac April 22, 1999 55% 36%
Source Date Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) Rick Lazio (R)
Quinnipiac March 23, 1999 56% 23%
Quinnipiac May 24, 1999 52% 30%
Quinnipiac June 30, 1999 50% 34%
Quinnipiac July 29, 1999 50% 32%
Quinnipiac May 16, 2000 50% 31%
Quinnipiac June 7, 2000 44% 44%
Quinnipiac July 12, 2000 45% 45%
Quinnipiac August 9, 2000 46% 43%
Quinnipiac September 12, 2000 49% 44%
Quinnipiac September 27, 2000 50% 43%
Quinnipiac October 6, 2000 50% 43%
Quinnipiac October 18, 2000 50% 43%
Quinnipiac October 31, 2000 47% 44%
Quinnipiac November 6, 2000 51% 39%
Source Date Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) George Pataki (R)
Quinnipiac May 24, 1999 47% 45%
Quinnipiac May 16, 2000 41% 46%
Source Date Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) Peter King (R)
Quinnipiac June 30, 1999 51% 31%
Quinnipiac July 29, 1999 50% 30%
Source Date Nita Lowey (D) Rudolph Giuliani (R)
Quinnipiac March 23, 1999 30% 48%
Source Date Nita Lowey (D) Alfonse D’Amato (R)
Quinnipiac March 23, 1999 39% 39%
Source Date Nita Lowey (D) Rick Lazio (R)
Quinnipiac March 23, 1999 33% 20%

General election campaign[edit]

The contest drew considerable national attention and both candidates were well-funded. By the end of the race, Democrat Clinton and Republicans Lazio and Giuliani had spent a combined $90 million,[83] the most of any U.S. Senate race in history.[83][84] Lazio outspent Clinton $40 million to $29 million,[83] with Clinton also getting several million dollars in soft money from Democratic organizations.[83] Among Clinton antagonists circles, direct mail-based fundraising groups such as the Emergency Committee to Stop Hillary Rodham Clinton sprung up,[85] sending out solicitations regarding the “carpetbagging” issue: just as one Clinton leaves office, another one runs.

Clinton secured a broad base of support, including endorsements from conservation groups[86] and organized labor,[87] but notably not the New York City police union which endorsed Lazio while firefighters supported Hillary.[88][89] While Clinton had a solid base of support in New York City, candidates and observers expected the race to be decided in upstate New York where 45 percent of the state’s voters live. During the campaign, Clinton vowed to improve the economic picture in upstate New York, promising that her plan would deliver 200,000 New York jobs over six years. Her plan included specific tax credits with the purpose of rewarding job creation and encouraging business investment, especially in the high-tech sector. She called for targeted personal tax cuts for college tuition and long-term care.[90] Lazio faced a unique tactical problem campaigning upstate. The major issue there was the persistently weak local economy, which Lazio hoped to link to his opponent’s husband’s tenure in office. Attacks on the state of the upstate economy were frequently interpreted as criticism of incumbent Republican governor George Pataki, however, limiting the effect of this line of attack.

Opponents continued to make the carpetbagging issue a focal point throughout the race and during debates.[91] Talk radiohammered on this, with New York-based Sean Hannity issuing a daily mantra, “Name me three things Hillary Clinton has ever done for the people of New York!” Clinton’s supporters pointed out that the state was receptive to national leaders, such as Robert F. Kennedy who was elected to the Senate in 1964 despite similar accusations. In the end, according to exit polls conducted in the race, a majority of the voters dismissed the carpetbagging issue as unimportant.[92]

During the campaign, Independent Counsel Robert Ray filed his final reports regarding the long-running Whitewater,[93]Travelgate“,[94] and “Filegate[95] investigations of the White House, each of which included specific investigations of Hillary Clinton actions. The reports exonerated her on the files matter,[95] said there was insufficient evidence regarding her role in Whitewater,[93] and said that she had made factually false statements regarding the Travel Office firings but there was insufficient evidence to prosecute her.[94] Although The New York Times editorialized that the release of the reports seemed possibly timed to coincide with the Senate election,[96] in practice the findings were not seen as likely to sway many voters’ opinions.[97]

A September 13, 2000 debate between Lazio and Clinton proved important. Lazio was on the warpath against soft moneyand the amounts of it coming from the Democratic National Committee into Clinton’s campaign, and challenged Clinton to agree to ban soft money from both campaigns. He left his podium and waved his proposed paper agreement in Clinton’s face;[98] many debate viewers thought he had invaded her personal space[14] and as a result Clinton’s support among women voters solidified.[98]

Late in the campaign Lazio criticised Clinton for accepting campaign donations from various Arab groups in the wake of theUSS Cole attack. This issue caused former New York Mayor Ed Koch to take out ads telling Lazio to “stop with the sleaze already,”[98] and did not change the dynamic of the race.


Having won the election,Hillary Rodham Clinton is sworn in as the junior senator from New York, January 3, 2001.

2000 United States Senate election, New York[99]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton 3,562,415
Working Families Hillary Rodham Clinton 102,094
Liberal Hillary Rodham Clinton 82,801
total Hillary Rodham Clinton 3,747,310 55.27 +0.02
Republican Rick Lazio 2,724,589
Conservative Rick Lazio 191,141
total Rick Lazio 2,915,730 43.01 +1.5
Independence Jeffrey Graham 43,181 0.64 -0.08
Green Mark Dunau 40,991 0.60
Right to Life John Adefope 21,439 0.32 -1.68
Libertarian John Clifton 4,734 0.07 -0.31
Constitution Louis Wein 3,414 0.05
Socialist Workers Jacob Perasso 3,040 0.04 -0.27
Blank/scattering 179,823
Majority 831,580 12.27%
Turnout 6,779,839
Democratic hold Swing
Per New York State law, Clinton and Lazio totals include their minor party line votes: Liberal Party of New York andWorking Families Party for Clinton, Conservative Party for Lazio.


Clinton won the election on November 7 with 55% of the vote to Lazio’s 43%,[100] a difference larger than most observers had expected.[101][102] Clinton won the traditionally Democratic base of New York City by large margins, and carried suburban Westchester County, but lost heavily populated Long Island, part of which Lazio represented in Congress. She won surprising victories in Upstate counties, such as Cayuga, Rensselaer, and Niagara, to which her win has been attributed.

In comparison with other results, this 12% margin was smaller than Gore’s 25% margin over Bush in the state Presidential contest, was slightly larger than the 10% margin by which fellow New York senator Charles Schumer defeated incumbent Republican Al D’Amato in the hotly contested 1998 race, but was considerably smaller than the 47% margin by which Senator Schumer won reelection in 2004 against little-known Republican challenger Howard Mills.[103][104] The victory of a Democrat in the Senate election was not assured, because in recent decades the Republicans had won about half the elections for governor and senator.

Lazio’s bid was handicapped by the weak performance of George W. Bush in New York in the 2000 election,[102] but it is also clear Hillary Clinton had made substantial inroads in upstate New York prior to Lazio’s entry into the race.[102] Exit polls also showed a large gender gap with Clinton running stronger than expected among moderate women and unaffiliated women.[105]

Post-election charges[edit]

Hasidic pardons[edit]

In January 2001, two months after Hillary Clinton’s election to the Senate, President Clinton pardoned four residents of theNew Square Hasidic enclave in Rockland County, New York, who had been convicted of defrauding the federal government of $30 million by establishing a fictitious religious school.[106][107] New Square had voted almost unanimously for Hillary Clinton in the New York Senate race. A lawyer following the matter stated that even if Hillary Clinton had promised to lobby her husband for clemency in exchange for the town’s votes — a claim for which there was no proof — it would be difficult to establish a crime had taken place: “Politicians make promises all the time. That’s nothing new — or illegal.”[106] Hillary Clinton acknowledged sitting in on a post-election meeting discussing possible clemency for the four, but said she had played no part in her husband’s decision.[107]

A federal investigation launched to investigate various Clinton pardons,[106] closed its investigation of the New Square matter in June 2002 by taking no action against Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, or any residents of New Square.[108]

Hollywood fundraiser[edit]

Hillary Clinton with her largest 2000 contributor, Peter Paul, at the Gala Hollywood Farewell Salute to President Clinton.

Hillary 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, a convicted drug dealer who would soon after be convicted on stock fraud charges after being extradited from Brazil, stated that he spent $1.2 million to produce the August 12, 2000Hollywood Gala Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton event, which was both a tribute to honor President Clinton and a fundraiser for the First Lady’s 2000 Senate campaign. TheJustice Department indictment charged Rosen with filing false reports with the Federal Election Commission by reporting only $400,000 in contributions. On May 27, 2005, the jury acquitted Rosen on all counts.[109] On January 5, 2006 it was reported that Clinton’s campaign group agreed to pay a $35,000 fine related to the underreporting of the fundraiser’s expenses.[110]

Peter Paul has also filed a civil suit in this matter, Paul v. Clinton.[111] On April 10, 2006, the judge in charge of the case removed Hillary Clinton as a defendant, citing a lack of evidence. However, she may still be called to testify as a witness in the case.[112] The removal was upheld by the California Second District Court of Appeal on October 16, 2007.[113]

Meanwhile, by the time of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, a 13-minute video produced by Paul and describing his various allegations against Hillary Clinton had become quite popular on the Internet, gaining 1.4 million hits on Google Video and about 350,000 on YouTube in a single week in October 2007.[114]


Clinton’s victory would establish her as an effective campaigner and an electoral force on her own, able to capture Republican and independent votes and overcome her polarizing image.[102] She would easily win re-election in 2006, and in 2007 began her presidential campaign for 2008.

Lazio gave up his House seat to run for Senate. Following his defeat, which set a record for the most money spent in a losing Senate effort,[83] he took positions in the corporate world and avoided electoral politics until becoming a candidate inNew York’s 2010 gubernatorial election.[115] However, he was defeated by a wide margin in the Republican primary.[116]

Giuliani would undergo treatment for his cancer and eventually recover; he would also divorce Donna Hanover and eventually marry Judith Nathan. After his campaign withdrawal, his political future looked uncertain at best.[14] But less than a year after the senate general election, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks took place, with Giuliani still mayor. Giuliani’s performance in the aftermath of September 11 earned him many accolades and resurrected his political prospects.[117] After a successful stint in the private sector, in 2007 he also began his presidential campaign for 2008.

Throughout much of 2007, Clinton and Giuliani led in national polls for their parties’ respective nominations, and media reports often looked back to the 2000 “race that wasn’t” as a preview of what might lie in wait for the entire nation in 2008.[14][37] Such extrapolating ended with the Giuliani campaign’s precipitous decline and January 2008 withdrawal. Clinton as well failed to gain the 2008 nomination and, in June 2008, she finished in a close second place to Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

In December 2008, Lowey would have another chance at the Senate seat, when Clinton was nominated for U.S. Secretary of State by President-elect Obama and Lowey was considered a front-runner to be named as her appointed replacement.[118] But Lowey withdrew from consideration, as in the intervening years she had gained enough seniority to become one of the powerful “cardinals” on the House Appropriations Committee and did not want to relinquish that position.[118] When Caroline Kennedy announced her interest in the vacancy, comparisons were drawn to Clinton in 2000, with both being famous people seeking to hold elective office for the first time.[119] Others pointed out that Clinton had won election to the office while Kennedy would first be appointed.[120] In any case, Kennedy’s effort soon faltered, in part due to not having the same desire or willingness to work for the seat as Clinton had had,[121] and she soon withdrew as abruptly as she had entered.[122]

Kirsten Gillibrand received the appointment, and attention then turned to who would run against her in the 2010 Senate special election. By November 2009, Giuliani was seriously considering a run for his old would-have-been Senate seat,[123]but the following month he announced he was not running for it or anything else in 2010, possibly signalling an end to his political career.[124][125]

United States Senate

United States Senate career of Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton.jpg
United States Senator
from New York
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 21, 2009
Serving with Chuck Schumer
Preceded by Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Succeeded by Kirsten Gillibrand
Personal details
Political party Democratic

ContentsHillary Rodham Clinton served as a United States Senator from New York from January 3, 2001 to January 21, 2009. She won the United States Senate election in New York, 2000 and the United States Senate election in New York, 2006. Clinton resigned from the Senate on January 21, 2009 to becomeUnited States Secretary of State for the Obama Administration.


Clinton served on five Senate committees with nine subcommittee assignments:

She was also a Commissioner of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe[6] (2001-2009).[7]

She also held two leadership positions in the Senate Democratic Caucus:

  1. Chairwoman of Steering and Outreach Committee (2003–2006)[8][9]
  2. Vice Chairwoman of Committee Outreach (2007–2009)[10]


While a member of the U.S. Senate, Clinton sponsored 31 pieces of legislation, including 21 bills, 9 amendments, 33 Senate Resolutions, and 21 concurrent resolutions.[11] Fourteen of her Senate resolutions were passed, expressing the Senate’s views on policy or commemorative questions.[11] One of her concurrent resolutions—supporting National Purple Heart Recognition Day—passed both houses. Of the 363 bills, three[12] became law:

Senate Bill Congress Year Title Senate Vote
House Vote
Purpose Ref.
1 S. 1241 108th 2004 Kate Mullany National Historic Site Act Unanimous Acclamation Establishes the Kate Mullany National Historic Site in Troy, New York. Authorizes appropriations. [13][14]
2 S. 3613 109th 2006 A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at
2951 New York Highway 43 in Averill Park, New York, as the
“Major George Quamo Post Office Building”.
Unanimous Acclamation Names post office after Major George Quamo,U.S. Army [15][16]
3 S. 3145 110th 2008 A bill to designate a portion of United States Route 20A,
located in Orchard Park, New York, as the
“Timothy J. Russert Highway”
Unanimous Acclamation Named U.S. Route Highway after late journalist, Tim Russert [17][18]

Clinton also co-sponsored 2,675 pieces of legislation, including 1,528 bills, of which 70 became law.[19]

First term[edit]

Hillary Rodham Clinton is sworn in as a United States Senator by Vice President Al Gore in the Old Senate Chamber, as President Clinton and daughter Chelsea look on, January 3, 2001

Upon entering the United States Senate, Clinton maintained a low public profile while building relationships with senators from both parties, to avoid the polarizing celebrity she experienced as First Lady.[20][21][22][23] (It was reported that when Elizabeth Dole joined the Senate in 2003 under somewhat similar circumstances, she modeled her initial approach after Clinton’s,[24] as did the nationally visible Barack Obama in 2005.)[25][26] Clinton also forged alliances with religiously-inclined senators by becoming a regular participant in theSenate Prayer Breakfast.[27][28]

Drawer of chamber desk LXXXVII occupied by Hillary Rodham Clinton in the U.S. Senate. Note signature at center inside of drawer. Chamber desk was once occupied in the U.S. Senate by Al Gore, Sr., father of Al Gore, now used by her successor Kirsten Gillibrand [29]

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Clinton sought to obtain funding for the recovery efforts in New York City and security improvements in her state. Working with New York’s senior senator, Charles Schumer, she was instrumental in quickly securing $21.4 billion in funding for the World Trade Center site‘s redevelopment.[30][31][32] Not a favorite of New York City police officers and firefighters who were in attendance, she was audibly booed and heckled at The Concert for New York City on October 20, 2001, although her husband was loudly applauded.[33][34][35] She subsequently took a leading role in investigating the health issues faced by 9/11 first responders,[36] eventually earning the praise and endorsement of New York City’s Uniformed Fire Officers Association and the Uniformed Firefighters Association for her 2006 re-election bid.[37][38] In 2005, Clinton issued two studies that examined the disbursement of federal homeland security funds to local communities and first responders. Clinton voted for the USA Patriot Act in October 2001. In 2005, when the act was up for renewal, she worked to address some of the civil liberties concerns with it,[39] before voting in favor of a compromise renewed act in March 2006 that gained large majority support.[40]

Clinton strongly supported the 2001 U.S. military action in Afghanistan, saying it was a chance to combat terrorism while improving the lives of Afghan women who suffered under the Taliban government.[41] Clinton voted in favor of the October 2002 Iraq War Resolution, which authorized United States President George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq, should such action be required to enforce aUnited Nations Security Council Resolution after pursuing with diplomatic efforts. (However, Clinton voted against the Levin Amendment to the Resolution, which would have required the President to conduct vigorous diplomacy at the U.N., and would have also required a separate Congressional authorization to unilaterally invade Iraq.[2] She did vote for the Byrd Amendment to the Resolution, which would have limited the Congressional authorization to one year increments, but the only mechanism necessary for the President to renew his mandate without any Congressional oversight was to claim that the Iraq War was vital to national security each year the authorization required renewal.)[2] Clinton later said that she did not read the full classified National Intelligence Estimate that was delivered ten days before the vote to all members of Congress, and that gave a more subtle case for Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction than the Bush Administration’s abridged summary, but that she was briefed on the report.[2][42]

After the Iraq War began, Clinton made trips to both Iraq and Afghanistan to visit American troops stationed there, such as the 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum, New York. In spring 2004, Clinton publicly castigated U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz at a hearing, saying his credibility was gone due to false predictions he had made before the war’s start.[43] On a visit to Iraq in February 2005, Clinton noted that the insurgency had failed to disrupt the democratic elections held earlier, and that parts of the country were functioning well.[44] Noting that war deployments were draining regular and reserve forces, she co-introduced legislation to increase the size of the regular United States Army by 80,000 soldiers to ease the strain.[45] In late 2005, Clinton said that while immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake, Bush’s pledge to stay “until the job is done” was also misguided, as it would give Iraqis “an open-ended invitation not to take care of themselves.” She criticized the administration for making poor decisions in the war, but added that it was more important to solve the problems in Iraq.[46] This centrist and somewhat vague stance caused frustration among those in the Democratic party who favored immediate withdrawal.[47]

During her time as senator, Clinton supported retaining and improving health benefits for veterans.[48] She lobbied against the closure of several military bases in New York, including Fort Drum, and visited almost all military installations within the state.[48][49] She formed strong working relationships with several high-ranking military officers, including General Franklin L. “Buster” Hagenbeck at Fort Drum, who was Commander of the 10th Mountain Division, and General Jack Keane, who was Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.[48][49] When in 2003 the opportunity opened to take a seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or the Senate Armed Services Committee, she chose the latter, even though past New York senators such asDaniel Patrick Moynihan and Jacob Javits had traditionally been highly visible on the former.[49] Once on the Armed Services Committee, she made a practice of going to every meeting, no matter how obscure the topic.[49] In the words ofNew York Times reporter Mark Landler, Clinton became “a military wonk”; in part this was to bolster her credentials should she stage a run for president.[49]

Senator Clinton voted against the two major tax cuts packages introduced by President Bush, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003,[50] saying it was fiscally irresponsible to reopen the budget deficit. At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, Clinton had called for maintaining a budget surplus to pay down the national debt for future generations. At a fundraiser in 2004, she told a crowd of financial donors that “Many of you are well enough off that … the tax cuts may have helped you” but that “We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”[51]

Senator Clinton delivers an address to Families USA, 2005

In Clinton’s first term as senator, New York’s jobless rate rose by 0.7 percent after a nationwide recession.[52] The state’s manufacturing sector was especially beleaguered, losing about 170,000 jobs.[53] In 2005, Clinton and Senator Lindsey Graham cosponsored the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, which provides incentives and rewards for completely domestic American manufacturing companies.[54] In 2003, Clinton convinced the information technology firm Tata Consultancy Services to open an office in Buffalo, New York,[55] but some criticized the plan because Tata is also involved in the business of outsourcing.[56] In 2004, Clinton co-founded and became the co-chair of the Senate India Caucus[57] with the aid of USINPAC, a political action committee.[58][59] In 2005, Clinton voted against ratification of the Central America Free Trade Agreement,[60] believing that it did not provide adequate environmental or labor standards.[61] In this she differed with her husband, who supported CAFTA; the ratification was successful.[62]

Senator Clinton led a bipartisan effort to bring broadband access to rural communities. She cosponsored the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, which encourages research and development in the field ofnanotechnology.[63] She included language in an energy bill to provide tax exempt bonding authority for environmentally-conscious construction projects,[64] and introduced an amendment that funds job creation to repair, renovate and modernize public schools.[64]

In 2005, Clinton was joined by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who once led the Republican opposition to her husband’s administration,[65] in support of a proposal for incremental universal health care.[66] She also worked with Bill Frist, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, in support of modernizing medical records with computer technology to reduce human errors, such as misreading prescriptions.[67]

During the 2005 debate over the use of filibusters by Senate Democrats, which prevented some of President Bush’s judicial nominations from being confirmed, Clinton was not part of the “Gang of 14“, a bipartisan group of senators who would support cloture but oppose the Republican threat to abolish the filibuster. However, she did vote in favor of cloture along with that group, thereby allowing the nominations to come to a vote. She subsequently voted against three of the nominees, but all were confirmed by the Senate.[68] Clinton voted against the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States, saying “I do not believe that the Judge has presented his views with enough clarity and specificity for me to in good conscience cast a vote on his behalf,” but then said she hoped her concerns would prove to be unfounded.[69]Roberts was confirmed by a solid majority, with half the Senate’s Democrats voting for him and half against.[70] She joined with about half of the Democratic Senators in support of the filibuster against the nomination of Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court, and subsequently voted against his confirmation along with almost all Democratic members of the Senate.[71] On the Senate floor, Clinton said Alito would “roll back decades of progress and roll over when confronted with an administration too willing to flaunt the rules and looking for a rubber stamp.”[72] Alito was confirmed in a vote split largely along party lines.

Clinton sought to establish an independent, bipartisan panel patterned after the 9/11 Commission to investigate the response to Hurricane Katrina by the federal, state and local governments, but could not obtain the two-thirds majority needed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate.[73]

In 2005, Clinton called for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate how hidden sex scenes showed up in the controversial video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.[74] Along with Senators Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh, she introduced the Family Entertainment Protection Act, intended to protect children from inappropriate content found in video games. Similar bills have been filed in some states such as Michigan and Illinois, but were ruled to be unconstitutional.

In July 2004 and June 2006, Clinton voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment that sought to prohibit same-sex marriage.[50][75] The proposed constitutional amendment fell well short of passage on both occasions.[50][75] In June 2006, Clinton voted against the Flag Desecration Amendment, which failed to pass by one vote. Earlier, she attempted to reach a compromise by proposing the Flag Protection Act of 2005, a legislative ban on flag burning (in cases where there was a threat to public safety) that would not require a constitutional amendment, but it was also voted down.[76]

Looking to establish a “progressive infrastructure” to rival that of American conservatism,[77] Clinton played a formative role in conversations that led to the 2003 founding of former Clinton administration chief of staff John Podesta‘s Center for American Progress;[78][79] shared aides with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, founded in 2003;[80]advised and nurtured the Clintons’ former antagonist David Brock‘s Media Matters for America, created in 2004;[79][80] and following the 2004 Senate elections, successfully pushed new Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid to create a Senate war room to handle daily political messaging.

United States Senate election in New York, 2006

United States Senate election in New York, 2006
New York (state)

2000 ← November 7, 2006 → 2010

Hillary Rodham Clinton-cropped.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton John Spencer
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 3,008,428 1,392,189
Percentage 67.0% 31.0%


County Results

Senator before election
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Elected Senator
Hillary Rodham Clinton

ContentsThe 2006 United States Senate election in New York was held November 7, 2006. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton easily won a second term representing New York in the United States Senate. Clinton was challenged by RepublicanJohn Spencer, a former Mayor of Yonkers, New York.

Democratic nomination[edit]


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton announced in November 2004 that she would seek a second term in the Senate, and began fundraising and campaigning. Clinton faced opposition for the Democratic party nomination from the anti-war base of her own party, that had become increasingly frustrated with her support for theIraq War.

On October 12, 2005 New Paltz firefighter and activist Steven Greenfield, a former Green Party leader, announced he would run as a Democrat. On December 6, 2005, labor advocate Jonathan Tasini announced that he would run as well,[1] running as an antiwar candidate, calling for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, universal health care, expansion in Medicarebenefits, the creation of Universal Voluntary Accounts for pensions, and what he termed “New Rules For the Economy,” a more labor-centric as opposed to the corporate-centric approach to economic matters espoused by Clinton. Tasini was president of Economic Future Group and former president of the National Writers Union.[2] Tasini was supported by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who had in October said of Clinton, “I will resist her candidacy with every bit of my power and strength…I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again.”[3]

On March 31, 2006, businessman Mark Greenstein announced his run for the seat. Greenstein, endorsed by the New Democrats,[4] presented himself as a non-liberal Democrat who was campaigning to “bring the far left back to reality that Big Government is the source of most ongoing problems Democrat constituents face.” He contended that Clinton was “too liberal” in her support for regulations, “too wishy-washy” on the Iraq war and on gay rights, and had lost integrity by using the Dubai Ports issue for political purposes. Greenstein challenged Clinton to sign a pledge that she would serve out her full 6 year Senate term if re-elected.[5] However, in May 2006, Greenfield endorsed Tasini and essentially dropped out of the race.[6]

On June 1, 2006, Clinton accepted the unanimous endorsement of the New York State Democratic Party’s convention in Buffalo.[7] Eight days later, Greenstein dropped out of the race.[8] Tasini pressed on, submitting 40,000 signatures to the State Election Commission on July 14, far more than the 15,000 needed to force a primary. Clinton’s campaign said that she would not challenge the signatures.


Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton (Incumbent) 640,955 83.00%
Democratic Jonathan B. Tasini 124,999 17.00%
Total votes 765,954 100.00

Republican nomination[edit]


New York Republicans originally had high hopes of mounting a serious challenge to Clinton, and derailing her expected future presidential bid.[9] However, Clinton was politically strong in the state and no major Republican entered the race, with Governor George Pataki and early 2000 senate opponent Rudy Giuliani both declining to run.[9] The two most prominent Republicans contemplating a challenge to Clinton were lawyer Ed Cox (the son-in-law of former President Richard M. Nixon) and Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro.

Pirro was considered the front-runner, but her campaign had immediate difficulties. During her August 10, 2005 live televised candidacy announcement in New York City, she paused for more than thirty seconds looking for a missing part of her speech, then asked, on the air, “Do I have page 10?”[9][10] Democrats re-aired the sequence as part of a Jeopardy!theme parody.[9] The Conservative Party of New York was also reluctant to embrace Pirro.[10] On August 18, 2005, another Republican candidate, former Mayor of Yonkers John Spencer, gave a radio interview in which he attacked Pirro, calling her chances of winning the Conservative Party of New York State nomination “a Chinaman’s chance.” Spencer later apologized.[11]

On October 14, 2005, Governor George Pataki endorsed Pirro. Later that day, Cox withdrew from the race; his campaign had raised only $114,249 in contributions in the prior three months.[12] On October 18, 2005, remarks by Pirro that appeared to suggest that Democrats were indifferent to child molesters and murderers drew sharp criticism from the Clinton campaign and others.[13]

Pirro trailed Clinton badly in fund-raising and in polls; her campaign had failed to gain traction.[10] Under pressure from state party officials, she dropped out of the race on December 21, 2005, to run for New York State Attorney General instead, leaving the Republicans without a well-known candidate.[10][14] The announcement was timed to coincide with the 2005 New York City transit strike, so as to draw minimal attention to the Republicans’ difficulties.[10] Pirro did not mention her campaign woes, but instead said, “I have concluded that my head and my heart remain in law enforcement, and that my public service should continue to be in that arena.”[10]

Declared Republican nominees now included Spencer and K. T. McFarland, who was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under President Ronald Reagan.[15] Cox considered reentering the race but did not. Politically, Spencer was generally opposed to abortion, against gun control, and a supporter of tighter border security.[16] He supported the George W. Bush administration and its policies, including the war in Iraq. Spencer came out in favor of New York’s Court of Appeals denying same-sex marriage to 42 gay and lesbian couples who challenged that denial as unconstitutional. Spencer said that marriage equality for same-sex couples equated to “special rights for gays.” Spencer was endorsed by Republican officials such as Congressman Vito Fossella. In contrast, McFarland was pro-choice.[9]However, McFarland ran into trouble with a March comment that appeared to allege that the Clinton campaign had been flying helicopters low over her Southampton, New York house and spying on her; she later said she had been joking, but the episode upset her.[9] In May, McFarland’s campaign manager Ed Rollins made personal life charges against Spencer, to which the latter responded, “Shame on you.”[9]

On May 31, 2006, Spencer won the endorsement of the state Republican Party organization but did not achieve the threshold of 75 percent he needed to prevent McFarland from gaining an automatic position on the primary ballot. He received 63 percent and would thus have to face McFarland in the September 12 Republican primary. Spencer called on McFarland to step aside after the vote, but McFarland said she would not.[17] In a June 2006 radio ad, Spencer attacked national Republicans for not funding his campaign. On August 22, McFarland announced that she would be suspending her campaign until further notice after her daughter was caught shoplifting.[18]


On September 12, 2006, Spencer defeated McFarland in the Republican Primary, winning 61 to 39 percent of the vote.[19]Republican turnout was less than 6%, the lowest level in more than 30 years.[19] Spencer would also gain the Conservative Party line.[20]

Third party nominations[edit]


Howie Hawkins was the Green Party‘s candidate for the United States Senate in the state of New York.

His signature campaign issue was the Iraq War. Specifically, Hawkins criticized Senator Clinton’s endorsement of the Iraq war resolution, and continued support for an American troop presence in Iraq.

Hawkins pledged to implement what he described as a modern-day version of the Hatfield-Kennedy Amendment (a proposed Senate resolution intended to cut off funding for the Vietnam War) which would defund military operations for the U.S. Armed Forces unless and until they were redeployed out of theater, and possibly replaced by an international peacekeeping force.

He called upon supporters of Tasini to vote for him in the general election.


Jeff Russell was nominated as the official Libertarian Party candidate for United States Senate at the Libertarian Party of New York Convention on April 29, 2006, in Albany.

General election[edit]





Clinton spent $36 million for her re-election, more than any other candidate for Senate in the 2006 elections.

Polls during the campaign generally showed Clinton with a 20-point lead or better over Spencer, with none of the third-party candidates — Hawkins, Bill Van Auken of the Socialist Equality Party, and Jeff Russell of the Libertarian Party — showing strength.

On November 7, 2006, Clinton won easily, garnering 67% of the vote to Spencer’s 31%.


Source Date Clinton (D) Spencer (R)
Marist College November 3, 2006 65% 32%
Siena Research Institute November 3, 2006 65% 28%
Marist College October 20, 2006 67% 30%
Quinnipiac October 19, 2006 65% 30%
Siena Research Institute October 16, 2006 59% 32%
Quinnipiac October 5, 2006 66% 31%
Siena Research Institute September 18, 2006 62% 33%
Marist College September 8, 2006 62% 32%
Marist College August 23, 2006 60% 35%
Siena Research Institute August 7, 2006 58% 32%
Rasmussen August 5, 2006 61% 31%
Marist College July 19, 2006 61% 34%
Quinnipiac[permanent dead link] June 22, 2006 57% 33%
Siena Research Institute June 19, 2006 58% 32%
Quinnipiac[permanent dead link] May 18, 2006 63% 27%
Marist College May 10, 2006 63% 33%
Siena Research Institute May 4, 2006 58% 33%
Strategic Vision (R) April 28, 2006 58% 24%
Zogby International April 4, 2006 54% 33%
Quinnipiac[permanent dead link] March 30, 2006 60% 30%
Strategic Vision (R) March 2, 2006 63% 24%
Marist College January 30, 2006 62% 33%
Siena Research Institute January 30, 2006 58% 31%
Quinnipiac[permanent dead link] January 20, 2006 60% 30%
Strategic Vision (R) December 8, 2005 67% 20%
Strategic Vision (R) October 27, 2005 66% 19%
Marist College September 30, 2005 62% 31%


The election was not close, with Clinton winning 58 of New York‘s 62 counties. Clinton had a surprisingly strong performance in upstate New York which tends to be tossup. When Clinton’s upstate margins combined with her huge numbers out of New York City, there was no coming back for the Republicans. Clinton was sworn in for what would be her last term in the senate serving from January 3, 2007 to January 21, 2009 when she assumed the office of United States Secretary of State.

Source: New York State Board of Elections General Election Results, Certified December 14, 2006
2006 United States Senate election, New York[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton 2,698,931
Independence Hillary Rodham Clinton 160,705
Working Families Hillary Rodham Clinton 148,792
total Hillary Rodham Clinton(Incumbent) 3,008,428 67.0 +11.7
Republican John Spencer 1,212,902
Conservative John Spencer 179,287
total John Spencer 1,392,189 31.0 -12.0
Green Howie Hawkins 55,469 1.2 +0.6
Libertarian Jeff Russell 15,929 0.4 +0.3
Socialist Equality Bill Van Auken 11,071 0.2 n/a
Socialist Workers Roger Calero 6,967 0.2 +0.2
Majority 1,616,239 36.0
Turnout 4,490,053 23.3
Democratic hold Swing +11.9
Percentages do not add to 100% due to rounding.
Per New York State law, Clinton and Spencer totals include their minor party line votes: Independence Party andWorking Families Party for Clinton, Conservative Party for Spencer.
In addition, 213,777 ballots were blank, void, or scattered, and are not included in the Turnout sum or percentages.


Election results by county.

Clinton’s victory margin over her Republican opponent (67%–31%) was a significant gain over her showing in the 2000 senate race against Rick Lazio (55%%–43%). She carried all but four of New York’s sixty-two counties.[24]

It was the second-largest margin of victory for a Senate race in New York history,[citation needed] and the third-largest for a statewide race in New York.[citation needed] Clinton’s 2006 margin did not quite equal the percentage received by Eliot Spitzer in the concurrent gubernatorial race (69%%–29%) nor by Charles Schumer in his 2004 Senate re-election campaign (71%%–24%), both of which had also been against little-known Republican opponents.

Jeanine Pirro would go on to get the Republican nomination for New York State Attorney General, but lose in the 2006 attorney general election to Democrat Andrew Cuomo.[25]

Clinton was criticized by some Democrats for spending too much in a one-sided contest, while some supporters were concerned she did not leave more funds for a potential presidential bid in 2008.[26] In the following months she transferred $10 million of her Senate funds toward her 2008 presidential campaign.

Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2008

Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2008
Campaign U.S. presidential election, 2008
Candidate Hillary Clinton
U.S. Senator from New York
Affiliation Democratic Party
Status Announced: January 20, 2007
Suspended: June 7, 2008
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia
Key people Maggie Williams (Manager)
Terry McAuliffe (Chairman)
Howard Wolfson (Communications Director)
Receipts US$252M (end of 2008[1])
Slogan Solutions for America!
Chant Yes We Will
The 2008 presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton, then juniorUnited States Senator from New York, was announced on her website on January 20, 2007. The wife of former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clintonwas previously the First Lady of the United States and First Lady of Arkansas prior to her election as U.S. Senator from New York. Clinton was the source of much media speculation since having expressed interest in being a candidate in the 2008 presidential election since at least October 2002.[2][3]

Hillary Clinton campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. South Hall, San Jose, California, February 1, 2008.

Following her announcement of an exploratory committee and candidacy filing on January 20, 2007 with the FEC, she began fundraising and campaigning activities. For several months Clinton led opinion polls among Democratic candidates by substantial margins until Senator Barack Obamapulled close to or even with her. Clinton then regained her polling lead, winning many polls by double digits; by autumn 2007 she was leading all other Democratic candidates by wide margins in national polls.[4] She placed third in the Iowa caucus to Barack Obama and John Edwards,[5] and trailed considerably in polls shortly thereafter in New Hampshire before staging a comeback and finishing first in the primary there.[6]

She went on to win a plurality of votes in Nevada, but won fewer delegates in Nevada than Obama, then lost by a large margin in South Carolina.[7] OnSuper Tuesday, Clinton won the most populous states such as California and New York, while Obama won more states total. The two gained a nearly equal number of delegates and a nearly equal share of the total popular vote. Clinton then lost the next eleven caucuses and primaries to Obama, and lost the overall delegate lead to him for the first time. On March 4, his consecutive wins increased to twelve when Vermont went his way. After an increasingly aggressive round of campaigning, Clinton broke the string of losses with wins in the Rhode Island, Ohio, and Texas primaries.[8]

Clinton subsequently lost in Wyoming, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolinaand Oregon, and won in Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky,Puerto Rico and South Dakota. On the final day of primaries on June 3, 2008, Obama had gained enough pledged- and super-delegates to become thepresumptive nominee;[9] she then suspended her campaign on June 7, 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama. Upon losing, Hillary Clinton told her supporters, “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it.”[10]

While losing the delegate count, and thus the nomination, she earned more popular votes than Barack Obama. In the general election, Barack Obama defeated Senator John McCain of Arizona, and nominated Clinton as the 67thSecretary of State, an office in which she served until February 2013.

Pre-announcement events[edit]

In July 2005, the magazine Washington Monthly ran two side-by-side articles debating the pros and cons of a potential Clinton candidacy.[11][12]

Announcement of candidacy[edit]

Clinton announced formation of her exploratory committee on January 20, 2007, with a post on her website.[13] In a statement on her website, she left no doubt that she had decided to run: “I’m in. And I’m in to win.”[14] She filed the official paperwork for an exploratory committee.[15][16]

Campaign staff and policy team[edit]

Initial team[edit]

Clinton’s campaign was run by a team of advisers and political operatives. Patti Solis Doyle was the first female Hispanic to manage a presidential campaign,[17] which she did from its inception. Deputy campaign manager Mike Henry had managedTim Kaine‘s successful campaign for Governor of Virginia in 2005 and coordinated the Democratic advertising efforts for the Senate elections of 2006.[18] Mark Penn, CEO of PR firm Burson-Marsteller and president of polling company Penn, Schoen & Berland was described as Clinton’s “strategic genius” in a role likened to that which Karl Rove played in George W. Bush‘s campaigns.[19] Howard Wolfson, a veteran of New York politics, served as the campaign spokesperson. Evelyn S. Lieberman, who worked for Clinton when she was First Lady and served as Deputy White House Chief of Staff, was the chief operating officer of the campaign.[20] Ann Lewis, White House communications director from 1997 to 2000, was Senior Advisor to the campaign.[21] Cheryl Mills was general counsel for the campaign.[22] Jonathan Mantz was finance director,Mandy Grunwald the lead media consultant, Neera Tanden the campaign’s policy director, Kim Molstre the director of scheduling and long-term planning, Phil Singer the deputy communications director, Leecia Eve a senior policy advisor,Nathaniel Pearlman the chief technology officer, and Minyon Moore a senior policy advisor.[23] Other campaign workers also date from the “Hillaryland” team of the White House years.[24]

Other advisers and supporters included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,[25] Richard Holbrooke, Sandy Berger,Wesley Clark, former Rep. and vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, former Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley, and former Secretary of Defense William Perry.[26] Less well-known but key region and subject specialists were the focus of an intense recruiting battle between her and fellow candidate Barack Obama.[27]

An October 2007 study of ongoing presidential campaign staffs showed that 8 of her 14 senior staff were women, as were 12 of her 20 top paid staff and 85 of her 161 nominally paid staff; overall she had the largest percentage of women in her campaign of any candidate surveyed other than Mike Huckabee.[28]

February 2008 reorganization[edit]

On February 10, 2008, Solis Doyle ceased duties as campaign manager, and become a senior adviser, traveling with Clinton. Although Solis Doyle claimed the unanticipated length of the primary campaign led to her to resign the post, campaign insiders confirmed that she was ousted. Solis Doyle had survived three previous efforts to oust her.[19][29][30][31][32][33][34]

Maggie Williams was appointed campaign manager; she had been Clinton’s chief of staff at the White House. Williams had been brought in in January on a thirty-day assignment as a senior advisor, and had demanded clarity in the chain of command with the authority to settle internal strategy and policy disputes, threatening to leave the campaign.[29][31][35][36]Within the next few days, Deputy Campaign Manager Mike Henry also stepped down, as did two top staff members for her web-based operations.[37][38] In two in-depth accounts by Joshua Green in The Atlantic, he attributed Solis Doyle’s downfall to her failure to manage campaign spending, her inability to prevent factional disputes within the campaign, and her not recognizing Obama’s candidacy as a serious threat earlier.[19][30] Henry’s departure was expected, as Solis Doyle had originally brought him in to the campaign.[37]

April 2008 strategist change[edit]

Chief campaign strategist Mark Penn resigned on April 6, 2008, amid controversy surrounding his work with the Colombian government and the free trade bill opposed by many big unions. Penn resigned after news surfaced he had met with the Colombian ambassador, not as Clinton’s adviser but as CEO of his P.R. firm, though he admitted the subject of the meeting was the trade bill. Penn was replaced with Geoff Garin, a respected pollster, who became the chief strategist.[39] He was slated to continue work for the campaign via his polling firm.


The funds being spent: no shortage of direct mail to targeted New Jerseyvoters before the Super Tuesdayprimaries on February 5, 2008.

Methods and goals[edit]

In January 2007 Clinton announced that she would forgo public financing for both the primary and general elections due to the spending limits imposed when accepting the federal money.[40] She had $14 million left from her 2006 Senate race, which put her in a good starting position compared to other Democratic candidates. Clinton insiders said the senator’s goal was to raise at least $60 million in 2007.[41]Longtime Democratic political and finance leader Terry McAuliffe was Clinton’s campaign chair.


Bundlers” that collected more than $100,000 for her campaign became known as “HillRaisers”;[42] (a play on the expression hellraiser) and were asked to raise as much as $1 million each.[43] Elton John raised $2.5 million in a benefit concert for Clinton at Radio City Music Hall, on April 9.[44]

By August 2007, there were 233 HillRaisers.[42] They included Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Steven Rattner, New Jersey GovernorJon Corzine, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, John Grisham, Magic Johnson, Ronald Perelman, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Steven Spielberg and many others.[45][46]

In late August 2007, HillRaiser Norman Hsu came into considerable negative publicity when it was revealed that he was a 15-year-long fugitive on investment fraud charges[47] and had also possibly engaged in violations of campaign finance law as a “bundler”.[48]


Bill Clinton campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Monmouth, Oregon.

On April 1, 2007, Clinton announced she had raised $26 million during the preceding three months, along with an additional transfer of $10 million from her Senate campaign account to her presidential account.[49] This dwarfed the previous record for the comparable quarter, which was $9 million by Al Gore in 1999.[50]

For the second quarter of 2007, Clinton raised about $27 million, less than Obama’s newly set records for the quarter of $32.5 million in donations from 258,000 contributors but more than all other candidates.[51] According to the Center for Responsive Politics, during the first six months of the year, about 70% of her funds came from donors giving the maximum $2,300; this compared to 44% for Obama and 42% for Edwards.[52]

For the third quarter of 2007, which typically sees lower numbers than the rest of the year, Clinton led all candidates with $27 million raised and with 100,000 new contributors.[53] This beat Obama’s $20 million and allowed Clinton to apportion some of the amount for an expected general election race rather than the primary season.[53]

In the fourth quarter of 2007, Clinton raised approximately $20 million, bringing her total for the year to more than $100 million.[54] This equaled the amount raised by Obama in the quarter,[55] and was also similar to what Republican fundraisingRon Paul garnered during the quarter.[55]

During January 2008, Clinton raised $13.5 million.[56] This paled in comparison to Obama’s $32 million for the same month,[56] and Clinton was forced to loan her campaign $5 million from her and Bill Clinton’s personal assets.[56] Further, Clinton’s campaign ended January with $7.6 million in debt, aside from the personal loan.[57] Rebounding from weak fundraising in January 2008, Sen. Clinton expected to raise $35 million in February 2008—a figure rival Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign said it would surpass.[58] On March 6, 2008 it was revealed that Senator Obama raised a record $55 million in February, what the Associated Press reported as the largest amount of funds raised in one month in the history of Presidential primaries.[59]

In April, it was revealed that the Clinton campaign began the month $1 million in debt. While the campaign had $20 million cash on hand, only $9 million was available for the primary and the campaign had $10 million in debt. Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson acknowledged the debt, but noted that “The money continues to come in strongly” and that the campaign would be paying off the debts.[60]

Clinton left the race with $22.5 million in debt, at least $11.4 million of which came from her own pocket.[61]

By the conclusion of the election cycle in November 2008, Clinton’s campaign was severely in debt; she owed millions of dollars to outside vendors and wrote off the $13 million that she lent it herself.[62] She continued to raise funds, but then her January 2009 confirmation as U.S. Secretary of State prevented her from doing any political fundraising herself.[63][64][65]During the first quarter of 2009, a surprisingly large $5.6 million came into her campaign, enabling her to pay off all creditors other than her pollster Mark Penn, to whom the campaign still owed $2.3 million.[63]

Over time, Bill Clinton took up most of the fundraising burden, sending out fundraising letters, signing campaign memorabilia, and selling appearances with him.[64] By the start of 2012, the debt was down to about $250,000.[65] A team of Obama donors, including Steve Spinner and Jane Watson Stetson, who wanted to thank Clinton for her service during the Obama administration, took up the cause; they used public records to find potential donors who still had not reached contribution limits for 2008.[65] In addition, the Clinton campaign’s donor list was rented out to Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, bringing in around $63,000 in October 2012.[64] The Clinton campaign finally declared it had paid off all its debt in a report filed at the beginning of 2013, showing in fact a $205,000 surplus, just as Clinton was about to end her tenure as Secretary of State.[64]

Campaign finance irregularities[edit]

Norman Hsu was a businessman with a background in the apparel industry. By 2007 he was a prominent fundraiser for the Clinton campaign, having achieved HillRaiser status, having co-hosted a $1 million fundraiser at wealthy Democratic Party supporter Ron Burkle‘s Beverly Hills estate,[48] and having been scheduled to co-host a major gala fundraising event featuring music legend Quincy Jones.[47]

On August 28, 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hsu may have engaged in improper actions during the collection of “bundled” campaign contribution.[48] The Clinton campaign rose to Hsu’s defense, saying “Norman Hsu is a longtime and generous supporter of the Democratic party and its candidates, including Senator Clinton. During Mr. Hsu’s many years of active participation in the political process, there has been no question about his integrity or his commitment to playing by the rules, and we have absolutely no reason to call his contributions into question.”[48]

The next day, on August 29, The Los Angeles Times reported that Hsu was a longtime fugitive, having failed to appear for sentencing for a 1992 fraud conviction.[66][67] The Clinton campaign reversed course, saying it would give to charity the $23,000 that Hsu personally contributed to her presidential campaign, her Senate re-election and her political action committee.[68][69] The campaign said it did not plan to give away funds that Hsu had collected from other donors.[69]

Although Hsu had donated to other Democratic candidates, scrutiny was focused on the Clinton campaign, with mainstream press reports asking why the campaign had been unable to take steps to discover Hsu’s past.[70] and speculating that opponents would liken developments to the 1996 United States campaign finance controversy.[47] Some in the conservative media took a harsher tone, with WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah stating that Hillary Clinton should be arrested by theFBI.[71] Clinton said the Hsu revelations were “a big surprise to everybody.” She added that, “When you have as many contributors as I’m fortunate enough to have, we do the very best job we can based on the information available to us to make appropriate vetting decisions.”[72]

On September 5, Hsu failed to appear for a court hearing and became a fugitive again.[73] The Clinton campaign said, “We believe that Mr. Hsu, like any individual who has obligations before the court, should be meeting them, and he should do so now.”[73] Hsu was recaptured less than 48 hours later.

By September 10, newspaper reports indicated that the FBI was looking into the legitimacy of an investment pool that Hsu had been running at the time of his large-scale contributing.[74] Moreover, Irvine, California businessman Jack Cassidy said he had, as early as June 2007, tried to warn authorities and the Clinton campaign that Hsu was running an illicit enterprise, and that both officials and the Clinton campaign had been non-responsive.[74] A California Democratic Party query at the time in June was responded to by the Clinton campaign’s western finance director: “I can tell you with 100 certainty that Norman Hsu is not involved in a ponzi scheme. He is completely legit.”[75] The campaign later said it had further looked at Hsu’s public records at the time, but that no problems had emerged.[75]

Later on September 10, the Clinton campaign announced it would return the full $850,000 in donations that Hsu had raised from others: “In light of recent events and allegations that Mr. Norman Hsu engaged in an illegal investment scheme, we have decided out of an abundance of caution to return the money he raised for our campaign. An estimated 260 donors this week will receive refunds totaling approximately $850,000 from the campaign.”[76] In doing so, the Clinton camp set a precedent for how campaigns should deal with potential “bundling” scandals.[77] The campaign also announced it would put into place tougher procedures for vetting major contributors, including running criminal background checks.[75] Hsu-raised bundles had also gone to Clinton’s political action committee and to her 2006 Senate re-election campaign; Clinton officials were undecided regarding what to do with those funds.[78]

In the following days, campaign strategists were worried that the Hsu matter had the potential to become a major fundraising scandal that could significantly damage the campaign.[79] Nevertheless, the campaign indicated that it would try to get donations re-given right after the refunds, for example taking back donations if they clearly came from the donor’s bank account rather than from Hsu or another third party[79] and if the donor swears the money is their own.[80] Clinton herself affirmed this position: “I believe that the vast majority of those two-hundred-plus donors are perfectly capable of making up their own minds.”[80]

The political watchdog organization Judicial Watch said it would try to get the U.S. Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the Hsu matter.[78] Clinton aides stressed that Hsu had never received favorable treatment from her: “The Senate office had no official contact with him, and undertook no actions on his behalf.”[78] Clinton herself called the whole affair “a rude awakening to all of us,” meaning other campaigns as well.[81]

By October 2007 the Hsu matter had quieted down. Clinton’s third quarter campaign expenditures report showed the $800,000 in contributions, mostly Hsu-related, being returned to more than 200 donors, some of whom were surprised to see the money coming back and who said they knew not of Hsu.[82]

In March 2007, a Pakistani immigrant named Abdul Rehman Jinnah was indicted by a grand jury for violating federal election laws. The charges stem from $30,000 in illegal contributions to Clinton’s presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton’s campaign “denied any knowledge of Jinnah’s scheme.”[83]

In September 2007, reports were made that William Danielczyk, private equity firm head, bundled money for Clinton from Republican Party supporters, including at least one who claimed that Danielczyk later reimbursed her, a charge Danielczyk denied. The Clinton campaign returned that donation, and said: “These allegations are troubling and we will again ask each of the individuals solicited by Mr. Danielczyk to affirm that their contributions were given with their own funds.”[84]

In October 2007, an article in the Los Angeles Times stated that, “Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated home addresses seem to make them unpromising targets for political fundraisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton’s campaign treasury. In April, a single fundraiser in an area long known for its gritty urban poverty yielded a whopping $380,000.” .[85] The Times further stated, “At this point in the presidential campaign cycle, Clinton has raised more money than any candidate in history. Those dishwashers, waiters and street stall hawkers are part of the reason. And Clinton’s success in gathering money from Chinatown’s least-affluent residents stems from a two-pronged strategy: mutually beneficial alliances with powerful groups, and appeals to the hopes and dreams of people now consigned to the margins.” .[85] The New York Post reported similar findings.[86] The Washington Post editorialized that reports such as these appear “to be another instance in which a Clinton campaign’s zeal for campaign cash overwhelms its judgment,” comparing it to the 1996 Clinton-Gore finance controversy of her husband.[87]

In December 2007, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence and the Canada Free Press reported that one of Clinton’s fundraisers in New Jersey, a U.S. resident who was associated with a December 12 fundraising event at the State Theatrein New Brunswick, New Jersey, was also a fundraiser for the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization,[88][89] which the U.S. government has determined[90] is a front organization for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,[91] which is on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.[92] In February 2008, Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy adviser, Andrew Shapiro, announced that the Clinton campaign had returned the T.R.O. donations after complaints of impropriety given the outlawed T.R.O.’s terrorist links[90][93]

A February 13, 2008, NPR article stated (with regard to mailing lists) that “Last year, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton took the unusual step of renting out some of her lists.” The Clinton campaign responded “that the lists were rented out by her 2006 Senate campaign committee — and that the rentals took place before she began her formal campaign for president last January.” Of this response NPR commented, “That would mean the rental fees went unpaid for at least 11 months. Starke, the analyst, cites Info U.S.A. data showing that on average, it settles accounts within 64 days.”[94]

Campaign developments and primaries[edit]

Delegate count[edit]

Pledged Delegate margins by state. Obama won the delegate count in the darkest purple states by the largest margins, while Clinton won the delegate count in the darkest green states by the largest margins. They tied in MO and NH. (Compare to popular vote map.)

2008 Democratic presidential primaries delegate count
As of June 10, 2008
Candidate Actual
pledged delegates1
(3,253 of 3,909 total)
pledged delegates2
(3,409 of 3,909 total)
(694 of 825 total)
Estimated total delegates2
(4,103 of 4,934 total;
2,118 needed to win)
Barack Obama 1,661 1,763 438 2,201
Hillary Rodham Clinton 1,592 1,640 256 1,896
John Edwards 6 6
Color key
  1st place
  Candidate has withdrawn his/her campaign
1 “Primary Season Election Results”. The New York Times. June 26, 2008. Archived from the original on June 26, 2008.
2 “Election Center 2008 Primaries and Caucuses: Results: Democratic Scorecard”. CNN. August 20, 2008. Retrieved December 16,2013.

Popular Vote margins by state. Obama won the popular vote in the darkest purple states by the largest margins, while Clinton won the popular vote in the darkest green states by the largest margins.

Popular Vote margins by county. Obama won the counties colored purple, Clinton won the counties colored green. Edwards won the counties colored orange, and pink counties were a delegate tie. This map includes Florida and Michigan, only half of which count under current party regulations.


Media coverage[edit]

An October 29, 2007 study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy found that Clinton had received the most media coverage of any of the 2008 presidential candidates, being the subject of 17 percent of all stories.[95] The study found that 27 percent of the stories had a favorable tone towards her, 38 percent had an unfavorable tone, with the balance neutral.[95]

A November 12, 2007 assessment by Michael Crowley of The New Republic of relations between the Clinton campaign and the press found that regarding published stories, “the Clinton media machine [is] hyper-vigilant [and that] that no detail or editorial spin is too minor to draw a rebuke.”[96] The Clinton camp was also reported to engage in retribution regarding stories they did not like, complaining to reporters’ editors or withholding access in other areas:[96] “Even seasoned political journalists describe reporting on Hillary as a torturous experience.”[96] In spite of this, Crowley measured the press corps as giving Clinton “strikingly positive coverage”.[96]

By December 2007, the Clinton campaign charged that Obama’s campaign was getting much more favorable media treatment than their own, especially once their campaign began faltering.[97] Washington Post media analyst Howard Kurtzfound a number of journalists who agreed with the claim,[97] with Mark Halperin, Time magazine’s editor-at-large for political news, saying, “Your typical reporter has a thinly disguised preference that Barack Obama be the nominee. The narrative of him beating her is better than her beating him, in part because she’s a Clinton and in part because he’s a young African American. … There’s no one rooting for her to come back.”[97]

After Clinton’s loss in Iowa and in the run-up to her apparent loss in New Hampshire and campaign collapse to come, negative media coverage of her became intense; as The Politico phrased it in retrospect, “She is carrying the burden of 16 years of contentious relations between the Clintons and the news media. … Many journalists rushed with unseemly haste to the narrative about the fall of the Clinton machine.[98] Meanwhile, NBC anchor Brian Williams conceded that at least one NBC reporter said regarding Obama, “it’s hard to stay objective covering this guy.”[99]

Media Matters singled out MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews for his consistently harsh coverage of Clinton.[100][101] During the primaries, and especially after the Iowa caucuses, Matthews was openly enthusiastic about Obama’s candidacy. The New Republic reported that Matthews was “swooning” over Obama in the days leading up to the January 8 New Hampshire Democratic primary.[102] On the night of that election, Matthews co-anchored MSNBC’s coverage. Air America Radio hostRachel Maddow and political analyst Patrick Buchanan both noted the high turnout among women, and asserted that the media coverage made Clinton a sympathetic figure to female voters. Buchanan stated that the media had “virtually canonized” Obama and behaved as if he’d been “born in Bethlehem.” Maddow told Matthews that several blogs were citing him as “a symbol of what the mainstream media has done to Hillary Clinton.” She added that sites such asTalkingPointsMemo.com indicated that voters felt that the media were “piling on” Clinton, and were “coming to her defense with their votes.” Matthews replied sarcastically, “My influence in American politics looms over the people. I’m overwhelmed myself.”[103] He added, “I will never underestimate Hillary Clinton again.”[102] The next day, Matthews appeared on Joe Scarborough‘s MSNBC morning show and said, “I’ll be brutal, the reason she’s a U.S. senator, the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That’s how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn’t win there on her merit.”[104][105] While this incited more controversy, Matthews noted that Clinton’s political career started after she appeared with Senator Chuck Schumer and impressed Democratic leaders with her graceful handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. “I thought it was an unexceptional statement,” he said.[106] These comments, among others, led Media Matters to launch a campaign against him and his remarks.[citation needed]

In a January 14 New York Times/CBS News poll, 51 percent of Democratic primary voters said the media had been harder on Clinton than on the other candidates (with especially women indicating so), while 12 percent said the media had been harder on Obama.[107] Measurements in late January by the University of Navarra indicated that Clinton and Obama were receiving roughly equal amounts of global media attention, once Obama won the Iowa caucuses.[108]

On February 8, Clinton’s Communications Director Howard Wolfson Clinton criticized MSNBC‘s correspondent David Shuster “for suggesting the Clinton campaign had ‘pimped out’ 27-year old Chelsea by having her place phone calls to celebrities and Democratic Party ‘superdelegates’ on her mother’s behalf.”[109] Shuster apologized “on the air” and was temporarily suspended from the network. Wolfson argued that this was part of “a pattern of tasteless comments by MSNBC anchors about the Clinton campaign” and suggested that Clinton’s participation in the scheduled, MSNBC-sponsored Cleveland debate could be jeopardized.[109] The Clinton campaign agreed to continue with the debate after the apology was offered.[110] In a February 12 interview with Chris Plante on WMAL-AM, “former President Bill Clinton implied the media has been unfair to his wife, stated that she was standing up to sexism when she took on NBC, and — when asked about MSNBC’s David Shuster’s comments about his daughter, Chelsea — said there was a double standard.”[111] Other critics have also argued that this incident was part of a larger pattern of “sexist coverage.”[112]

Clinton got an ironic supporter in conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh executed a plan for the listeners of Limbaugh’s radio program to vote for Clinton in their states’ respective primaries. Limbaugh started his Operation Chaos in order to “politically bloody up Barack Obama”. This was known as “Rush the Vote” among the “Drive-by Media”, a derogatory term used by Limbaugh when referencing the mainstream media, of which he does not consider himself to be a part.[113] Though, Limbaugh wasn’t supporting Clinton in hopes she would win the presidency, rather wanting to help divide the Democratic Party, so they wouldn’t be well organized when the general election came.


Some of Clinton’s Gen Y female supporters at a campaign rally. South Hall, San Jose, California, February 1, 2008

Although Clinton was the 25th woman to run for U.S. president,[114] she was the first female candidate to have held a highly probable chance of winning the nomination of a major party, and the presidential election.[115] She was also the first woman to be an American presidential candidate in every primary and caucus in every state.[116] As such, remarks surrounding her gender and appearance came to the fore. In March 2006, actress Sharon Stone expressed her doubt about Clinton’s presidential chances, saying “Hillary still has sexual power, and I don’t think people will accept that. It’s too threatening.”[117] On a similar note, on August 9, 2006, the sculpture The Presidential Bust of Hillary Rodham Clinton: The First Woman President of the United States of America[118] was unveiled at the Museum of Sex in New York and attracted attention for its named focus; sculptor Daniel Edwardshoped it would spark discussion about sex, politics and celebrity.[119]

In October 2006, Clinton’s then-New York Senate race opponent, John Spencer, was reported to have commented on how much better Clinton looked now compared to in the 1970s, and speculated that she had cosmetic surgery.[120] On the other hand, syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin never mentioned her name without appending a sneering “Her Thighness” to it.[121]

In her Senate career, Senator Clinton is often seen wearing a suit. However, twice in 2006, Clinton was criticized byNational Review Online editor Kathryn Jean Lopez for showing cleavage while speaking in the Senate.[122][123] Lopez implored Clinton to be more modest. The Washington Post revisited this question based on a new incident in July 2007,[124]which provoked a widespread round of media self-criticism about whether it was a legitimate topic or not;[125] the Clinton campaign then used claimed outrage at the reporting for fundraising purposes.[126]

By the time the campaign was in full force in December 2007, American communications studies professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson observed that there was a large amount of misogyny present about Clinton on the Internet,[127] up to and including Facebook and other sites devoted to depictions reducing Clinton to sexual humiliation.[127] She also said that “We know that there’s language to condemn female speech that doesn’t exist for male speech. We call women’s speech shrill and strident. And Hillary Clinton’s laugh was being described as a cackle,”[127] making reference to a flurry of media coverage two months prior about the physical nature and political motivation of her aural indication of amusement.[128]Tanya Romaniuk also described how “the news media reshaped the kinds of meanings and values attached to” Clinton’s ‘cackle’ characterization, “and concomitantly (re)produced and reinforced a stereotypically gendered, negative (i.e., sexist, misogynist) perception of her.”[129]

Use against Clinton of the “bitch” epithet flourished during the campaign, especially on the Internet but via conventional media as well.[130] Hundreds of YouTube videos carried the word, with such titles as “Hillary Clinton: The Bitch is Back” and “Hillary Clinton: Crazy Bitch”, and a Facebook groups with the theme proliferated, including one named “Life’s a Bitch, Why Vote for One?” that had more than 1,500 members.[130][131] Broadcaster Glenn Beck used the term in describing her.[132] In a November 2007 public appearance, John McCain was asked by one of his supporters, “How do we beat the bitch?” (McCain responded by saying, “May I give the translation?” and then went on to say he respected Clinton but could defeat her.)[131] A February 2008 Saturday Night Live monologue by Tina Fey led a backlash-through-embracing movement, when she said “I think what bothers me the most is when people say that Hillary is a bitch. Let me say something about that. Yeah, she is. And so am I…. You know what? Bitches get stuff done…. Get on board. Bitch is the new black!”[131] A new Facebook group “Bitch is the new Black” gained three times the membership of all the anti-Clinton groups named after the word.[131]

Along this theme, PBS commentator Bill Moyers noted[127] that MSNBC commentator Tucker Carlson had said of Clinton, “There’s just something about her that feels castrating, overbearing, and scary,”[133] and that top-rated radio talk show hostRush Limbaugh continued to refer to her as “the woman with the testicle lockbox.”[134] During the campaign, Carlson made repeated statements of the form “When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.”[135] Further discussion ensued when the Drudge Report and a few other media outlets ran an unflattering Associated Press photograph of Clinton looking old and tired on the wintry Iowa campaign trail;[136] Limbaugh sympathized with the plight of American women in an appearance-obsessed culture, then asked, “Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?”[136]

Following Clinton’s “choked up moment” in New Hampshire and surprise victory there the following day, discussion of gender’s role in the campaign moved front and center.[137] Clinton’s win in New Hampshire was the first time a woman had ever won a major American party’s presidential primary for the purposes of delegate selection.[138] (Shirley Chisholm’s prior “win” in New Jersey in 1972 was in a no-delegate-awarding, presidential preference ballot that the major candidates were not listed in and that the only other candidate who was listed had already withdrawn from; the actual delegate selection vote went to George McGovern.[139][140]) Women following the campaign recalled a series of criticisms of Clinton, such as the pitch of her voice, a debate moderator’s question of whether she was “likeable” (and Obama’s reply that she was “likeable enough”, felt by some to be condescending), and hecklers’ demands that she “iron their shirt”, as motivations for re-examining who they would support in the contest.[137]

Later in January 2008, Clinton backed out of a cover photo shoot with Vogue over concerns by the Clinton camp that she would appear “too feminine,”[141] which prompted the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, to write, “Imagine my amazement, then, when I learned that Hillary Clinton, our only female presidential hopeful, had decided to steer clear of our pages at this point in her campaign for fear of looking too feminine. The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying. How has our culture come to this? How is it that The Washington Post recoils from the slightest hint of cleavage on a senator? This is America, not Saudi Arabia. It’s also 2008: Margaret Thatcher may have looked terrific in a blue power suit, but that was 20 years ago. I do think Americans have moved on from the power-suit mentality, which served as a bridge for a generation of women to reach boardrooms filled with men. Political campaigns that do not recognize this are making a serious misjudgment.”[142]

Sarah Palin comparison[edit]

Following the nomination of Sarah Palin for the vice presidency at the Republican National Convention, Palin and Clinton were compared and contrasted with one another in the media, due to their status as women running in the 2008 presidential election. A New York Times article stated, “Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Palin have little in common beyond their breakout performances at the conventions and the soap opera aspects of their family lives. Mrs. Clinton always faces high expectations; Mrs. Palin faced low expectations this week, and benefited from them. Mrs. Clinton can seem harsh when she goes on the attack; Mrs. Palin has shown a knack for attacking without seeming nasty. Mrs. Clinton has a lot of experience; Ms. Palin, not so much. Mrs. Clinton is pantsuits; Mrs. Palin is skirts.”[143] Guy Cecil, the former political director of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, said it was “insulting” for Republicans to compare Palin to Clinton.[144] A Saturday Night Live skit, “A Nonpartisan Message From Governor Sarah Palin & Senator Hillary Clinton“, counterposed Palin, played by Tina Fey, against Hillary Clinton, played by Amy Poehler. Fey presented Palin as a dimwit unable to understand global politics, as emphasized by the line: “I can see Russia from my house.” Former Hewlett-Packard chief executive and McCain advisorCarly Fiorina blasted that one of the Saturday Night Live parodies of Sarah Palin in a television interview: “They were defining Hillary Clinton as very substantive and Sarah Palin as totally superficial,”[145] and an ABC News headline soon after ran, “Now the McCain Campaign’s Complaining that Saturday Night Live Skit Was ‘Sexist'”.[146] However, Palin stated that she found the skit amusing.

“Hillary is missing in action from the Palin-hating brigade”, opines a writer at the Weekly Standard.[147] Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton referred to Palin’s VP nomination as “historic,”[148] stating, “”We should all be proud of Governor Sarah Palin’s historic nomination, and I congratulate her and Senator McCain…While their policies would take America in the wrong direction, Governor Palin will add an important new voice to the debate.”[149] WisconsinCongresswoman Tammy Baldwin expressed a different view: “To the extent that this choice represents an effort to court supporters of Hillary Clinton’s historic candidacy, McCain misjudges the reasons so many voters rallied around her candidacy. It was Senator Clinton’s experience, skill and commitment to change, especially in the areas of health care andenergy policy, that drew such strong support. Sarah Palin’s opposition to Roe v. Wade and her support of big oil will not draw Democrats from the Obama-Biden ticket.”[149] President of the National Organization for Women (NOW) Kim Gandy said “What McCain does not understand is that women supported Hillary Clinton not just because she was a woman, but because she was a champion on their issues. They will surely not find Sarah Palin to be an advocate for women.”[149]

In mid September 2008, a flurry of articles circulated announcing that “Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin plan to appear next week at the same rally in New York City – perhaps the closest the two history-making women will be to each other before Election Day.”[150] However, Clinton pulled out of her scheduled appearance at the rally protesting Iranian PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad when she found out Palin would also be there.[151] “Clinton decided not to attend because she did not want to take part in a “partisan political event”,” her aide said. Soon after, organizers of the rally in New York withdrew their invitation to Palin.[152]

Opinion polling[edit]

U.S. Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State

Clinton takes the oath of office as Secretary of State, administered by Associate Judge Kathryn Oberly as Bill Clinton holds the Bible.

Hillary Clinton served as the 67th United States Secretary of State, under President Barack Obama, from 2009 to 2013, overseeing the department that conducted the foreign policy of the Obama administration. She was preceded in office by Condoleezza Rice, and succeeded by John Kerry. She is also the only former First Lady of the United States to become a member of the United States Cabinet.

Within a week after the November 4, 2008, presidential election, President-elect Obama and Clinton discussed over telephone the possibility of her serving as U.S. Secretary of State in his administration.[1][2] Clinton later related, “He said I want you to be my secretary of state. And I said, ‘Oh, no, you don’t.’ I said, ‘Oh, please, there’s so many other people who could do this.'”[2] Clinton initially turned Obama down, but he persisted.[3][4] Some Democratic senators welcomed the idea of her leaving, having been allied with Obama during the campaign, and believing that Clinton had risked party disunity by keeping her candidacy going for so long.

Obama and Clinton held a meeting on the subject on November 11.[6] When the possibility became public on November 14, it came as a surprising and dramatic move, especially given the long, sometimes bitter battle the two had waged during the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries. Obama had specifically criticized Clinton’s foreign policy credentials during the contests, and the initial idea of him appointing her had been so unexpected that she had told one of her own aides, “Not in a million years.”[4] However, it has been reported that Obama had been thinking of the idea as far back as the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[8] Despite the aggressiveness of the campaign and the still-lingering animosities between the two campaign staffs,[9] as with many primary battles, the political differences between the candidates were never that great,[10] the two rivals had reportedly developed a respect for one another,[8] and she had campaigned for him in the general election.[4]

Consideration of Clinton was seen as Obama wanting to assemble a “team of rivals” in his administration, à la Abraham Lincoln.[4][11][12] The notion of rivals successfully working together also found applicability in other fields, such as George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in relation to Operation Overlord during World War II and Indra Nooyi keeping on her top rival for CEO at Pepsico.[10] At the same time, the choice gave Obama an image of being self-assured.[13]

Clinton was conflicted whether she wanted to take the position or remain in the Senate, and agonized over her decision.[4][6][14] While the Senate leadership had discussed possible leadership positions or other promotions in rank with her even before the cabinet position became a possibility, nothing concrete had been offered.[15] The prospect of her ever becoming Senate Majority Leader seemed dim.[5] A different complication was Bill Clinton; she told Obama: “There’s one last thing that’s a problem, which is my husband. You’ve seen what this is like; it will be a circus if I take this job”, making reference to the volatile effect Bill Clinton had had during the primaries.[3] In addition, there was a specific concern whether the financial and other involvements of Bill Clinton’s post-presidential activities would violate any conflict-of-interest rules for serving cabinet members.[14] There was as well considerable media speculation about what effect taking the position would have on her political career and any possible future presidential aspirations.[14][16] Clinton wavered over the offer, but as she later related, “But, you know, we kept talking. I finally began thinking, look, if I had won and I had called him, I would have wanted him to say yes. And, you know, I’m pretty old-fashioned, and it’s just who I am. So at the end of the day, when your president asks you to serve, you say yes, if you can.”[2] Chief of Protocol of the United States Capricia Penavic Marshall, who had known Clinton since her First Lady days, later confirmed the same rationale: “When asked to serve, she does. And her president asked.”[4]

On November 21, reports indicated that Clinton had accepted the position.[17] On December 1, President-elect Obama formally announced that Clinton would be his nominee for Secretary of State.[18] Clinton said she was reluctant to leave the Senate, but that the new position represented a “difficult and exciting adventure”.[18] As part of the nomination, Bill Clinton agreed to accept a number of conditions and restrictions regarding his ongoing activities and fundraising efforts for theClinton Presidential Center and Clinton Global Initiative.[19]

The appointment required a Saxbe fix,[20] which was passed and signed into law in December 2008 before confirmation hearings began.[21] Confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began on January 13, 2009, a week before the Obama inauguration. Clinton stated during her confirmation hearings that she believed that “the best way to advance America’s interests in reducing global threats and seizing global opportunities is to design and implement global solutions” and “We must use what has been called ‘smart power‘, the full range of tools at our disposal — diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural — picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy.”[22]

On January 15, the Committee voted 16–1 to approve Clinton.[23] Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana was the lone dissenting vote in the committee.[23] By this time, Clinton’s public favorable/unfavorable rating had reached 65 percent, the highest point in her public career since the Lewinsky scandal during her time as First Lady,[24] and 71 percent of the public approved of the nomination to the cabinet.[20]

Even before taking office, Clinton was working together with Bush administration officials in assessing national security issues. The night before the inauguration of the new president, contingency plans against a purported plot by Somaliextremists against Obama and the inauguration was being discussed. Clinton argued that typical security responses were not tenable: “Is the Secret Service going to whisk him off the podium so the American people see their incoming president disappear in the middle of the inaugural address? I don’t think so.”[25] (The threat turned out to not exist.)

On January 21, 2009, Clinton was confirmed in the full Senate by a vote of 94–2.[26] Vitter and Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina voted against the confirmation.[26]

Clinton took the oath of office of Secretary of State and resigned from the Senate that same day.[27] She became the first former First Lady to serve in the United States Cabinet.[28] She also became the first Secretary of State to have previously been an elected official since Edmund Muskie‘s less-than-a-year stint in 1980,[29] with Christian Herter during theEisenhower administration being the last one before that. In being selected by her formal rival Obama, she became only the fourth person in the preceding hundred years to join the cabinet of someone they had run against for their party’s presidential nomination that election year (Jack Kemp ran against and was later chosen by George H. W. Bush to beSecretary of HUD in 1988, George W. Romney by Richard Nixon for Secretary of HUD in 1968, and Philander Knox byWilliam Howard Taft for Secretary of State in 1908 preceded her; Obama’s pick of Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculturefollowed her a couple of weeks later to be the next such person).

(On January 29, 2009, the constitutionality of her Saxbe fix was challenged in court by Judicial Watch;[30] on October 30, 2009, the courts dismissed the case.)


During the Obama presidential transition, Clinton described her own transition as “difficult … in some respects, because [she] never even dreamed of it.”[12] Then, and in the early days of her tenure, there was considerable jockeying for jobs within the department among those in “Hillaryland“, her longtime circle of advisors and staff aides, as well as others who had worked with her in the past, with not as many jobs as those desiring of them.[32][33] Obama gave Clinton more freedom to choose her staff than he did to any other cabinet member.[5][10]

Clinton’s former campaign manager, Maggie Williams, handled the staff hiring process.[32] Longtime counsel to both Clintons Cheryl Mills served as the secretary’s Counselor and Chief of Staff.[33] James B. Steinberg was named Deputy Secretary of State.[33] Jacob “Jack” Lew, once Bill Clinton’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, was namedDeputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, a new position.[34] This was an unusual step intended by Hillary Clinton to push to the forefront the emphasis on getting higher budget allocations from Congress and overlooking internal workings.[33][34] Anne-Marie Slaughter was appointed Director of Policy Planning with a view towards long-term policy towards Asia.[33] Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime personal assistant, was Deputy Chief of Staff for the secretary and remained a key member of Clinton’s operation.[32][35]

Much like she did at the beginning of her Senate career, Clinton kept a low profile during her early months and worked hard to familiarize herself with the culture and institutional history of the department.[33] She met or spoke with all of the living former secretaries, and especially relied upon her close friendship with Madeleine Albright.[33]

At the start of her tenure, Obama and Clinton announced several high-profile special envoys to trouble spots in the world, including former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as Mideast envoy and Richard Holbrooke as envoy to South Asia and Afghanistan.[36] On January 27, 2009, Secretary of State Clinton appointed Todd Stern as the department’s Special Envoy for Climate Change.[37]

By May 2009, Clinton and the Obama administration intended to nominate Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),[38] but by August 2009 his nomination was reportedly scotched by the White House for reasons unknown.[39][40] This caused Clinton, while visiting USAID, to publicly criticize the long vetting process for administration appointments[39] calling it a “nightmare” and “frustrating beyond words.”[40] In November 2009, an unconventional choice was nominated instead, Rajiv Shah, a young Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics.[40] Clinton said, “He has a record of delivering results in both the private and public sectors, forging partnerships around the world, especially in Africa and Asia, and developing innovative solutions in global health, agriculture, and financial services for the poor.”[40]

Despite some early press predictions,[33] in general Clinton’s departmental staff has avoided the kind of leaks and infighting that troubled her 2008 presidential campaign.[35] One possibly lingering line of internal tension was resolved in early 2011 when State Department spokesperson P. J. Crowley resigned after making personal comments about in-captivity leakerChelsea Manning (then known as Bradley Manning) and her treatment by the Department of Defense.[41] In other changes, Jacob Lew left in late 2010 to join the White House as Office of Management and Budget and was replaced as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources by Thomas R. Nides (Lew would eventually become White House Chief of Staff and then the pick for U.S. Treasury Secretary for Obama’s second term),[34] and Steinberg left in mid-2011 and was replaced as Deputy Secretary by career diplomat William J. Burns.

Early themes and structural initiatives[edit]

During the transition period, Clinton sought to build a more powerful State Department.[42] She began a push for a larger international affairs budget and an expanded role in global economic issues.[42] She cited the need for an increased U.S. diplomatic presence, especially in Iraq where the U.S. Defense Department had conducted diplomatic missions.[42] U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates agreed with her, and also advocated larger State Department budgets.[29] Indeed, the two, and their respective departments, would have a productive relationship, unlike the often fraught relations between State and Defense and their secretaries seen in prior administrations.[43]

In the Obama administration’s proposed 2010 United States federal budget of February 2009, there was a proposed 9.5 percent budget increase for the State Department and other international programs, from $47.2 billion in fiscal year 2009 to $51.7 billion in fiscal year 2010.[44][45] By the time of Clinton’s May 2009 testimony before the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, numbers had been restated following rounds of general federal budget cuts,[46] and the proposed fiscal year 2010 budget request for the State Department andUSAID was $48.6 billion, a 7 percent increase.[47] That became the amount of increase that was obtained.[48]

Clinton also brought a message of departmental reform to the position, especially in regarding foreign aid programs as something that deserves the same status and level of scrutiny as diplomatic initiatives.[29]

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives at the State Department on her first day greeted by a standing room only crowd of Department employees.

Clinton spent her initial days as Secretary of State telephoning dozens of world leaders.[49] She said the world was eager to see a new American foreign policy and that, “There is a great exhalation of breath going on around the world. We’ve got a lot of damage to repair.”[49] She did indicate that not every past policy would be repudiated, and specifically said it was essential that the six-party talks over theNorth Korean nuclear weapons program continue.[50][51] Clinton re-emphasized her views during her first speech to State Department employees when she said, “There are three legs to the stool of American foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, and development. And we are responsible for two of the three legs. And we will make clear, as we go forward, that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States. And I will do all that I can, working with you, to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America’s future.”[52] Clinton also soon visited the United States Agency for International Development, where she met employees and said they would be getting extra funds and attention during the new administration.[50]

She kept a low profile when diplomatic necessity or Obama’s involvement required it, but maintained an influential relationship with the president and in foreign policy decisions.[53][54] Her first 100 days found her travelling over 70,000 miles (110,000 km), having no trouble adapting to being a team player subordinate to Obama, and gaining skills as an executive.[54][55] Nevertheless, she remained an international celebrity with a much higher profile than most Secretaries of State.[29] Her background as an elected official gave her insight into the needs and fears of elected officials of other countries.[29]

By the summer of 2009, there was considerable analysis and speculation in the media of what kind of role and level of influence Clinton had within the Obama administration, with a variety of assessments being produced.[12][56][57][58] A prominent mid-July speech to the Council on Foreign Relations reasserted her role;[56] she said, “We cannot be afraid or unwilling to engage. Our focus on diplomacy and development is not an alternative to our national security arsenal.”[59]

In July 2009, Clinton announced a new State Department initiative, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, to establish specific objectives for the State Department’s diplomatic missions abroad.[60] The most ambitious of Clinton’s departmental reforms, it is modeled after the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review, which Clinton was familiar with from her days on the Senate Armed Services Committee.[61] The first such Review came out in December 2010. Entitled Leading Through Civilian Power, its 220 pages centered on the notion of elevating “civilian power” as a cost-effective way of responding to international challenges and defusing crises.[62][63][64] It also sought the elevation of U.S. ambassadors in coordinating work of all abroad-tasked U.S. agencies.[62] Clinton said of the underlying message, “Leading with civilians saves lives and money.”[63] She also resolved to get Congress to approve the QDDR as a required part of the State Department planning process, saying, “I am determined that this report will not merely gather dust, like so many others.”[63] Another theme of the report was the goal of empowering the female population in developing countries around the world; the QDDR mentioned women and girls some 133 times.[64] In part this reflected incorporation into the QDDR ofthe Hillary Doctrine, which stipulates that women’s rights and violence against women around the world should be considered issues of national security to the United States.[65] In addition, by attempting to institutionalize her goals in this area, Clinton – along with Anne-Marie Slaughter and Melanne Verveer, who also worked heavily in these efforts – were hoping that her initiatives and concerns towards the empowerment of women would persist past Clinton’s time in office as well as break a past pattern of chauvinism in the department.[64]

In September, Clinton unveiled the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative at the annual meeting of her husband’sClinton Global Initiative.[66][67] The goal of the new initiative is to battle hunger worldwide on a strategic basis as a key part of U.S. foreign policy, rather than just react to food shortage emergencies as they occur.[67] The secretary said that “Food security is not just about food. But it is all about security: economic security, environmental security, even national security. Massive hunger poses a threat to the stability of governments, societies and borders.”[66][67] The initiative seeks to develop agricultural economies, counter malnourishment, increase productivity, expand trade, and spur innovation in developing nations. Clinton said that women would be placed at the center of the effort, as they constitute a majority of the world’s farmers.[67] The next month, to mark World Food Day, Clinton said, “Fighting hunger and poverty through sustainable agricultural development, making sure that enough food is available and that people have the resources to purchase it, is a key foreign policy objective of the Obama administration.”[68]

During October 2009, Clinton said, “this is a great job. It is a 24/7 job”[69] and “this job is incredibly all-encompassing.”[2] She said she never thought about if she were making the same foreign policy decisions as president, and had no intention of ever running for that office again.[2][69] While some friends and former advisers thought she was primarily saying that to focus attention on her current role and that she might change her mind about running for president in the future, others felt that she was genuinely content with the direction her career and life had taken and no longer had presidential ambitions.[70]

By the close of 2009 there were 25 female ambassadors posted by other nations to Washington; this was the highest number ever.[71] This was dubbed the “Hillary effect” by some observers: “Hillary Clinton is so visible” as secretary of state, said Amelia Matos Sumbana, the Mozambique Ambassador to the United States, “she makes it easier for presidents to pick a woman for Washington.”[71] An added fact, of course, was that two other recent U.S. Secretaries of State were women, but Clinton’s international fame from her days as First Lady of the United States made her impact in this respect the greatest of the group.[71]

Clinton also included in the State Department budget for the first time a breakdown of programs that specifically concerned themselves with the well-being of women and girls around the world.[64] By fiscal 2012, the department’s budget request for such work was $1.2 billion, of which $832 million was for global health programs.[64] Additionally, she initiated the Women in Public Service Project, a joint venture between the State Department and the Seven Sisters colleges. The goal was to entice more women into entering public service, such that within four decades an equal number of men and women would be working in the field.[72]

One specific cause Clinton advocated almost from the start of her tenure was the adoption of cookstoves in the developing world, to foster cleaner and more environmentally sound food preparation and reduce smoke dangers to women. In September 2010, she announced a partnership with the United Nations Foundation to provide some 100 million such stoves around the world within the next ten years, and in subsequent travels she urged foreign leaders to adopt policies encouraging their use.[4]

In February 2010 testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Secretary Clinton complained about the slow pace of Senate confirmations of Obama’s nominations to diplomatic positions, a number of which were delayed for political reasons and had been subject to holds by individual Republican senators.[73] Clinton said the problem damaged America’s image abroad: “It became harder and harder to explain to countries, particularly countries of significance, why we had nobody in position for them to interact with.”[73]

In 2009, and again in 2010 and 2011, Clinton stated that she was committed to serving out her full term as secretary, but would not commit to serving a second term should Obama be re-elected.[74]

She later used U.S. allies and what she called “convening power” to help keep the Libyan rebels unified as they eventually overthrew the Gaddafi regime.[75]

Throughout her tenure, Clinton has looked towards “smart power” as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values, combining military strength with U.S. capacities in global economics, development aid, and technology.[75] In late 2011 she said, “All power has limits. In a much more networked and multipolar world we can’t wave a magic wand and say to China or Brazil or India, ‘Quit growing. Quit using your economies to assert power’ … It’s up to us to figure out how we position ourselves to be as effective as possible at different times in the face of different threats and opportunities.”[75]

Clinton has also greatly expanded the State Department’s use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, both to get its message out and to help empower people vis à via their rulers. Clinton said, “We are in the age of participation, and the challenge … is to figure out how to be responsive, to help catalyze, unleash, channel the kind of participatory eagerness that is there.” She has tried to institutionalize this change, by making social media a focus for foreign service officers and up to the ambassadorial level. (Other Clinton initiatives were run solely out of her office and were at risk of disappearing after she left office.) By late 2011, the department had 288 Facebook accounts and 192 Twitter feeds. The change was enough for daughter Chelsea Clinton to refer to the secretary as “TechnoMom”.[75]

Regional issues and travels: 2009[edit]

Obama and Clinton speaking with one another at the 21st NATO summitin April 2009

In February 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Asia, visiting Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China on what she described as a “listening tour” that was “intended to really find a path forward.”[76] She continued to travel heavily in her first months in office, often getting very enthusiastic responses by engaging with the local populace.[53][77]

In early March 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Israel.[78] During this time, Clinton announced that the US government will dispatch two officials to the Syrian capital to explore Washington’s relationship with Damascus.[79] On March 5, Clinton attended the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.[80] At this meeting, Clinton proposed including Iran at a conference on Afghanistan. Clinton said the proposed conference could be held on March 31 in the Netherlands.[81] On March 6, a photo-op with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov intended to demonstrate the U.S. and Russia pressing the “reset button” on their relationship, in an effort to mend frayed ties, went a bit awry due to a mistranslation.[82] (The word the Americans chose, “peregruzka”, meant “overloaded” or “overcharged”, rather than “reset”.) The episode became known as the Russian reset.[83]

During March 2009, Clinton prevailed over Vice President Joe Biden on an internal debate to send an additional 20,000 troops to Afghanistan.[84]

In June 2009, Clinton had surgery to repair a right elbow fracture caused by a fall in the State Department basement.[85]The painful injury and recuperation caused her to miss two foreign trips.[56][86] Nevertheless, during President Obama’s trip without her to Russia, Clinton was named as co-coordinator, along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, of a newly created U.S.-Russian Presidential Commission to discuss nuclear, economic, and energy and environmental policies relating to the two countries.[87]

Clinton returned to the diplomatic scene and responded to the ongoing 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis, in which plans for the Honduran fourth ballot box referendum had led to the 2009 Honduran coup d’état, and which was becoming Latin America’s worst political crisis in some years.[88] In early July, she sat down with ousted President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya, who agreed on a U.S.-backed proposal to begin talks with the de facto Roberto Micheletti government.[89] Later, in September, Zelaya returned to the country, and President of Costa Rica Óscar Arias, who had become a mediator in the matter, as well as Clinton expressed hope that Zelaya’s return could break the impasse with the Micheletti government. In particular, Clinton said, “Now that President Zelaya is back it would be opportune to restore him to his position under appropriate circumstances – get on with the election that is currently scheduled for November, have a peaceful transition of presidential authority and get Honduras back to constitutional and democratic order.”[90] At the end of October, Clinton took a leading role in convincing Micheletti to accept a deal – which she termed an “historic agreement” – in which Zelaya would return to power in advance of general elections in which neither figure was running.[88] Micheletti said that Clinton had been insistent on this point: “I kept trying to explain our position to her, but all she kept saying was, ‘Restitution, restitution, restitution.'”[88] That agreement broke down, despite efforts of the State Department to revive it,[91] and Clinton and the U.S. ended up supporting the winner of the 2009 Honduran general election, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, with Clinton characterizing the elections as “free and fair” and Lobo as holding a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of constitutional law.[92]

Clinton meets with President Hugo Chávez at the Summit of the Americason April 19, 2009

Clinton co-chaired the high-level U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. on July 27–28, 2009 and led the Strategic Track for the United States.

In August 2009, Clinton embarked on her longest trip yet, to a number of stops in Africa.[93] On August 10, 2009, at a public event in Kinshasa, a Congolese student asked her what her husband, “Mr Clinton”, thought of a Chinese trade deal with theDemocratic Republic of the Congo. Clinton looked irritated at the question and replied, “Wait, you want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not the secretary of state, I am. So you ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling my husband.” The incident was played in newsrooms around the world. Clinton aides suggested there might have been a mistranslation, but that was not the case; however the student had later apologized to her, saying he had meant to ask what “Mr Obama” thought.[94]

In October 2009, Clinton’s intervention – including juggling conversations on two mobile phones while sitting in a limousine[95] – overcame last-minute snags and saved the signing of an historic Turkish–Armenian accord that established diplomatic relations and opened the border between the two long-hostile nations.[96][97]

Clinton with Pakistani Prime MinisterYousaf Raza Gillani during an October 2009 visit to Islamabad.

In late October 2009, Clinton travelled to Pakistan, where she had staged a memorable visit in 1995 while First Lady.[29] Her arrival was followed within hours by the 28 October 2009 Peshawar bombing; in response, Clinton said of those responsible, “They know they are on the losing side of history but they are determined to take as many lives with them as their movement is finally exposed for the nihilistic, empty effort that it is.”[98] In addition to meeting with Prime MinisterYousaf Raza Gillani, she also staged numerous public appearances.[29][35] In those, she let students, talk show hosts, and tribal elders repeatedly complain about and criticize American foreign policy and American actions.[29][35] Occasionally, she pushed back in a more blunt fashion than usual for diplomats, explicitly wondering why Pakistan had not been more successful in combating al Qaeda “if they wanted to.”[35] Member of Parliament and government spokesperson Farahnaz Ispahani said, “In the past, when the Americans came, they would talk to the generals and go home. Clinton’s willingness to meet with everyone, hostile or not, has made a big impression – and because she’s Hillary Clinton, with a real history of affinity for this country, it means so much more.”[29]

On the same trip, Clinton visited the Middle East, in an effort to restart the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.

In November 2009, Secretary Clinton led the U.S. delegation at the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall.[99] There, she said: “Our history did not end the night the wall came down, it began anew. … To expand freedom to more people, we cannot accept that freedom does not belong to all people. We cannot allow oppression defined and justified by religion or tribe to replace that of ideology.”[100]

In December 2009, Clinton attended the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference, where she pushed forward a last-minute proposal of significant new amounts of foreign aid to help developing countries deal with the effects of global warming, in an attempt to unstick stuck negotiations and salvage some sort of agreement at the conference.[101][102]The secretary said, “We’re running out of time. Without the accord, the opportunity to mobilize significant resources to assist developing countries with mitigation and adaptation will be lost.”[101] The amount of aid she proposed, $100 billion, was in the modest terms of the Copenhagen Accord that was agreed to by the summit.[103]

Secretary Clinton finished the year with very high approval ratings.[104] She also narrowly edged out former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in being America’s most-admired woman, per a Gallup finding.[105]

Regional issues and travels: 2010[edit]

Secretary Clinton met with Celso Amorim, Foreign Minister of Brazil, in March 2010 at the Palácio do Itamaratyin Brasília

In January 2010, Secretary Clinton cut short a trip to the Asia-Pacific region in order to see firsthand the destructive effects of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and to meet with President of Haiti René Préval.[106] Clinton said she would also evaluate the relief effort and help evacuate some Americans. She stressed that her visit was designed not to interfere with ongoing efforts: “It’s a race against time. Everybody is pushing as hard as they can.”[106] The Clintons had a special interest in Haiti going back decades, to their delayed honeymoon there[107] up to Bill Clinton being the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti at the time of the earthquake.

In a major speech on January 21, 2010, Clinton, speaking on behalf of the U.S., declared that “We stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas”, while highlighting how “even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.”[108] She also drew analogies between the Iron Curtain and the free and unfree Internet.[109] Her speech, which followed a controversy surrounding Google‘s changed policy toward China and censorship, appears to mark a split between authoritarian capitalism and the Western model of free capitalism and Internet access.[109][110] Chinese officials responded strongly, saying Clinton’s remarks were “harmful to Sino-American relations” and demanded that U.S. officials “respect the truth”, and some foreign policy observers thought that Clinton had been too provocative.[109] But the White House stood behind Clinton, and demanded that China provide better answers regarding therecent Chinese cyberattack against Google.[111] Clinton’s speech garnered marked attention among diplomats, as it was the first time a senior American official had clearly put forth a vision in which the Internet was a key element of American foreign policy.[111]

By early 2010, the Obama administration’s efforts towards forging a new relationship with Iran had failed to gain headway, and the U.S. adopted a policy of adopting international sanctions against it and isolating it diplomatically in order to curtail the that country’s nuclear program.[112] This was a policy more in line with Clinton’s thinking and went back to disagreements she and Obama had had during the 2008 presidential campaign.[112] Clinton was put in charge of rallying support in the United Nations for these sanctions[112] and spent considerable time over the following months and years doing so.[4][113] At times Clinton suggested the possibility of military action against Iran should economic and diplomatic actions fail to deter it from its nuclear ambitions.[113]

In February 2010, Clinton made her first visit to Latin America as secretary. The tour would take her to Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica and Guatemala and Argentina. She first visited Buenos Aires and talked to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. They discussed Falkland Islands sovereignty and the issue of oil in the Falklands.[114] Clinton said that “We would like to see Argentina and the United Kingdom sit down and resolve the issues between them across the table in a peaceful, productive way.”[114] Clinton offered to help facilitate such discussions, but did not agree to an Argentinian request that she mediate such talks.[114][115] Within 12 hours of Clinton’s remarks, Downing Street categorically rejected a U.S. role: “We welcome the support of the secretary of state in terms of ensuring that we continue to keep diplomatic channels open but there is no need for [direct involvement].”[115] Clinton then went on to Santiago, Chile to witness the aftereffects of the 2010 Chile earthquake and to bring some telecommunications equipment to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts.[116]

In April 2010, there was a flurry of speculation that Clinton would be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice John Paul Stevens‘ retirement, including a plug from ranking Senate Judiciary Committeemember Orrin Hatch.[117][118] The notion was quickly quashed by the White House, which said, “The president thinks Secretary Clinton is doing an excellent job as secretary of state and wants her to remain in that position.”[117] A State Department spokesperson said that Clinton “loves her present job and is not looking for another one.”[118]

By mid-2010, Clinton and Obama had clearly forged a good working relationship without power struggles; she was a team player within the administration and a defender of it to the outside, and was careful to make sure that neither she nor her husband would upstage him.[72][119] He in turn was accommodating to her viewpoints and in some cases adopted some of her more hawkish approaches.[119] She met with him weekly, but did not have the close, daily relationship that some of her predecessors had had with their presidents, such as Condoleezza Rice with George W. Bush, James Baker with George H. W. Bush, or Henry Kissinger with Richard Nixon.[119] Nevertheless, he had trust in her actions.[4]

During an early June 2010 visit to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, Clinton dealt with questions at every stop about the recently passed and widely controversial Arizona SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law, which had damaged the image of the U.S. in Latin America.[120] When answering a question from local television reporters in Quito about it, she said that President Obama was opposed to it and that “The Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”[120] This was the first public confirmation that the Justice Department would act against the law;[120] a month later, it became official as the lawsuit United States of America v. Arizona. While at a hotel bar in Lima, she completed an agreement with a representative of China over which companies could be specified in a UN resolution sanctioning thenuclear program of Iran.[95] Returning to SB 1070, in August 2010 she included the dispute over it in a report to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as an example to other countries of how fractious issues can be resolved under the rule of law.[121]

Clinton and Secretary of DefenseRobert Gates tour the DMZ on July 21, 2010.

In July 2010, Clinton visited Pakistan for the second time as secretary, announcing a large new U.S. economic assistance package to that country as well as a U.S.-led bilateral trade agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan.[122] She then traveled to Afghanistan for the Kabul Conference on the situation there, during which President Hamid Karzai vowed to implement much-promised legal, political, and economic reforms in exchange for a continued Western commitment there.[123]Clinton said that despite the scheduled U.S. drawdown there in 2011, the U.S. has “no intention of abandoning our long-term mission of achieving a stable, secure, peaceful Afghanistan. Too many nations – especially Afghanistan – have suffered too many losses to see this country slide backward.”[123] She then went on to Seouland the Korean Demilitarized Zone where she and Defense Secretary Robert Gatesmet with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and Minister of National Defense Kim Tae-young in a ‘2+2 meeting’ to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. There she said that the U.S. experience in staying in Korea for decades had led to a successful result, which might also be applicable to Afghanistan.[124] Finally, she went toHanoi, Vietnam, for the ASEAN Regional Forum, wrapping up what The New York Times termed “a grueling trip that amounted to a tour of American wars, past and present”.[124] There she injected the U.S. into the long-running disputes over the sovereignty of the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands, much to the displeasure of the Chinese who view the South China Sea as part of their core interests, by saying “The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the South China Sea.”[124]

By this time, Secretary Clinton was quite busy with another role of a kind, “M.O.T.B.” as she wrote in State Department memos, making reference to her being the mother of the bride in daughter Chelsea Clinton‘s July 31, 2010, wedding to Marc Mezvinsky.[125] She confessed in an interview in Islamabad less than two weeks before the wedding that she and her husband were both nervous wrecks, and that “You should assume that if he makes it down the aisle in one piece it’s going to be a major accomplishment. He is going to be so emotional, as am I.”[126] The event itself gained a large amount of media attention.[125]

In a September 2010 speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton emphasized the continuing primacy of American power and involvement in the world, declaring a “new American moment”.[127] Making reference to actions from reviving the Middle East talks to U.S. aid following the 2010 Pakistan floods, Clinton said that “The world is counting on us” and that “After years of war and uncertainty, people are wondering what the future holds, at home and abroad. So let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century.”[127]

With Democrats facing possible large losses in the 2010 midterm elections and President Obama struggling in opinion polls, idle speculation in Washington media circles concerning Obama’s chances in the 2012 presidential election led to the notion that Clinton would take over as Obama’s vice-presidential running mate in 2012 to add to his electoral appeal.[128] Some versions of this idea had Vice President Biden replacing her as Secretary of State if Obama won.[127][129] That it would ever happen was unlikely,[130] but did not stop the chatter; when the job swap idea was mentioned in public to Clinton, she smiled and shook her head.[127] A couple of months later, Obama shot down the idea, saying the notion was “completely unfounded” and that “they are both doing outstanding jobs where they are.”[131] (In late 2011, however, with Obama’s popularity on the decline, White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley did conduct some research into the idea of Clinton replacing Biden, but the notion was dropped when the results showed no appreciable improvement for Obama.[132])

Clinton at the Department of State building with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and U.S. Special Envoy George J. Mitchell, at the start of direct talks on September 2, 2010

Over the summer of 2010, the stalled peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict was potentially revived when the various parties involved agreed to direct talks for the first time in a while.[133] While President Obama was the orchestrator of the movement, Secretary Clinton had gone through months of cajoling just to get the parties to the table, and helped convince the reluctant Palestinians by getting support for direct talks from Egypt and Jordan.[95][133] She then assumed a prominent role in the talks; Speaking at a September 2 meeting at the State Department between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and PresidentMahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, she acknowledged that, “We’ve been here before, and we know how difficult the road ahead will be.”[134] Her role in the ongoing talks would be to take over from U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East PeaceGeorge J. Mitchell when discussions threatened to break down.[95] The talks were generally given little chance to succeed, and Clinton faced the history of many such past failures, including the near miss of her husband at the 2000 Camp David Summit.[95] Nevertheless, her prominent role in them thrust her further into the international spotlight and had the potential to affect her legacy as secretary.[95][135]

In October, Clinton embarked on a seven-nation tour of Asia and Oceania. In New Zealand she signed the “Wellington Declaration”, which normalized the diplomatic and military relationship between it and the United States.[136] The signing marked twenty-five years after the United States suspended ANZUS treaty obligations with New Zealand in the wake of theUSS Buchanan incident.

Clinton maintained her high approval ratings during 2010.[137] An aggregation of polls taken during the late portion or all of 2010 showed that Clinton (and her husband as well) had by far the best favorable-unfavorable ratings of any key contemporary American political figure.[138]

In late November, WikiLeaks released confidential State Department cables, selections of which were then published by several major newspapers around the world. The leak of the cables led to a crisis atmosphere in the State Department, as blunt statements and assessments by U.S. and foreign diplomats became public.[139] Clinton led the damage control effort for the U.S. abroad, and also sought to bolster the morale of shocked Foreign Service officers.[139] In the days leading up to the publication of the cables, Clinton called officials in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, France, Afghanistan, Canada, and China to alert them to the pending disclosures.[139] She did note that some foreign leaders were accepting of the frank language of the cables, with one telling her, “Don’t worry about it. You should see what we say about you.”[139][140] She harshly criticized WikiLeaks, saying: “Let’s be clear: This disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community – the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.”[139] The State Department went into immediate “war room” mode in order to deal with the effects of the disclosures, and began implementing measures to try to prevent another such leak from happening in the future.[140]

A few of the cables released by WikiLeaks concerned Clinton directly: they revealed that directions to members of the foreign service had gone out in 2009 under Clinton’s name to gather biometric details on foreign diplomats, including officials of the United Nations and U.S. allies.[141] These included Internet and intranet usernames, e-mail addresses, web site URLs useful for identification, credit card numbers, frequent flier account numbers, work schedules, and other targeted biographical information in a process known as the National Humint Collection Directive.[142][143] State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said that Clinton had not drafted the directive and that the Secretary of State’s name is systematically attached to the bottom of cables originating from Washington;[144] it was unclear whether Clinton had actually seen them.[145] The guidance in the cables was actually written by the CIA before being sent out under Clinton’s name, as the CIA cannot directly instruct State Department personnel.[146][147] The disclosed cables on the more aggressive intelligence gathering went back to 2008 when they went out under Condoleezza Rice‘s name during her tenure as Secretary of State.[143] The practice of the U.S. and the State Department gathering intelligence on the U.N. or on friendly nations was not new,[145] but the surprise in this case was that it was done by other diplomats rather than intelligence agencies, and that the specific types of information being asked for went beyond past practice and was not the kind of information diplomats would normally be expected to gather.[143][146][147][148] In any case, the instructions given in these cables may have been largely ignored by American diplomats as ill-advised.[147] Responding to calls from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and a few others that Clinton possibly step down from her post due to the revelation, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I think that is absurd and ridiculous. I think Secretary of State Clinton is doing a wonderful job.”[149]

At this early December 2010 summit in Kazakhstan, Clinton dealt with the fallout from the United States diplomatic cables leak.

On December 1, Clinton flew to a summit of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Astana, Kazakhstan.[140][150] There she would encounter some fifty leaders who were subjects of embarrassing comments in the leaks, including President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.[140] A Kazakh official said that during such encounters, Clinton “kept her face. She didn’t run away from difficult questions.”[140] During the encounters she emphasized that the leaked cables did not reflect official U.S. policy but rather were just instances of individual diplomats giving unfiltered feedback to Washington about what they saw happening in other countries.[140] The situation led to some leaders turning her strong remarks about Internet freedom earlier in the year back against her.[140] The OSCE summit also featured a meeting between Secretary Clinton and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.[150] In an attempt to repair the strain caused by the Humint spying relevations, Clinton expressed regret to Ban for the disclosures, but did not make an apology per se.[148][150]A U.N. statement relayed that Ban thanked Clinton “for clarifying the matter and for expressing her concern about the difficulties created.”[148]

Upon the December 13 death of veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke (who had initially fallen ill during a meeting with her), Clinton presided over a spontaneous gathering of some forty senior State Department personnel and Holbrooke aides at George Washington University Hospital, reminiscing about him.[151] At a memorial service for him days later, both Clinton and her husband praised Holbrooke’s work, and she said, “Everything that we have accomplished that is working in Afghanistan and Pakistan is largely because of Richard.”[152] As it happened, however, Holbrooke had developed poor relations with the White House during his time as Afghanistan envoy, and Clinton’s vision of him forging an agreement in that country that modeled the success of his prior Dayton Accords (that resolved the Bosnian War) were unrealized.[153]

On December 22, 2010, Secretary Clinton returned to the floor of the Senate during the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress to witness the ratification, by a 71–26 margin, of the New START treaty.[154] Clinton had spent the several days beforehand repeatedly calling wavering senators and seeking to gain their support.[155]

As the year closed, Clinton was again named by Americans in Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll as the woman around the world they most admired; it was her ninth win in a row and fifteenth overall.[156]

Regional issues and travels: 2011[edit]

Clinton and President of BrazilDilma Rousseff on Inauguration of Dilma Rousseff, January 1, 2011

Secretary Clinton began the year 2011 abroad, attending the Inauguration of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, having been sent by President Obama to represent the U.S.[157][158] Rousseff was the first woman to rule that country. While there, she ran into Venezuelan ruler and U.S. antagonist Hugo Chávez, but the two had a pleasant exchange; Chávez said “She had a very spontaneous smile and I greeted her with the same effusiveness.”[159]

Secretary Clinton conversing withUnited Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyanprior to a Gulf Cooperation Councilmeeting in Doha in January 2011.

In mid-January, Clinton made a four-country trip to the Middle East, visiting Yemen,Oman, The United Arab Emirates, andQatar.[160] Speaking at a conference inDoha, she criticized Arab governments’ failure to move more rapidly vis à vis reform in unusually blunt language, saying, “In too many places, in too many ways, the region’s foundations are sinking into the sand. The new and dynamic Middle East that I have seen needs firmer ground if it is to take root and grow everywhere.”[160] Her visit to Yemen, the first such visit by a Secretary of State in 20 years, found her focusing on the dangers of terrorism emanating from that country.[161] An impromptu tour around the walled old city ofSana’a found Clinton being cheered by onlooking schoolchildren.[161] A trip and fall while boarding the departing airplane left Clinton unhurt but news services making predictable witticisms.[162]

When the 2011 Egyptian protests began, Clinton was in the forefront of the administration’s response.[163] Her initial public assessment on January 25 that the government of President Hosni Mubarak was “stable” and “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people”[164] soon came under criticism for being tepid and behind the curve of developing events, although others agreed that the U.S. could not be out front in undermining the government of a long-term ally.[163] By the next day, Clinton was criticizing the Egyptian government’s blocking of social media sites.[164] By January 29, Obama had put Clinton in charge of sorting out the administration’s so-far confused response to developments.[165] During the frenetic day of January 30, she combined appearances on all five Sunday morning talk shows– where she stated publicly for the first time the U.S.’s view that there needed to be an “orderly transition” to a “democratic participatory government”[164] and a “peaceful transition to real democracy”, not Mubarak’s “faux democracy”[166] – with a flight to Haiti and back to mark the anniversary of its terrible earthquake, all the while engaging in conference calls again regarding Egypt.[167]

The Egyptian protests became the most critical foreign policy crisis so far for the Obama administration, and Obama came to increasingly rely upon Clinton for advice and connections.[165] Clinton had known Mubarak for some twenty years, and had formed a close relationship with Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak by supporting the latter’s human rights work.[165] Clinton originated the idea of sending Frank G. Wisner as an emissary to Cairo, to tell Mubarak not to seek another term as the country’s leader.[165] As Mubarak’s response to the protests became violent in early February, Clinton strongly condemned the actions taking place, especially those against journalists covering the events, and urged new Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman to conduct an official investigation to hold those responsible for the violence accountable.[168][169] When Wisner baldly stated that Mubarak’s departure should be delayed to accommodate an orderly transition to another government, Clinton rebuked him, but shared a bit of the same sentiment.[170] Mubarak did finally step down on February 11 as the protests became the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Clinton said that the U.S. realized that Egypt still had much work and some difficult times ahead of it.[171] In mid-March, Clinton visited Egypt and indicated support for an Egyptian move towards democracy, but she avoided specific issues of U.S. aid and when elections should take place.[172]

President Obama was reportedly unhappy with U.S. intelligence agencies following their failure to foresee the 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising and the downfall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as well as the Egyptian protests.[173] Responding to criticism that the State Department had failed to see the developments in Egypt coming, Clinton defended the U.S. in an interview onAl-Arabiya, saying “I don’t think anybody could have predicted we’d be sitting here talking about the end of the Mubarak presidency at the time that this all started.”[171]

Reflecting on not just the situation in Tunisia and Egypt but also on the, the 2011 Yemeni protests, and the 2011 Jordanian protests, Clinton said at a February 5 meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East, “The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends. … This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of … cities throughout the region. The status quo is simply not sustainable.” She said that while transition to democracy could be chaotic – and free elections had to be accompanied by free speech, a free judiciary, and the rule of law in order to be effective – in the end “free people govern themselves best”.[174] The transformations highlighted that traditional U.S. foreign policy in the region had sided with rulers who suppressed internal dissent but provided stability and generally supported U.S. goals in the region.[175] When the monarchy’s response to the 2011 Bahraini protests turned violent, Clinton urged a return to the path of reform, saying that violence against the protesters “is absolutely unacceptable … We very much want to see the human rights of the people protected, including right to assemble, right to express themselves, and we want to see reform.”[175] At the same time, she said that the U.S. “cannot tell countries what they are going to do [and] cannot dictate the outcomes.”[175] As the situation in Bahrain lingered on and continued to have episodes of violence against protesters, Clinton said in mid-March, “Our goal is a credible political process that can address the legitimate aspirations of all the people of Bahrain … Violence is not and cannot be the answer. A political process is. We have raised our concerns about the current measures directly with Bahraini officials and will continue to do so.”[176]

When the 2011 Libyan civil war began in mid-February and intensified into armed conflict with rebel successes in early March 2011, Clinton stated the administration’s position that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi “must go now, without further violence or delay”.[177] As Gaddafi conducted counterattacks against the rebels, Clinton was initially reluctant, as was Obama, to back calls being made in various quarters for imposition of a Libyan no-fly zone.[178][179] However, as the prospects of a Gaddafi victory and possible subsequent bloodbath that would kill many thousands emerged, and as Clinton travelled Europe and North Africa and found support for military intervention increasing among European and Arab leaders, she had a change of view.[178][179] Together with Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and National Security Council figureSamantha Power, who were already supporting military intervention, Clinton overcame opposition from Defense SecretaryRobert Gates, security advisor Thomas Donilon, and counterterrorism advisor John Brennan, and the administration backed U.N. action to impose the no-fly zone and authorize other military actions as necessary.[178][180] Clinton helped gained the financial and political support of several Arab countries,[178][181] in particular convincing Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan that a no-fly zone urged by the Arab League would not be sufficient and that air-to-ground attacks would be necessary.[75] Clinton then persuaded Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that his country should abstain on the UN resolution authorizing force against Gaddafi,[75] and Rice and Clinton played major roles in getting the rest of theUnited Nations Security Council to approve United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.[178][181] Regarding whether the U.S. or some other ally would send arms to the anti-Gaddafi forces, Clinton said that this would be permissible under the resolution, but that that no decision had yet been made on doing so.[182]

Clinton testified to Congress in March that the administration did not need congressional authorization for its military intervention in Libya or for further decisions about it, despite congressional objections from members of both parties that the administration was violating the War Powers Resolution.[183][184] During that classified briefing to Congress, she allegedly indicated that the administration would sidestep the Resolution’s provision regarding a 60-day limit on unauthorized military actions.[185] Months later, she stated that, with respect to the military operation in Libya, the United States was still flying a quarter of the sorties, and the New York Times reported that, while many presidents had bypassed other sections of the War Powers Resolution, there was little precedent for exceeding the 60-day statutory limit on unauthorized military actions – a limit which the Justice Department had said in 1980 was constitutional.[186][187] The State Department publicly took the position in June 2011 that there was no “hostility” in Libya within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution, contrary to legal interpretations by the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.[188][189] The State Department requested (but never received) express Congressional authorization.[189][190]The US House of Representatives voted to rebuke the administration for maintaining an American presence with the NATO operations in Libya, which they considered a violation of the War Powers Resolution.[191][192]

Secretary Clinton appearing on Nessma TV inTunis in March 2011

While Clinton recognized some of the contradictions of U.S. policy towards turmoil in the Mideast countries, which involving backing some regimes while supporting protesters against others,[178] she was nevertheless passionate on the subject, enough so that Obama joked at the annual Gridiron Dinner that “I’ve dispatched Hillary to the Middle East to talk about how these countries can transition to new leaders — though, I’ve got to be honest, she’s gotten a little passionate about the subject. These past few weeks it’s been tough falling asleep with Hillary out there on Pennsylvania Avenue shouting, throwing rocks at the window.”[193] In any case, Obama’s reference to Clinton travelling a lot was true enough; by now she had logged 465,000 miles (748,000 km) in her Boeing 757, more than any other Secretary of State for a comparable period of time, and had visited 79 countries while in the office.[64] Time magazine wrote that “Clinton’s endurance is legendary” and that she would still be going at the end of long work days even as her staff members were glazing out.[75]The key was her ability to fall asleep on demand, at any time and place, for power naps.[72]

Clinton also saw the potential political changes in the Mideast as an opportunity for an even more fundamental change to take place, that being the empowerment of women (something Newsweek magazine saw as Clinton’s categorical imperative).[64] She made remarks to this effect in countries such as Egypt – “If a country doesn’t recognize minority rights and human rights, including women’s rights, you will not have the kind of stability and prosperity that is possible” – as well as in Yemen, where she spoke of the story of the present Nujood Ali and her campaign against forced marriage at a young age.[64] At home, Clinton was even more expansive, looking on a worldwide basis: “I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century. We see women and girls across the world who are oppressed and violated and demeaned and degraded and denied so much of what they are entitled to as our fellow human beings.”[64] She also maintained that the well-being of women in other countries was a direct factor in American self-interest: “This is a big deal for American values and for American foreign policy and our interests, but it is also a big deal for our security. Because where women are disempowered and dehumanized, you are more likely to see not just antidemocratic forces, but extremism that leads to security challenges for us.”[64] She subsequently elaborated upon this theme, saying “A lot of the work I do here in the State Department on women’s or human-rights issues is not just because I care passionately – which I do – but because I see it as [a way] to increase security to fulfill American interests. These are foreign-policy and national-security priorities for me.”[72]

In the midst of this turmoil, which also included Clinton pledging government-level support to Japan in the wake of the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami,[194] Clinton reiterated in a mid-March CNN interview with Wolf Blitzerduring her post-revolution visit to Cairo’s Tahrir Square that she had no interest in becoming Secretary of Defense or vice president or of running for president again.[195] She also explicitly said for the first time that she did not want to serve a second term as Secretary of State if President Obama is re-elected in 2012.[180][196] She stressed how much she regarded her current position: “Because I have the best job I could ever have. This is a moment in history where it is almost hard to catch your breath. There are both the tragedies and disasters that we have seen from Haiti to Japan and there are the extraordinary opportunities and challenges that we see right here in Egypt and in the rest of the region.”[196] But reportedly she was weary at times from constant travelling, still not part of Obama’s inner circle, and looking forward to a time of less stress and the chances to write, teach, or work for international women’s rights.[180] She was not bound by her statements, and Blitzer for one suspected she would change her mind.[195] In any case, she remained popular with the American public; her Gallup Poll favorability rating rose to 66 percent (against 31 percent unfavorable), her highest mark ever save for a period during the Lewinsky scandal thirteen years earlier.[197] Her favorability was 10 to 20 percentage points higher than those for Obama, Biden, or Gates, and reflected in part the high ratings that secretaries of state sometimes get.[197]

Secretary Clinton was among those in the White House Situation Roomgetting real-time updates on the May 2011 mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

Throughout early 2011, the CIA thought there was a good chance it had discovered the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, and the White House held a final high-level discussion on April 28 about whether to go ahead with a raid to get him, and if so, what kind of mission to undertake. Clinton supported the option to send Navy SEALsin, believing that the U.S. could not afford to ignore this chance and that getting bin Laden was so important that it outweighed any risks.[198] Following the successful May 1–2, 2011, U.S. mission to kill Osama bin Laden at his hideout compound inAbbottabad, Pakistan, and the resulting criticism from various Americans thatPakistan had not found, or had let, bin Laden hide in near plain sight, Clinton made a point of praising Pakistan’s past record of helping the U.S. hunt down terrorists: “Our counter-terrorism cooperation over a number of years now, with Pakistan, has contributed greatly to our efforts to dismantle al-Qaeda. And in fact, cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound in which he was hiding. Going forward, we are absolutely committed to continuing that cooperation.”[199] Clinton then played a key role in the administration’s decision not to release photographs of the dead bin Laden, reporting that U.S. allies in the Middle East did not favor the release and agreeing with Secretary Gates that such a release might cause an anti-U.S. backlash overseas.[200]

A June 2011 trip to Africa found Clinton consoling longtime aide Huma Abedin after the Anthony Weiner sexting scandalbroke.[201] She also emphatically denied published reports that she was interested in becoming the next president of theWorld Bank, which would need a successor to follow Robert Zoellick after the end of his term in mid-2012.[202][203] A different suggestion, from wanting-to-depart U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner that Clinton replace him at that position, gained some traction in parts of the White House before economic and budget issues intensified and President Obama convinced Geithner to stay on.[204]

By July, Clinton was assuring China and other foreign governments that the ongoing U.S. debt ceiling crisis would not end with the U.S. going into sovereign default[205] (a prediction that turned true when the Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed and signed the day before default loomed). She spent much of that summer in an eventually unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Palestinian National Authority not to attempt to gain membership in the United Nations at its September 2011 General Assembly meeting.[206]

Clinton continued to poll high, with a September 2011 Bloomberg News poll finding her with a 64 percent favorable rating, the highest of any political figure in the nation.[207] A third of those polls said that Clinton would have been a better president than Obama, but when asked the likelihood she would stage a campaign against the president, she said, “It’s below zero. One of the great things about being secretary of state is I am out of politics. I am not interested in being drawn back into it by anybody.”[208]

Following the October 2011 announcement by Obama that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would complete by the close of that same year, Clinton forcefully defended the decision as emanating from an agreement originally signed with Iraq under the Bush administration and as evidence that Iraq’s sovereignty was real, and said that despite the absence of military forces, the U.S. was still committed to strengthening Iraq’s democracy with “robust” diplomatic measures.[209] She also praised the effectiveness of Obama’s foreign policy in general, implicitly pushing back on criticism from those running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.[209]

Clinton specifically pointed to the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the conclusion of the Libyan intervention.[209] She had been active during the final stages of the Libyan rebellion, and via Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, had urged the rebels forces to unify and avoid factional conflicts with each other.[75] She visited Tripoli in October 2011 and, in private, was somewhat guarded about Libya’s future following the rebel success.[75] (A video of her exclaiming “Wow” upon first reading on her BlackBerry of Gaddafi’s capture achieved wide circulation.[210]) Over the next few years, the aftermath of the Libyan Civil War became characterized by instability, two rival governments, and a slide into status as a failed state; it became a refuge for extremists and terrorist groups, such as ISIL, and spurred a massive refugee crisis as immigrants crossed the Mediterranean to southern Europe.[211] The wisdom of the intervention would continue to be debated, with President Obama maintaining that the intervention had been worthwhile but that the United States and Europe underestimated the ongoing effort needed to rebuild Libyan society afterward;[212] former U.S. Representative to NATO Ivo Daalder stating that the limited goals of the intervention had all been met but that the Libyan people had not seized their opportunity to form a better future and that post-intervention military involvement by the West would have been counterproductive;[213] and scholar Alan J. Kuperman (along with some other scholars and human rights groups) writing that the intervention had been based on the faulty notion that Libya had been headed towards humanitarian disaster when in fact it was not and was thus the intervention was “an abject failure, judged even by its own standards”.[214][215] Kuperman’s view that Gaddafi son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi held promise as a Western-style political reformer was in turn disputed by former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet, who stated that such faith was misplaced and that Libyans were resistant to any post-intervention security mechanism and to many rebuilding programs.[216] Clinton said in her 2014 memoir that she had been “worried that the challenges ahead would prove overwhelming for even the most well-meaning transitional leaders. If the new government could consolidate its authority, provide security, use oil revenues to rebuild, disarm the militias, and keep extremists out, then Libya would have a fighting chance at building a stable democracy. If not, then the country would face very difficult challenges translating the hopes of a revolution into a free, secure, and prosperous future.”[211]

Secretary Clinton cancelled a planned trip to the United Kingdom and Turkey to be with her mother, Dorothy Rodham, who died in Washington on November 1, 2011.[217]

In November 2011, Clinton declared, in both a speech at the East–West Center and in an article published in Foreign Policymagazine, that the 21st century would be “America’s Pacific century”.[218][219] The term played on the notion of the “Pacific Century“. Clinton said, “It is becoming increasingly clear that, in the 21st century, the world’s strategic and economic center of gravity will be the Asia-Pacific, from the Indian subcontinent to western shores of the Americas.”[218] The declaration was part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” after the focus of the decade of the 2000s on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.[218][219]

When the 2011–2012 Russian protests had begun in late 2011, in response to the Russian legislative election, 2011, Clinton had been outspoken about the need for legitimate democratic processes there, saying in December 2011: “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted. And that means they deserve free, fair, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.”[220] She added that “Russian voters deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation.” In return, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denounced Clinton, accusing her of backing Russian protesters financially and in fact precipitating their actions: “They heard this signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began their active work.”[221] When Putin won the Russian presidential election, 2012 in March 2012, some in the State Department wanted to denounce Russian process again, but they were overruled by the White House, and Clinton stated simply that “The election had a clear winner, and we are ready to work with President-elect Putin.”[4]

Secretary Clinton met with Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyion December 2, 2011, as part of her historic visit to that country.

In early December 2011, Clinton made the first visit to Burma by a U.S. secretary of state since John Foster Dulles‘s in 1955, as she met with Burmese leaders as well as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and sought to support the 2011 Burmese democratic reforms.[222] Clinton said that due to the direct and indirect communications she had had with Suu Kyi over the years, “it was like seeing a friend you hadn’t seen for a very long time even though it was our first meeting.”[223]The outreach to Burma attracted both praise and criticism, with CongresswomanIleana Ros-Lehtinen saying it “sends the wrong signal to the Burmese military thugs” but others saying the visit combined idealism with respect to reform and realpolitik with respect to keeping Burma out of the direct Chinese sphere of influence.[224] Clinton had had to overcome internal administration opposition from the White House and Pentagon, as well as from Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, to make the move, eventually making a personal appeal to Obama and gaining his approval.[153] Regarding whether the Burmese regime would follow up on reform pledges, Clinton said, “I can’t predict what’s going to happen, but I think it certainly is important for the United States to be on the side of democratic reform … This is a first date, not a marriage, and we’ll see where it leads.”[223] She continued to address rights concerns in a December 2011 speech a few days later before the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying that the U.S. would advocate for gay rights abroad and that “Gay rights are human rights” and that “It should never be a crime to be gay.”[225] This itself drew criticism from some American social conservatives.[224]

As the year closed, Clinton was again named by Americans in Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll as the woman around the world they most admired; it was her tenth win in a row and sixteenth overall.[226]

Regional issues and travels: 2012[edit]

Secretary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglufollowing their bilateral meeting at the Department of State, February 13, 2012.

In a State Department town hall meeting on January 26, 2012, Clinton indicated her desire to remove herself from “the high wire of American politics” after twenty tiring years of being on it and added, “I have made it clear that I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur.”[227] She also indicated that she had not watched any of the 2012 Republican Party presidential debates.[227]

As the Syrian Civil War continued and intensified with the February 2012 bombardment of Homs, the U.S. sought a UN Security Council resolution that backed an Arab League plan that would urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish powers to the vice presidential level and permit a unity government to form.[228] However, Russia and China vetoed the resolution, an action that Clinton characterized as a “travesty”.[228] After the failure of the effort, Clinton warned that Syria could degenerate into “a brutal civil war” and called for a “friends of democratic Syria” group of like-minded nations to promote a peaceful and democratic solution to the situation and pressure Syria accordingly.[228][229] At a meeting in Tunis of the consequent Friends of Syria Group, Clinton again criticized the actions of Russia and China as “distressing” and “despicable”, and predicted that the Assad regime would meet its end via a military coup.[230] Later, during the summer of 2012, she repeated her criticism of those two countries.[231] At that time, Clinton developed a plan with CIA Director David H. Petraeus to send arms to, and perform training of, vetted groups of Syrian rebels, using the assistance of a neighboring state.[153] The plan also had the support of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Joint Chiefs chair General Martin E. Dempsey.[232] Reluctant to become entangled in the Syrian situation and in an election campaign, Obama rejected the idea.[153]

Clinton has visited 112 countries during her tenure, the most of any Secretary of State in U.S. history.[233][234][235]

In February 2012, a spokesman for Clinton denied again that Clinton wanted the President of the World Bank job, saying, “She has said this is not happening. Her view has not changed.”[236]

At a keynote speech before the International Crisis Group, the secretary brought her view regarding the empowerment of women specifically into the area ofpeacemaking, saying that women’s multifaceted ties with a community make them more compelled to concern about social and quality of life issues that prosper under peacetime conditions. Furthermore, women identify more with minority groups, being discriminated against themselves. Thus, “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided.”[72] She also continued to believe that empowerment of women would continue to grow as people saw that it would lead to economic growth.[237]

In April 2012, an Internet meme “Texts from Hillary”, hosted on Tumblr and based around a photograph of Clinton sitting on a military plane wearing sunglasses and using a mobile phone, imagined the recipients and contents of her text messages. It became suddenly popular and earned the endorsement of Clinton herself, before being brought to an end by its creators.[238][239] Obama himself took note of the meme’s popularity, in a humorous exchange that revealed the ease the two now had around one another.[240] Around the same time, a photograph taken during the 6th Summit of the Americas inCartagena, Colombia, showed Clinton with a group of colleagues relaxing, drinking Águila beer from a bottle and dancing, at a local nightclub.[241] The episode gained front-page attention from the New York Post and illustrated how Clinton was enjoying the job. [4] Regarding her ongoing popularity, Clinton said, “There’s a certain consistency to who I am and what I do, and I think people have finally said, ‘Well, you know, I kinda get her now.'”[72] One long-time Washington figure summarized the situation by simply saying, “There’s no coin in criticizing her anymore.”[72] At the same time, her fashion choices gained renewed attention, with her hair grown long and sometimes pulled back with scrunchies.[72] Public commentary on Clinton’s hair was now a tradition across twenty years, but as one female State Department traveller said, “As a chick, it’s a big pain in the butt. The weather is different, and you’re in and out of the plane. [The staff] gets off that plane looking like garbage most days, but she has to look camera ready. She said the reason she grew her hair long was that it’s easier. She has options.”[72] Clinton professed she was past the point of concern on the matter: “I feel so relieved to be at the stage I’m at in my life right now, […] because if I want to wear my glasses, I’m wearing my glasses. If I want to pull my hair back, I’m pulling my hair back.”[242] In any case, Clinton showed a much more relaxed attitude vis a vis the press than in past eras.[72]

A late April/early May 2012 trip to China found Clinton in the middle of a drama involving blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. He had escaped house arrest and, after finding his way to the Embassy of the United States, Beijing, requested an arrangement whereby he could stay in China with guarantees for his safety. After a deal towards that end fell through, he requested a seat on Clinton’s plane when she flew back to the U.S. After further negotiations in parallel with the existing agenda of Clinton’s trip, Chen left for the U.S. after Clinton’s departure.[243] Clinton had negotiated personally with senior Chinese diplomat Dai Bingguo in order to get the deal back in place.[153] Despite an environment that had, as one aide said, “exploded into an absolute circus”, Clinton managed to find a path for the U.S. that kept China from losing face and kept the overall agenda of the meetings intact.[4]

Following the June 2012 killing of high-ranking al Qaeda figure Abu Yahya al-Libi in one of the U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan, Clinton defended the action, saying “We will always maintain our right to use force against groups such as al Qaeda that have attacked us and still threaten us with imminent attack. In doing so, we will comply with the applicable law, including the laws of war, and go to extraordinary lengths to ensure precision and avoid the loss of innocent life.”[244]Indeed, beginning with her 2009 trip to Pakistan, Clinton had faced questions about U.S. drone strikes, which she refused to comment much upon at the time.[245] Behind the scenes, Clinton was in fact one of the leading administration proponents of continuing and expanding the strikes there and elsewhere.[246] She did, however, side with U.S. Ambassador to PakistanCameron Munter in 2011 when he requested more input into, and control over, the U.S. “kill list” selections for that country.[247]

In June 2012, Clinton set down in Riga, Latvia, which represented the 100th country she had visited during her tenure, setting a mark for secretaries of state; the record had been Madeleine Albright with 96.[248] In July 2012, Clinton became the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit Laos since John Foster Dulles in 1955.[249] She held talks with Prime MinisterThongsing Thammavong and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Vientiane.[250]

Also in July 2012, Clinton visited Egypt for the first time since Mohammed Morsi became the first democratically elected president of the country.[251] As she arrived in the country, her convoy was met with a protest and had shoes, tomatoes and bottled water thrown at it, although nothing hit either Clinton or her vehicle.[250] Protesters also chanted “Monica, Monica”, in reference to the Lewinsky scandal.[252][253] She also faced conspiracy theories (in a country that tended towards them) that the U.S. was secretly aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.[254]

An advocate of ending Somalia’s transitional phase on time,[255] Clinton showed support in August for the new Federal Government of Somalia, which took over as the permanent government.[256][257]

President Obama and Secretary Clinton honor the Benghazi victims at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base on September 14, 2012.

On September 11, 2012, an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazitook place, resulting in the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevensand three other Americans. The next day, Clinton also made a statement describing the perpetrators as “heavily armed militants” and “a small and savage group – not the people or government of Libya.”[258] Clinton also responded to the notion that the attack had been related to the reactions in Egypt and elsewhere to the anti-Islamic online video known as Innocence of Muslims, saying: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”[259]She and President Obama appearing together in the White House Rose Garden the same day and vowed to bring the attackers to justice.[260][261] On September 14 the remains of the slain Americans were returned to the U.S. Obama and Clinton attended the ceremony; in her remarks, Clinton said, “One young woman, her head covered and her eyes haunted with sadness, held up a handwritten sign that said ‘Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi nor Islam.'”[262]

The attack, and questions surrounding the U.S. Government’s preparedness for it, and explanations for what had happened afterward, became a political firestorm in the U.S., especially in the context of the ongoing presidential election.[263] The State Department had previously identified embassy and personnel security as a major challenge in its budget and priorities report.[264] On the September 20, Clinton gave a classified briefing to U.S. Senators,[265] which several Republican attendees criticized, angry at the Obama administration’s rebuff of their attempts to learn details of the Benghazi attack, only to see that information published the next day in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.[266] She did announce the formation of an Accountability Review Board panel, chaired by longtime diplomatThomas R. Pickering and vice-chaired by retired Admiral and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, to investigate the attack from the State Department’s viewpoint.[267]

On October 15, regarding the question of preparedness, Clinton said she was accountable: “I take responsibility. I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. … I take this very personally. So we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and then we’re going to do everything we can to work to prevent it from happening again.”[263] Regarding the different explanations afterward for what had happened, she said, “In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion. And I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.”[263]

On November 6, 2012, Obama was re-elected for a second term as president. Clinton said shortly before the election that she would stay on until her successor was confirmed, but that “this is not an open-ended kind of time frame.”[268] Despite her continuing to express a lack of interest, speculation continued about Clinton as a possible candidate in the 2016 presidential election.[237][268] A poll taken in Iowa, the first state in the nomination process, showed that in a hypothetical 2016 caucuses contest, Clinton would have 58 percent support, with Vice President Biden coming in next at 17 percent.[269]

Later in November, Clinton traveled to Jersusalem, the West Bank, and Cairo, meeting with leaders Benjamin Netanyahu,Mahmoud Abbas and Mohamed Morsi respectively, in an effort to stop the 2012 Gaza conflict. On November 21, she participated in a joint appearance with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr to announce that a cease-fire agreement had been reached between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.[270] When the 2012 Egyptian protests against Morsi broke out shortly thereafter, Clinton said that it showed how a dialogue between both sides was immediately needed on how to reshape that nation’s constitution.[271]

In mid-December, Clinton fell victim to a stomach virus contracted on a trip to Europe. She subsequently became very dehydrated and then fainted, suffering a mild concussion. As a result, she cancelled another trip and scratched an appearance at scheduled Congressional hearings on the Benghazi matter.[234][272] A few conservative figures, including Congressman Allen West and Ambassador to the UN John R. Bolton, accused Clinton of fabricating her illness to avoid testifying, but a State Department spokesperson said that was “completely untrue” and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham denounced the allegations.[273][274]

On December 19, the Pickering–Mullen Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi matter was released.[275] It was sharply critical of State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests for more guards and safety upgrades, and for failing to adapt security procedures to a deteriorating security environment.[276] It explicitly criticized the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs:[277] “Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department … resulted in a special mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”[275] Four State Department officials were removed from their posts as a consequence, including Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric J. Boswell (who resigned completely), a deputy assistant secretary for embassy security, Charlene R. Lamb, and a deputy assistant secretary for North Africa, Raymond Maxwell.[277] The report did not criticize more senior officials in the department; Pickering said: “We fixed it at the assistant secretary level, which is, in our view, the appropriate place to look, where the decision-making in fact takes place, where, if you like, the rubber hits the road.”[277] Clinton said in a letter to Congress that she accepted the conclusions of the Pickering–Mullen report,[276] and a State Department task force was formed to implement some sixty action items recommended by the report.[278] On December 20, the Deputy Secretary of State, William J. Burns, and the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Thomas R. Nides, testified in her place before two Congressional committees, and said that many of the report’s recommendations would be in place before year-end.[278] Clinton planned to testify herself in January.[274]

The Benghazi matter also had an effect on Clinton’s successor as Secretary of State. Obama’s first choice was Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice,[279] but she came under heavy criticism from Congressional Republicans for what they felt were incorrect or deceptive statements in the aftermath of the attack, and by mid-December she withdrew her name from consideration.[280] Obama then nominated Senator John Kerry for the position instead.[281] By one report, Clinton had preferred Kerry over Rice all along anyway.[282] Although still not well enough to attend the December 21 announcement of Kerry’s nomination, Clinton was described by Obama as being “in good spirits” and, in a statement, praised Kerry as being of the “highest caliber”.[281]

Clinton was scheduled to return to work the week of December 31,[283] but then on December 30 was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for treatment and observation after a blood clot related to the concussion was discovered.[284]On December 31 it was announced that the clot was behind her ear near her brain, specifically a right transverse sinusvenous thrombosis, that she was being treated with anticoagulants, that she had not suffered any neurological damage, and that she was expected to make a full recovery.[285]

Final days of tenure[edit]

Secretary Clinton is welcomed back to work at the State Department on January 7, 2013

On January 2, 2013, Clinton was released from the hospital.[286] She returned to work at the State Department on January 7, when co-workers welcomed her back with a standing ovation and a joke gift of a football helmet featuring the department’s seal.[287] It was her first normal public appearance in a month.[287]

Secretary Clinton receives a football jersey with 112, the number of countries she visited during her tenure

The illness did, however, put an end to her days of travel in the job.[288][289] She finished with 112 countries visited, making her the most widely traveled secretary of state in history.[288] Her total of 956,733 air miles ended up falling short ofCondoleezza Rice‘s record for total mileage.[288] That total, 1,059,207, was bolstered late in Rice’s tenure by repeated trips to the Middle East.[235][290] Clinton traveled during 401 days, with 306 of those spent in actual diplomatic meetings, and spent the equivalent of 87 full days on airplanes.[288][289] Compared to other recent secretaries, Clinton traveled more broadly, with fewer repeat visits to certain countries.[289]

Secretary Clinton gives her farewell remarks to State Department employees on her last day in office, February 1, 2013

On January 23, Clinton finally gave more than five hours of testimony on the Benghazi matter before hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[291] She said with a choking voice, “For me, this is not just a matter of policy, it’s personal. I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.”[292] She again accepted formal responsibility for the departmental security lapses that led to the attack and deaths, but in explanation did not accept personal blame for them.[293] She said, “I feel responsible for the nearly 70,000 people who work for the State Department. But the specific security requests pertaining to Benghazi, you know, were handled by the security professionals in the department. I didn’t see those requests. They didn’t come to me. I didn’t approve them. I didn’t deny them.”[293] She did acknowledge that she had supported keeping the Benghazi consulate open after an earlier debate about its deteriorating security, but said she had assumed the security personnel involved would address any issues with it.[293]

Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican associated with the Tea Party movement, questioned her repeatedly on a different aspect, whether Ambassador to the UN Rice had misled the public after the attacks. This line drew the fieriest response from Clinton, who with voice raised and fists shaking, responded, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”[291] Other Republicans also attacked Clinton, with Representative Jeff Duncan accusing her of “national security malpractice” and Senator Rand Paulsaying that the president should have dismissed her from her job for having failed to read security-related cables coming into the State Department[291] (she had said there are over a million cables that come into the department and they are all formally addressed to her). Senator John McCain said that while “It’s wonderful to see you in good health and as combative as ever”, he was unsatisfied with her answers.[293]

Clinton also took the opportunity to address the ongoing conflict in Mali and the rest of Northern Africa, saying “this Pandora’s Box if you will” of side effects from the Arab Spring had opened a new security challenge for the U.S.[291]Specifically, she said “we cannot permit northern Mali to become a safe haven.”[291]

The next day, January 24, Clinton introduced John Kerry before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as hearings were held on his nomination to succeed her. She called him “the right choice to carry forward the Obama Administration’s foreign policy”, and called out his testimony before the same committee in 1971 in opposition to the Vietnam War as “speaking hard truths about a war that had gone badly off track.”[294]

At both public appearances, as well as at the second inauguration of Barack Obama, Clinton wore glasses (instead of her usual contact lens), which upon closer examination were seen to have Fresnel prisms attached to them, likely to counteract lingering blurred or double vision from her concussion.[295] Use of special glasses was confirmed by the State Department, which said, “She’ll be wearing these glasses instead of her contacts for a period of time because of lingering issues stemming from her concussion.”[292]

On January 27, 60 Minutes aired a joint interview with Obama and Clinton. The interview was Obama’s idea and was the first he had done with a member of his administration.[296] In it, Obama consistently praised Clinton’s performance in the position, saying “I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we’ve had.”[297] Both said the relationship between them had been very comfortable, and that getting past their 2008 primary campaign battles had not been difficult for them personally.[296] Regarding her health, Clinton said, “I still have some lingering effects from falling on my head and having the blood clot. But the doctors tell me that will all recede. And so, thankfully, I’m looking forward to being at full speed.”[297]

On January 29, Clinton held a global and final town hall meeting, the 59th of her tenure.[298] Also on January 29, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Kerry’s nomination unanimously and the full Senate confirmed the nomination by a 94–3 vote.[299] In her final public speech, on January 31 before the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton returned to the themes of “smart power”.[300] She suggested that a new architecture was needed for relations within the world, giving an analogy of Frank Gehry compared to ancient Greek architecture: “Some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact, it’s highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures.”[301] She added, echoing Madeleine Albright,[302] “… we are truly the indispensable nation, it’s not meant as a boast or an empty slogan. It’s a recognition of our role and our responsibilities. That’s why all the declinists are dead wrong. It’s why the United States must and will continue to lead in this century even as we lead in new ways.”[300][303]

Clinton’s final day as secretary was February 1, 2013, when she met with Obama to hand in her letter of resignation and later gave farewell remarks in a meeting with employees at State Department headquarters.[304]

Overall themes and legacy[edit]

While Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State was popular at the time among the public and praised by President Obama, observers have noted that there was no signature diplomatic breakthrough during it nor any transformative domination of major issues in the nature of Dean Acheson, George Marshall, or Henry Kissinger.[305][306] The intractable issues when she entered office, such as Iran, Pakistan, Arab-Israeli relations, and North Korea, were still that way when she left.[305] Many of Clinton’s initiatives in the “smart power” realm will take much more time to evaluate as to their effect.[305] Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said that “She’s coming away with a stellar reputation that seems to have put her almost above criticism. But you can’t say that she’s really led on any of the big issues for this administration or made a major mark on high strategy.”[305] Michael E. O’Hanlon, a Brookings Institution analyst, said that, “Even an admirer, such as myself, must acknowledge that few big problems were solved on her watch, few victories achieved. [She has been] more solid than spectacular.”[305] Others have been more highly critical of her tenure as Secretary; in a 2015 book entitled Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney argue that Clinton’s tenure, and the Obama administration‘s foreign policy generally, weakened U.S. standing in its international relations and deviated sharply from 70 years of well-established, bipartisan U.S. foreign and defense policy that the United States had generally adhered to since World War II.[307] Others, however, such as Eric Schmidt disagree, and have argued that Clinton was “perhaps the most significant secretary of state since” Acheson.[4] All agreed on her celebrity; as one unnamed official said, “She’s the first secretary who’s also been a global rock star. It’s allowed her to raise issues on the global agenda in a way that no one before her has been able to do.”[305]

Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama discuss matters in 2009, at a picnic table on the grounds of the White House

The divisions between Obama and Clinton that many observers had originally predicted, never happened.[4] Indeed, a writer for The New York Times Magazine declared that “Obama and Clinton have instead led the least discordant national-security team in decades, despite enormous challenges on almost every front.”[4] In part, this was because Obama and Clinton both approached foreign policy as a largely non-ideological, pragmatic exercise.[4]Nevertheless, there were limitations to her influence: Much of the handling of the Middle East, Iraq, and Iran was done by the White House or Pentagon during her tenure,[153] and on some other issues as well, policy-making was kept inside the White House among Obama’s inner circle of advisors.[306] There were also differences of opinion. Clinton failed to persuade Obama to arm and train Syrian rebels in 2012, but overcame initial opposition to gain approval of her visit to Burma in 2011.[153] Clinton’s initial idea of having special envoys under her handling key trouble spots fell apart due to various circumstances.[305] Clinton did find bureaucratic success in edging out the U.S. Commerce Department, by having the State Department take a lead role in sales pitches in favor of U.S. companies.[308] In doing so, she helped negotiate international deals for the likes of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Westinghouse Electric Company.[308] Clinton believed, more than most prior secretaries, that the commercial aspects of diplomacy and the promotion of international trade were vital to American foreign policy goals.[308]

Clinton’s background as an elected politician showed in her touch for dealing with people, in remembering personal connections, in visiting State Department staff when overseas, and in sympathizing with the dilemmas of elected foreign leaders.[4] At least until the Benghazi matter, she retained personal support among a number of Republicans; in mid-2012, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, “I think she’s represented our nation well. She is extremely well respected throughout the world, handles herself in a very classy way and has a work ethic second to none.”[4]

Especially in the Mideast turmoil but elsewhere as well, Clinton saw an opportunity to advance one of the central themes of her tenure, the empowerment and welfare of women and girls worldwide.[64] Moreover, she viewed women’s rights and human rights as critical for U.S. security interests,[72] as part of what has become known as “the Hillary Doctrine“.[309]Former State Department director and coordinator Theresa Loar said in 2011 that, “I honestly think Hillary Clinton wakes up every day thinking about how to improve the lives of women and girls. And I don’t know another world leader who is doing that.”[310] In turn, there was a trend of women around the world finding more opportunities, and in some cases feeling safer, as the result of her actions and visibility.[311]

A mid-2012 Pew Research study of public opinions found that Clinton was viewed positively in Japan and most European countries in terms of people having confidence that she would do the right thing in world affairs.[312] She received mixed marks in China, Russia, and some Central and South American countries, and low marks in Muslim countries, on this question.[312] Overall, Clinton’s attempts to improve the image of America in Muslim countries did not find any immediate success due to many factors, including the unpopularity of drone attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere.[312] Perceptions of the U.S. in those countries declined during her tenure according to a Pew Research, which found that only 15 percent of Muslims had a favorable impression of the U.S. in 2012, compared to 25 percent in 2009.[312] Specifically in Pakistan, only 12 percent of Pakistanis had a favorable impression of the U.S. in 2012, compared to 16 percent in 2009,[313] and only 3 percent had confidence in Clinton compared to 37 percent not.[312]

The first secretary of state to visit countries such as Togo and Timor-Leste, Clinton believed that in-person visits were more important than ever in the digital age. As she said in remarks shortly before leaving office, “I have found it highly ironic that, in today’s world, when we can be anywhere virtually, more than ever people want us to show up, actually. Somebody said to me the other day, ‘I look at your travel schedule. Why Togo? Why the Cook Islands?’ No secretary of state had ever been to Togo before. Togo happens to be on the U.N. Security Council. Going there, making the personal investment, has a real strategic purpose.”[314]

Post-tenure issues[edit]

Financial accounting, document requests, Clinton Foundation[edit]

According to the Office of the Inspector General report made in 2014, the State Department’s records failed to properly account for some $6 billion in contracts over the prior six years, including around $2 billion for the department’s mission in Iraq. The report said, “The failure to maintain contract files adequately creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” and added that investigators and auditors had found “repeated examples of poor contract file administration” which it had characterized as having been one of the department’s “major management challenges” for several years.[315]

During 2014, the State Department failed to turn over documents to the Associated Press that it had asked for through aFreedom of Information Act request based on the possibility of Clinton running for president in 2016. The department said it “does its best to meet its FOIA responsibilities” but that it was under a heavy administrative load for such requests.[316]

The ethics agreement between the State Department and Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation that was put into force at the beginning of the secretary’s tenure came under scrutiny from the news media during early 2015. A Wall Street Journalreport found that the Clinton Foundation had resumed accepting donations from foreign governments once Secretary Clinton’s tenure had ended.[317] A Washington Post inquiry into donations by foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation during the secretary’s tenure found a six cases where such governments continued making donations at the same level they had before Clinton became secretary, which was permissible under the agreement, and also one instance of a new donation, $500,000 from Algeria in January 2010 for earthquake relief in Haiti, that was outside the bounds of the continuation provision and should have received a special ethics review but did not. The Post noted that the donation “coincided with a spike” in lobbying efforts by Algeria of the State Department regarding their human rights record but that during 2010 and 2011 the Department still issued human rights reports critical of Algeria’s restrictions on freedom of assembly, women’s rights and labor rights that also pointed to instances of extrajudicial killings, corruption, and lack of transparency in the government.[318] A Politico analysis of State Department documents found that the department approved virtually all of Bill Clinton’s proposed speaking engagements, even when they lacked sufficient information about the valuation of those talks or links between them and possible subsequent donations to the Clinton Foundation.[319]

From 2009 to 2013, the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom acquired Uranium One, a Canadian company with global uranium mining stakes including 20 percent of the uranium production capacity in the United States. The strategically sensitive acquisition required the approval of the Canadian government as well as a number of U.S. governmental bodies including the State Department. In April 2015, the New York Times reported that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. Also during this time, Bill Clinton received a $500,000 payment from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank whose analysts were praising Uranium One stock, for making speech in Moscow.[320] The Foundation donations were not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation or the State Department, despite a prior agreement to do so, in part due to taking advantage of the donations going through a Canadian affiliate of the Foundation.[321] A FactCheck.org analysis stated that while the reports raised “legitimate questions about the Clinton Foundation and its donations,” the reports “presented no evidence that the donations influenced Clinton’s official actions.”[322] Asked about the issue in June 2015, the former secretary said of the State Department’s role in the approval, “There were nine government agencies that that had to sign off on that deal. I was not personally involved because that’s not something [the] Secretary of State did.”[323]

Use of private email server

Hillary Clinton email controversy

The controversy unfolded against the backdrop of Clinton’s 2016 presidential election campaign and hearings held by the United States House Select Committee on Benghazi. Some experts, officials, and members of Congress have contended that her use of private messaging system software and a private server violated State Department protocols and procedures, as well as federal laws and regulations governing recordkeeping. In response, Clinton has said that her use of personal email was in compliance with federal laws and State Department regulations, and that former secretaries of state had also maintained personal email accounts.In March 2015, it became publicly known that Hillary Clinton, during her tenure as United States Secretary of State, had exclusively used her family’s private email server for official communications, rather than official State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers. Those official communications included thousands of emails that would later be marked classified by the State Department retroactively.

After allegations were raised that some of the emails in question contained classified information, an investigation was initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding how classified information was handled on the Clinton server. 113 emails contained information which was classified at the time it was sent, though only a small number contained markings indicating they were classified, including 65 emails deemed “Secret” and 22 deemed “Top Secret.” Nearly 2,100 emails on the server were retroactively marked as classified by the State Department. Government policy, reiterated in the non-disclosure agreement signed by Clinton as part of gaining her security clearance, is that sensitive information should be considered and handled as classified even if not marked as such.

In May 2016, the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General released an 83-page report about the State Department’s email practices, including Clinton’s. On July 5, 2016 upon concluding its investigation, the FBI stated that Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling her email system but recommended that no charges be filed against Clinton. On July 6, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that no charges would be filed. On July 7, the State Department reopened its probe into the email controversy.


BlackBerry phones

Prior to her appointment as Secretary of State in 2009, Clinton and her circle of friends and colleagues communicated viaBlackBerry phones.[1] State Department security personnel suggested this would pose a security risk during her tenure.[2]The email account used on Clinton’s BlackBerry was then hosted on a private server in the basement of her home inChappaqua, New York, but that information was not disclosed to State Department security personnel or senior State Department personnel.[3] It proved impractical to find a solution, even after consulting the National Security Agency, which would not have allowed Clinton to use her BlackBerry, or a similarly unsecured device, linked to a private server in her home.[4] Setting up a secure desktop computer in her office was suggested, but Clinton was unfamiliar with their use[5] and opted for the convenience of her BlackBerry,[6] not the State Department, government protocol of a secured desktop computer. Efforts to find a secure solution were abandoned by Clinton,[4] and she was warned by State Department security personnel about the vulnerability of an unsecured BlackBerry to hacking.[7] She affirmed her knowledge of the danger, and was reportedly told that the Bureau of Diplomatic Security had obtained intelligence about her vulnerability while she was on a trip to Asia, but continued to use her BlackBerry outside her office.[8]

Domain names and email server

A screenshot of the Outlook Web App login page which is displayed when navigating tohttps://mail.clintonemail.com/owa

At the time of Senate confirmation hearings on Hillary Clinton’s nomination as Secretary of State, the domain names clintonemail.com, wjcoffice.com, andpresidentclinton.com were registered to Eric Hoteham,[9] with the home of Clinton and her husband in Chappaqua, New York, as the contact address.[10][11] The domains were pointed to a private email server that Clinton (who never had a state.gov email account) used to send and receive email, and which was purchased and installed in the Clintons’ home for her 2008 presidential campaign.[12][13]

The email server was located in the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York, until 2013, when it was sent to a data center in New Jersey before being handed over to Platte River Networks, a Denver-based information technology firm that Clinton hired to manage her email system.[14][15][16][17][18]

The server itself runs a Microsoft Exchange 2010[19][20] server with access to emails over the internet being delivered byOutlook Web App. The webpage is secured with a TLS certificate to allow information to be transmitted securely when using the website.

Prior to March 29, 2009, the webpage was reportedly[8] not secured with a certificate meaning information transmitted using the service may have been liable to interception.

Initial awareness

As early as 2009, officials with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) expressed concerns over possible violations of normal federal government record-keeping procedures at the Department of State under Secretary Clinton.[21]

In December 2012, near the end of Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, a nonprofit group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, filed a FOIA request seeking records about her email. CREW received a response in May 2013: “no records responsive to your request were located.”[22] Emails sent to Clinton’s privateclintonemail.com address were first discovered in March 2013, when a hacker named “Guccifer” widely distributed emails sent to Clinton from Sidney Blumenthal, which Guccifer obtained by illegally accessing Blumenthal’s email account.[23][24][25]The emails dealt with the 2012 Benghazi attack and other issues in Libya and revealed the existence of herclintonemail.com address.[23][24][25] Blumenthal did not have a security clearance when he received material from Clinton that has since been characterized as classified by the State Department.[26][27]

In the summer of 2014, lawyers from the State Department noticed a number of emails from Clinton’s personal account, while reviewing documents requested by the House Select Committee on Benghazi. A request by the State Department for additional emails led to negotiations with her lawyers and advisors. In October, the State Department sent letters to Clinton and all previous Secretaries of State back to Madeleine Albright requesting emails and documents related to their work while in office. On December 5, 2014, Clinton lawyers delivered 12 file boxes filled with printed paper containing more than 30,000 emails. Clinton withheld almost 32,000 emails deemed to be of a personal nature.[22] Datto, Inc., which provideddata backup service for Clinton’s email, agreed to give the FBI the hardware that stored the backups.[28] As of May 2016, no answer had been provided to the public as to whether 31,000 emails deleted by Hillary Clinton as personal have been or could be recovered.[29]

A March 2, 2015, New York Times article broke the story that the Benghazi panel had discovered that Clinton exclusively used her own private email server rather than a government-issued one throughout her time as Secretary of State, and that her aides took no action to preserve emails sent or received from her personal accounts as required by law.[30][31][32] At that point, Clinton announced that she had asked the State Department to release her emails.[33] Some in the media labeled the controversy “emailgate”.[34][35][36]

Use of private server for government business

According to Clinton’s spokesperson Nick Merrill, a number of government officials have used private email accounts for official business, including secretaries of state before Clinton.[37] State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said that: “For some historical context, Secretary Kerry is the first secretary of state to rely primarily on a state.gov email account.”[30] John Wonderlich, a transparency advocate with the Sunlight Foundation, observed while many government officials used private email accounts, their use of private email servers was much rarer.[38] Dan Metcalfe, a former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy, said this gave her even tighter control over her emails by not involving a third party such as Google and helped prevent their disclosure by Congressional subpoena. He added: “She managed successfully to insulate her official emails, categorically, from the FOIA, both during her tenure at State and long after her departure from it—perhaps forever”, making it “a blatant circumvention of the FOIA by someone who unquestionably knows better”.[30][39]

According to Department spokesperson Harf, use by government officials of personal email for government business is permissible under the Federal Records Act, so long as relevant official communications, including all work-related emails, are preserved by the agency.[30] The Act (which was amended in late 2014 after Clinton left office to require that personal emails be transferred to government servers within 20 days) requires agencies to retain all official communications, including all work-related emails, and stipulates that government employees cannot destroy or remove relevant records.[30]NARA regulations dictate how records should be created and maintained, require that they must be maintained “by the agency” and “readily found”, and that the records must “make possible a proper scrutiny by the Congress”.[30] Section 1924 of Title 18 of the United States Code addresses the deletion and retention of classified documents, under which “knowingly” removing or housing classified information at an “unauthorized location” is subject to a fine, or up to a year in prison.[30]

Experts such as Metcalfe agree that these practices are allowed by federal law assuming that the material is not supposed to be classified,[37][40] or at least these practices are allowed in case of emergencies,[31] but they discourage these practices, believing that official email accounts should be used.[30] Jason R. Baron, the former head of litigation at NARA, described the practice as “highly unusual” but not a violation of the law. In a separate interview, he said, “It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario—short of nuclear winter—where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business.”[31][41][42] Baron told the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2015 that “any employee’s decision to conduct all email correspondence through a private email network, using a non-.gov address, is inconsistent with long-established policies and practices under the Federal Records Act and NARA regulations governing all federal agencies.”[43]

May 2016 report from State Department’s inspector general

In May 2016, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General Steve Linick released an 83-page report about the State Department’s email practices.[44][45][46] The Inspector General was unable to find evidence that Clinton had ever sought approval from the State Department staff for her use of a private email server, determining that if Clinton had sought approval, Department staff would have declined her setup because of the “security risks in doing so”.[44] Aside from security risks, the report stated that, “she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,”[47] Each of these findings contradicted what Clinton and her aides had been saying up to that point.[48][49][50] The report also stated that Clinton and her senior aides declined to speak with the investigators, while the previous four Secretaries of State did so.[44]

The report also reviewed the practices of several previous Secretaries of State and concluded that the Department’s recordkeeping practices were subpar for many years.[44] The Inspector General criticized Clinton’s use of private email for Department business, concluding that it was “not an appropriate method” of document preservation and did not follow Department policies that aim to comply with federal record laws.[44] The report also criticized Colin Powell, who used a personal email account for business, saying that this violated some of the same Department policies.[44] State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the report emphasized the need for federal agencies to adapt “decades-old record-keeping practices to the email-dominated modern era” and said that the Department’s record-retention practices had been improved under the current Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Clinton’s successor.[44] The report also notes that the rules for preserving work-related emails were updated in 2009.[51]

Inspector General Linick wrote that he “found no evidence that staff in the Office of the Legal Adviser reviewed or approved Secretary Clinton’s personal system”, and also found that multiple State employees who raised concerns regarding Clinton’s server were told that the Office of the Legal Adviser had approved it, and were further told to “never speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again”.[52][53][54][55]

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon issued a statement saying: “The report shows that problems with the State Department’s electronic record-keeping systems were long-standing” and that Clinton “took steps that went much further than others to appropriately preserve and release her records.”[44] However, the Associated Press said, “The audit did note that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had also exclusively used a private email account…. But the failings of Clinton were singled out in the audit as being more serious than her predecessor.”[56] The report stated that “By Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the department’s guidance was considerably more detailed and more sophisticated, Secretary Clinton’s cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives.”[56]

Server security and hacking attempts

In 2008, before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, Justin Cooper, a longtime aide to Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, managed the system. Cooper had no security clearance or expertise in computer security.[57] Later,Bryan Pagliano, the former IT director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, was hired to maintain their private email server while Clinton was Secretary of State.[58][59] Pagliano had invoked the Fifth Amendment during congressional questioning about Clinton’s server. In early 2016, he was granted immunity by the Department of Justice in exchange for cooperation with prosecutors.[60] A Clinton spokesman said her campaign was “pleased” Pagliano was now cooperating with prosecutors.[61] As of May 2016, the State Department remained unable to locate most of Pagliano’s work-related emails from the period when he was employed by that department under Secretary Clinton.[62]

Security experts such as Chris Soghoian believe that emails to and from Clinton may have been at risk of hacking andforeign surveillance.[63] Marc Maiffret, a cybersecurity expert, said that the server had “amateur hour” vulnerabilities.[64] For the first two months after Clinton was appointed Secretary of State and began accessing mail on the server through her Blackberry, transmissions to and from the server were apparently not encrypted. On March 29, 2009, a “digital certificate” was obtained which would have permitted encryption.[8]

Former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael T. Flynn,[65] former United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates,[66][67] and former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael Morell[68][69] have said that it is likely that foreign governments were able to access the information on Clinton’s server. Michael Hayden, former Director of the National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agencysaid “I would lose all respect for a whole bunch of foreign intelligence agencies if they weren’t sitting back, paging through the emails.”[70]

Clinton’s server was configured to allow users to connect openly from the Internet and control it remotely using Microsoft’sRemote Desktop Services.[64] It is known that hackers in Russia were aware of Clinton’s non-public email address as early as 2011.[71] It is also known that Secretary Clinton and her staff were aware of hacking attempts in 2011, and were worried about them.[72]

In 2012, according to server records, a hacker in Serbia scanned Clinton’s Chappaqua server at least twice, in August and in December 2012. It was unclear whether the hacker knew the server belonged to Clinton, although it did identify itself as providing email services for clintonemail.com.[64] During 2014, Clinton’s server was the target of repeated intrusions originating in Germany, China, and South Korea. Threat monitoring software on the server blocked at least five such attempts. The software was installed in October 2013, and for three months prior to that, no such software had been installed.[73][74]

According to Pagliano, security logs of Clinton’s email server showed no evidence of successful hacking.[75] The New York Times reported that “forensic experts can sometimes spot sophisticated hacking that is not apparent in the logs, but computer security experts view logs as key documents when detecting hackers,” adding the logs “bolster Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that her use of a personal email account […] did not put American secrets into the hands of hackers or foreign governments.[63][75][76]

In 2013, Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazăr (“Guccifer“) distributed private memos from Sydney Blumenthal to Clinton onevents in Libya.[77][78] In 2016, Lazăr was extradited from Romania to the U.S. to face unrelated federal charges related to his hacking into the accounts of a number of high-profile U.S. figures,[79] pleading guilty to these charges.[80][81]

While detained pending trial, Lazăr claimed to the media that he had successfully hacked Clinton’s server, but provided no proof of this claim.[82] Officials associated with the investigation told the media that they found no evidence supporting Lazăr’s assertion,[83] and Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon said “There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell.”[84][85] FBI Director James Comey later stated in a congressional hearing that Guccifer admitted his claim was a lie. [86]

Classified information in emails

In various interviews, Clinton has said that “I did not send classified material, and I did not receive any material that was marked or designated classified.”[87] However, in June and July 2016, a number of news outlets reported that Clinton’s emails did include messages with classification “portion markings”.[88][89] The FBI investigation found that 110 messages contained information that was classified at the time it was sent. Sixty-five of those emails were found to contain information classified as “Secret”; more than 20 contained “Top-Secret” information[90][91] The FBI said that “a very small number” had classification markings.[90] According to the State Department, there were 2,093 email chains on the server that were retroactively marked as classified by the State Department at the “Confidential” confidential level.[92][93]

Of the 2,100 emails that contained classified information, Clinton personally wrote 104 and her aides wrote hundreds more.[44][94]

Inspector general reports and statements

A June 29, 2015 memorandum from the Inspector General of the State Department, Steve A. Linick, said that a review of the 55,000-page email release found “hundreds of potentially classified emails”.[95] A July 17, 2015 follow-up memo, sent jointly by Linick and the Intelligence Community (IC) inspector general, I. Charles McCullough III, to Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, stated that they had confirmed that several of the emails contained classified information that was not marked as classified, at least one of which was publicly released.[95] On July 24, 2015, Linick and McCullough said they had discovered classified information on Clinton’s email account,[96] but did not say whether Clinton sent or received the emails.[96] Investigators from their office, searching a randomly chosen sample of 40 emails, found four that contained classified information that originated from U.S. intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA).[96] Their statement said that the information they found was classified when sent, remained so as of their inspection, and “never should have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system”.[96]

In a separate statement in the form of a letter to Congress, McCullough said that he had made a request to the State Department for access to the entire set of emails turned over by Clinton, but that the Department rejected his request.[96][97]The letter stated that none of the emails were marked as classified, but because they included classified information they should have been marked and handled as such, and transmitted securely.[97]

On August 10, 2015, the IC inspector general said that two of the 40 emails in the sample were “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information” and subsequently given classified labels of “TK” (for “Talent Keyhole”, indicating material obtained by aerial or space-based imagery sources and NOFORN.[98] One is a discussion of a news article about a U.S. drone strike operation.[98] The second, he said, either referred to classified material or else was “parallel reporting” of open-source intelligence, which would also be classified.[98][99] Clinton’s presidential campaign and the State Department disputed the letter, and questioned whether the emails had been over-classified by an arbitrary process. According to an unnamed source, a secondary review by the CIA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency endorsed the earlier inspectors general findings concluding that the emails (one of which concerned North Korea’s nuclear weapons program) were “Top Secret” when received by Clinton through her private server in 2009 and 2011, a conclusion also disputed by the Clinton campaign.[100]

The IC inspector general issued another letter to Congress on January 14, 2016. In this letter he stated that an unnamed intelligence agency had made a sworn declaration that “several dozen emails [had been] determined by the IC element to be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, and TOP SECRET/SAP levels.” Other intelligence officials added that the several dozen were not the two emails from the previous sample and that the clearance of the IC inspector general himself had to be upgraded before he could learn about the programs referenced by the emails.[101][102][103]

On January 29, 2016, the State Department announced that 22 documents from Clinton’s email server would not be released because they contained highly classified information that was too sensitive for public consumption. At the same time, the State Department announced that it was initiating its own investigation into whether the server contained information that was classified at the time it was sent or received.[104]

In February 2016, State Department IG Linick addressed another report to Under Secretary of State Kennedy, stating his office had also found classified material in 10 emails in the personal email accounts of members of former SecretaryCondoleezza Rice’s staff and in two emails in the personal email account of former Secretary of State Colin Powell.[105][106]None of the emails were classified for intelligence reasons.[107] PolitiFact found a year earlier that Powell was the only former secretary of state to use a personal email account.[108] In February 2016, Clinton’s campaign chairman issued a statement claiming that her emails, like her predecessors’, were “being inappropriately subjected to over-classification.”[105][109]

FBI investigation

The State Department and Intelligence Community (IC) inspector generals’ discovery of four emails containing classified information, out of a random sample of 40, prompted them to make a security referral to the FBI’s counterintelligence office, to alert authorities that classified information was being kept on Clinton’s server and by her lawyer on a thumb drive.[96][97]As part of an FBI probe at the request of the IC inspector general, Clinton agreed to turn over her email server to the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as thumb drives containing copies of her work-related emails. Other emails were obtained by the United States House Select Committee on Benghazi from other sources, in connection with the committee’s inquiry. Clinton’s own emails are being made public in stages by the State Department on a gradual schedule.[110][111][112]

Clinton’s IT contractors turned over her personal email server to the FBI on August 12, 2015,[18] as well as thumb drives containing copies of her emails.[113][114] In a letter describing the matter to Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Clinton’s lawyer David E. Kendall said that emails, and all other data stored on the server, had earlier been erased prior to the device being turned over to the authorities, and that both he and another lawyer had been given security clearances by the State Department to handle thumb drives containing about 30,000 emails that Clinton subsequently also turned over to authorities.[115] Kendall said the thumb drives had been stored in a safe provided to him in July by the State Department.[115][115]

On August 20, 2015, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan stated that Hillary Clinton’s actions of maintaining a private email server were in direct conflict with U.S. government policy. “We wouldn’t be here today if this employee had followed government policy,” he said, and ordered the State Department to work with the FBI to determine if any emails on the server during her tenure as Secretary of State could be recovered.[116][117][118] Platte River Networks, the Denver-based firm that managed the Clinton server since 2013, said it had no knowledge of the server being wiped, and indicated that the emails that Clinton has said were deleted could likely be recovered. “Platte River has no knowledge of the server being wiped,” company spokesman Andy Boian told the Washington Post. “All the information we have is that the server wasn’t wiped.”[119] When asked by the Washington Post, the Clinton campaign declined to comment.[119]

In September 2015, FBI investigators were engaged in sorting messages recovered from the server.[120] In November 2015, the FBI expanded its inquiry to examine whether Clinton or her aides jeopardized national security secrets, and if so, who should be held responsible.[121][122]

In July 2016, the New York Times reported in the name of a “Justice Department official” that Attorney General Loretta Lynch will accept “whatever recommendation career prosecutors and the F.B.I. director make about whether to bring charges related to Hillary Clinton’s personal email server”, and added that “The F.B.I. is investigating whether Mrs. Clinton, her aides or anyone else broke the law by setting up a private email server for her to use as secretary of state.”[123]

Clinton maintained that she did not send or receive any confidential emails from her personal server. In a Democratic debate with Bernie Sanders on February 4, 2016, Clinton said, “I never sent or received any classified material.” In a Meet the Press interview, Clinton said, “Let me repeat what I have repeated for many months now, I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.” On July 2, 2016, Clinton stated: “Let me repeat what I have repeated for many months now, I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.”[124][125][126]

On July 5, 2016, the FBI concluded its investigation. FBI director James Comey read his statement live. Among the FBI’s findings were that Clinton both sent and received emails that were classified at the “Top Secret/Special Access Program level” and were classified at the time.[127] They found that Clinton used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, both sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. The FBI assessed that it “is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.”[127]

Comey stated that although Clinton was “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information”, the FBI was expressing to the Justice Department that “no charges are appropriate in this case.”[127]

On July 6, 2016, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers while secretary of state will be closed without criminal charges. [128] On July 7, the State Department reopened its probe into the email controversy.[129]

Journalists and experts

According to the New York Times, if Clinton was a recipient of classified emails, “it is not clear that she would have known that they contained government secrets, since they were not marked classified.”[87][96] The newspaper also reported that “most specialists believe the occasional appearance of classified information in the Clinton account was probably of marginal consequence.”[12] Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said that inadvertent “spillage” of classified information into an unclassified realm is a common occurrence.[12]

An August 2015 review by Reuters of a set of released emails found “at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails,” that include what the State Department identifies as “foreign government information,” defined by the U.S. government as “any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts.”[87] Although unmarked, Reuters’ examination appeared to suggest that these emails “were classified from the start.”[87] J. William Leonard, a former director of the NARA Information Security Oversight Office, said that such information is “born classified” and that “If a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by U.S. rules that is classified at the moment it’s in U.S. channels and U.S. possession.”[87] According to Reuters, the standard U.S. government nondisclosure agreement “warns people authorized to handle classified information that it may not be marked that way and that it may come in oral form.”[87] The State Department “disputed Reuters’ analysis” but declined to elaborate.[87]

The Associated Press reported that “Some officials said they believed the designations were a stretch—a knee-jerk move in a bureaucracy rife with over-classification.”[98] Jeffrey Toobin, in an August 2015 New Yorker article, wrote that the Clinton email affair is an illustration of overclassification, a problem written about by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in his bookSecrecy: The American Experience.[130] Toobin writes that “government bureaucracies use classification rules to protect turf, to avoid embarrassment, to embarrass rivals—in short, for a variety of motives that have little to do with national security.”[130] Toobin wrote that “It’s not only the public who cannot know the extent or content of government secrecy. Realistically, government officials can’t know either—and this is Hillary Clinton’s problem.[130] Toobin noted that “one of Clinton’s potentially classified email exchanges is nothing more than a discussion of a newspaper story about drones” and wrote: “That such a discussion could be classified underlines the absurdity of the current system. But that is the system that exists, and if and when the agencies determine that she sent or received classified information through her private server, Clinton will be accused of mishandling national-security secrets.”[130]

Richard Lempert, in an analysis of the Clinton email controversy published by the Brookings Institution, wrote that “security professionals have a reputation for erring in the direction of overclassification.”[131] Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, says that “The odds are good that any classified information in the Clinton emails should not have been classified,” since an estimated 50 percent to 90 percent of classified documents could be made public without risking national security.[131] Nate Jones, an expert with the National Security Archive at George Washington University, said: “Clinton’s mistreatment of federal records and the intelligence community’s desire to retroactively overclassify are two distinct troubling problems. No politician is giving the right message: Blame Clinton for poor records practices, but don’t embrace overclassification while you do it.”[131]

Responses and analysis

Clinton’s response

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill defended Clinton’s use of the personal server and email accounts as being in compliance with the “letter and spirit of the rules.” Clinton herself stated that she had done so only as a matter of “convenience.”[132]

On March 10, 2015, while attending a conference at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, Clinton spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes.[133] Clinton said that she had used a private email for convenience, “because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”[134][135] It was later determined that Clinton had used both an iPad and a BlackBerry while Secretary of State.[134][136][137][138]

Clinton turned over copies of 30,000 State Department business-related emails from her private server that belonged in the public domain; she later explained that instructed her lawyer to err on the side of disclosure, turning over any emails thatmight be work-related. Her aides subsequently deleted about 31,000 emails from the server dated during the same time period that Clinton regarded as personal and private.[139][140][141]

In a court filing in September 2015, attorneys from the United States Department of Justice Civil Division wrote that Clinton had the right to delete personal emails, noting that under federal guidelines: “There is no question that former Secretary Clinton had authority to delete personal emails without agency supervision — she appropriately could have done so even if she were working on a government server. Under policies issue both by the National Archives and Records Administration and the State Department, individual officers and employees are permitted and expected to exercise judgment to determine what constitutes a federal record.”[141][142]

Clinton has used humor to shrug off the scandal.[143][144][145] In August 2015, when asked by a reporter whether she had “wiped” her server, Clinton laughed and said: “What? Like with a cloth or something? I don’t know how it works digitally at all.”[146] In September 2015, Clinton was asked in an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show about the content of the emails. She laughed it off, saying there was nothing interesting and joking that she was offended people found her emails ‘boring’.[147]

Later responses by Clinton

Clinton’s responses to the question, made during her presidential campaign, have evolved over time.[130][148] Clinton initially said that there was no classified material on her server.[130] Later, after a government review discovered some of her emails contained classified information, she said she never sent or received information that was marked classified.[130] Her campaign also said that other emails contained information that is now classified, but was retroactively classified by U.S. intelligence agencies after Clinton had received the material.[149] See also the section above on the May 2016 IG report for a number of Clinton statements that were contradicted by the report, and how she and her supporters responded afterwards.

Campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said: “She was at worst a passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became deemed as classified.”[149] Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri has “stressed that Clinton was permitted to use her own email account as a government employee and that the same process concerning classification reviews would still be taking place had she used the standard ‘state.gov’ email account used by most department employees.”[98][150] Palmieri later stated: “Look, this kind of nonsense comes with the territory of running for president. We know it, Hillary knows it, and we expect it to continue from now until Election Day.”[14]

In her first national interview of the 2016 presidential race, on July 7, 2015, Clinton was asked by CNN‘s Brianna Keilarabout her use of private email accounts while serving as Secretary of State. She said:

Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate. Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing…. Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation. I had one device. When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system.[151]

On September 9, 2015, Clinton apologized during an ABC News interview for using the private server, saying she was “sorry for that.”[152]

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on September 27, 2015, Clinton defended her use of the private email server while she was secretary of state, comparing the investigations to Republican-led probes of her husband’s presidential administration more than two decades ago, saying, “It is like a drip, drip, drip. And that’s why I said, there’s only so much that I can control”.[153]

Clinton and the State Department said the emails were not marked classified when sent. However, Clinton signed a non-disclosure agreement which stated that classified material may be “marked or unmarked”.[154][155][156] Additionally, the author of an email is legally required to properly mark it as classified if it contains classified material, and to avoid sending classified material on a personal device, such as the ones used exclusively by Clinton.[157]

Clinton maintained that she did not send or receive any confidential emails from her personal server. In a Democratic debate with Bernie Sanders on February 4, 2016, Clinton said, “I never sent or received any classified material.” In a Meet the Press interview, Clinton said, “Let me repeat what I have repeated for many months now, I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.” On July 2, 2016, Clinton stated: “Let me repeat what I have repeated for many months now, I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.”[124][125][126]

Democratic response

In August 2015, the New York Times reported on “interviews with more than 75 Democratic governors, lawmakers, candidates and party members” on the email issue.[158] The Times reported that “None of the Democrats interviewed went so far as to suggest that the email issue raised concerns about Mrs. Clinton’s ability to serve as president, and many expressed a belief that it had been manufactured by Republicans in Congress and other adversaries.”[158] At the same time, many Democratic leaders showed increasing frustration among party leaders of Clinton’s handling of the email issue.[158] For example, Edward G. Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, a Clinton supporter, said that a failure of the Clinton campaign to get ahead of the issue early on meant that the campaign was “left just playing defense.”[158] Other prominent Democrats, such as Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut, were less concerned, noting that the campaign was at an early stage and that attacks on Clinton were to be expected.[158]

At the October 2015 primary debate, Clinton’s chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, defended Clinton, saying: “Let me say this. Let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right. And that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!” Clinton responded: “Thank you. Me too. Me too.” Clinton and Sanders shook hands on stage.[159][160] According to the Los Angeles Times: “The crowd went wild. So did the Internet.”[159][160] Sanders later clarified that he thinks Clinton’s emails is a “very serious issue”,[161] but that he thinks Americans want a discussion on issues that are “real” to them, such as paidfamily and medical leave, college affordability, and campaign finance reform.[160]

Republican response

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said, in a statement regarding the June 30 email releases, “These emails … are just the tip of the iceberg, and we will never get full disclosure until Hillary Clinton releases her secret server for an independent investigation.”[162] Gowdy, a Republican, said on June 29, 2015 that he would press the State Department for a fuller accounting of Clinton’s emails, after the Benghazi panel obtained 15 additional emails to Sidney Blumenthal that the department had not provided to the Committee.[163]

On September 12, 2015, Republican Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Johnson, chairmen of the Senate Judiciary andHomeland Security committees, respectively, said they will seek an independent review of the deleted emails, if they are recovered from Clinton’s server, to determine if there are any government related items among those deleted.[119] The Justice Department (DOJ), on behalf of the State Department has argued that personal emails are not federal records, that courts lack the jurisdiction to demand their preservation, and defended Clinton’s email practices in a court filing on September 9, 2015. DOJ lawyers argued that federal employees, including Clinton, are allowed to discard personal emails provided they preserve those pertaining to public business. “There is no question that former Secretary Clinton had authority to delete personal emails without agency supervision—she appropriately could have done so even if she were working on a government server,” the DOJ lawyers wrote in their filing.[119]

Comparisons and media coverage

Media commentators have drawn comparisons of Clinton’s email usage to past political controversies.[164] Pacific Standard Magazine published an article in May 2015, comparing email controversy and her response to it with the Whitewaterinvestigation 20 years earlier.[165]

In August 2015, Washington Post associate editor and investigative journalist Bob Woodward, when asked about Clinton’s handling of her emails, said they remind him of the Nixon tapes from the Watergate scandal.[166] On March 9, 2015, columnist Dana Milbank wrote that the email affair was a “a needless, self-inflicted wound” brought about by “debilitating caution” in “trying to make sure an embarrassing e-mail or two didn’t become public,” which led to “obsessive secrecy.” Milibank pointed out that Clinton herself had justifiably criticized the George W. Bush administration in 2007 for its “secret” White House email accounts.[167][168]

On Fox News Sunday, political analyst Juan Williams contrasted the media coverage of Clinton’s emails to the coverage of the 2007 Bush White House email controversy.[169]

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an editorial saying that “the only believable reason for the private server in her basement was to keep her emails out of the public eye by willfully avoiding freedom of information laws. No president, no secretary of state, no public official at any level is above the law. She chose to ignore it, and must face the consequences.”[170][171] Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry wrote in The Week that “Clinton set up a personal email server, in defiance or at least circumvention of rules, with the probable motive of evading federal records and transparency requirements, and did it with subpar security.”[172]

House Select Committee on Benghazi

On March 27, 2015, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, asserted that some time after October 2014, Clinton “unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean” and “summarily decided to delete all emails.”[173][174] Clinton’s attorney, David E. Kendall, said that day that an examination showed that no copies of any of Clinton’s emails remained on the server. Kendall said the server was reconfigured to only retain emails for 60 days after Clinton lawyers had decided which emails needed to be turned over.[175]

Subpoenas for State Department testimony

On June 22, 2015, the Benghazi panel released emails between Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal, who had been recently deposed by the committee. Committee chairman Gowdy issued a press release criticizing Clinton for not providing the emails to the State Department.[176] Clinton had said she provided all work-related emails to the State Department, and that only emails of a personal nature on her private server were destroyed. The State Department confirmed that 10 emails and parts of five others from Sidney Blumenthal regarding Benghazi, which the Committee had made public on June 22, could not be located in the Department’s records, but that the 46 other, previously unreleased Libya-related Blumenthal emails published by the Committee, were in the Department’s records. In response, Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill, when asked about the discrepancy said: “She has turned over 55,000 pages of materials to the State Department, including all emails in her possession from Mr. Blumenthal.”[177]

Republican Committee members were encouraged about their probe, having found emails that Clinton did not produce.[177][178] Clinton campaign staff accused Gowdy and Republicans of “clinging to their invented scandal.”[178]

Allegations of politicization

In response to comments made on September 29, 2015, by House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy about damaging Clinton’s poll numbers,[179] Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi threatened to end the Democrats’ participation in the committee.[180][181][182] Representative Louise Slaughter introduced an amendment to disband the committee, which was defeated in a party-line vote.[183] On October 7, the editorial board of The New York Times called for the end of the committee.[184] Representative Alan Grayson took step towards filing an ethics complaint, calling the committee “the new McCarthyism” and alleging that it violates both House rules and federal law by using official funds for political purposes.[185]Richard L. Hanna, a Republican representative from New York,[186] and conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly acknowledged the partisan nature of the committee.[187]

Clinton’s testimony at public hearing

House Select Committee on Benghazi – Hillary Clinton public hearing

On October 22, 2015, Clinton testified before the Committee and answered members’ questions for eleven hours before the Committee in a public hearing.[188][188][189][190]

The New York Times reported that “the long day of often-testy exchanges between committee members and their prominent witness revealed little new information about an episode that has been the subject of seven previous investigations…Perhaps stung by recent admissions that the pursuit of Mrs. Clinton’s emails was politically motivated, Republican lawmakers on the panel for the most part avoided any mention of her use of a private email server.”[188] The email issue did arise shortly before lunch, in “a shouting match” between Republican committee chair Trey Gowdy and two Democrats, Adam Schiff and Elijah Cummings.[188] Late in the hearing, Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, accused Clinton of changing her accounts of the email service, leading to a “heated exchange” in which Clinton “repeated that she had made a mistake in using a private email account, but maintained that she had never sent or received anything marked classified and had sought to be transparent by publicly releasing her emails.”[188]

Freedom of Information lawsuits

Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State

Judicial Watch, a nonprofit advocacy organization, filed a complaint against the Department of State in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on September 10, 2013, seeking records under the federal Freedom of Information Actrelating to Clinton aide Huma Abedin (a former deputy chief of staff and former senior advisor at the State Department).[191][192] Judicial Watch was particularly interested in Abedin’s role as a “special government employee” (SGE), a consulting position which allowed her to represent outside clients while also serving at the State Department.[191] After corresponding with the State Department, Judicial Watch agreed to dismiss its lawsuit on March 14, 2014.[191] On March 12, 2015, in response to the uncovering of Clinton’s private email account, it filed a motion to reopen the suit, alleging that the State Department had misrepresented its search and had not properly preserved and maintained records under the act.[191] U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan granted the motion to reopen the case on June 19, 2015.[193][194]

On July 21, 2015, Judge Sullivan issued supplemental discovery orders, including one that Clinton, Abedin, and former Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Mills disclose any required information they had not disclosed already, and promise under oath that they had done so, including a description of the extent Abedin and Mills had used Clinton’s email server for official government business.[195][196] On August 10, 2015, Clinton filed her declaration, stating “I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State”, and that as a result of this directive, 55,000 pages of emails were produced to the Department on December 5, 2014.[197][198][199] Clinton also said in her statement that Abedin did have an email account through clintonemail.com that “was used at times for government business”, but that Mills did not.[197][198][199] The statement was filed as Clinton faced questions over fifteen emails in exchanges with Blumenthal that were not among the emails she gave to the department the previous year.[198] She did not address the matter of those emails in the statement.[198] On September 25, 2015, several additional emails from her private server[200] surfaced that she had not provided to the State Department.[200][201][202] These emails between Clinton and General David Petraeus, discussing personnel matters, were part of an email chain that started on a different email account before her tenure as Secretary of State,[200][201][202] but continued onto her private server[200] in late January 2009 after she had taken office.[200][201][202] The existence of these emails also called into question Clinton’s previous statement that she did not use the server before March 18, 2009.[203]

In February 2016, Judge Sullivan issued a discovery order in the case, ruling that depositions of State Department officials and top Clinton aides were to proceed.[204] On May 26, 2016, Judicial Watch released the transcript of the deposition of Lewis Lukens,[205] on May 31, 2016, the transcript of Cheryl Mills,[206] on June 7, 2016, the transcript of Ambassador Stephen Mull,[207] and on June 9, 2016, Karin Lang, Director of Executive Secretariat Staff.[208] The testimony of Clarence Finney, who worked in the department responsible for FOIA searches, said that he first became curious about Clinton’s email setup after seeing the Texts from Hillary meme on the Internet.[209]

Jason Leopold v. U.S. Department of State

In November 2014, Jason Leopold of Vice News made a Freedom of Information Act request for Clinton’s State Department records,[210][211] and, on January 25, 2015, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to compel production of resposive documents.[210][211][212] After some dispute between Leopold and the State Department over the request, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered rolling production and release of the emails on a schedule set by the State Department.[213][214][215]

Over the next several months, the State Department completed production of 30,068 emails, which were released in 14 batches, with the final batch released on February 29, 2016.[216] Both the Wall Street Journal and Wikileaks independently set up search engines for anyone who would like to search through the Clinton emails released by the State Department.[217][218]

The emails showed that Blumenthal communicated with Clinton while Secretary on a variety of issues including Benghazi.[162][219][220][221]

Associated Press v. U.S. Department of State

On March 11, 2015, the day after Clinton acknowledged her private email account, the Associated Press (AP) filed suit against the State Department regarding multiple FOIA requests over the past five years. The requests were for various emails and other documents from Clinton’s time as secretary of state and were still unfulfilled at the time.[222][223][224] The State Department said that a high volume of FOIA requests and a large backlog had caused the delay.[222][225]

On July 20, 2015, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon reacted angrily to what he said was “the State Department for four years dragging their feet”.[225] Leon said that “even the least ambitious bureaucrat” could process the request faster than the State Department was doing.[226] On August 7, 2015, Leon issued an order setting a stringent schedule for the State Department to provide the AP with the requested documents over the next eight months.[224] The order issued by Leon did not include the 55,000 pages of Clinton emails the State Department scheduled to be released in the Leopold case, or take into account 20 boxes given to the State Department by Philippe Reines, a former Clinton senior adviser.[224]

Other suits and coordination of email cases

In September 2015, the State Department filed a motion in court seeking to consolidate and coordinate the large number of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits relating to Clinton and Clinton-related emails. There were at the time at least three dozen lawsuits are pending, before 17 different judges.[227][228]

In an U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia order issued on October 8, 2015, Chief U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts wrote that the cases did not meet the usual criteria for consolidation but: “The judges who have been randomly assigned to these cases have been and continue to be committed to informal coordination so as to avoid unnecessary inefficiencies and confusion, and the parties are also urged to meet and confer to assist in coordination.”[228]

In 2015, Judicial Watch and the Cause of Action Institute filed two lawsuits seeking a court order to compel the Department of State and the National Archives and Records Administration to recover emails from Clinton’s server. In January 2016, these two suits (which were consolidated because they involved the same issues) were dismissed as moot by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, because the government was already working to recover and preserve these emails.[229]

In March 2016, the Republican National Committee filed four new complaints in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stemming from Freedom of Information Act requests it had filed the previous year. These new filings brought the total number of civil suits over access to Clinton’s records pending in federal court to at least 38.[230]

In June 2016, in response to the Republican National Committee’s complaints filed on March 2016, the State Department estimates it will take 75 years to complete the review of documents which are responsive to the complaints.[231] It has been observed that a delay of this nature would cause the documents to remain out of public view longer than the vast majority of classified documents which must be declassified after 25 years.

Clinton Foundation and speeches
Further information: Clinton Foundation

Clinton standing behind lectern

Clinton in September 2014

When Clinton left the State Department she became a private citizen for the first time in thirty years.[417] She and her daughter joined her husband as named members of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation in 2013.[418] There she focused on early childhood development efforts, including an initiative called Too Small to Fail and a $600 million initiative to encourage the enrollment of girls in secondary schools worldwide, led by former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.[418][419]

Clinton also led the No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to gather and study data on the progress of women and girls around the world since the Beijing conference in 1995;[420] its March 2015 report said that while “There has never been a better time in history to be born a woman … this data shows just how far we still have to go.”[421] The foundation began accepting new donations from foreign governments, which it had stopped doing while she was secretary.[nb 15]

She began work on another volume of memoirs, and made appearances on the paid speaking circuit.[424] There she received $200,000–225,000 per engagement, often appearing before Wall Street firms or at business conventions.[424][425] She also made some unpaid speeches on behalf of the foundation.[424] For the fifteen months ending in March 2015, Clinton earned over $11 million from her speeches.[426]For the overall period 2007–14, the Clintons earned almost $141 million, paid some $56 million in federal and state taxes, and donated about $15 million to charity.[427] As of 2015, she was estimated to be worth over $30 million on her own, or $45–53 million with her husband.[428]

Clinton resigned from the foundation’s board in April 2015, when she began her presidential campaign, and the foundation said it would accept new foreign governmental donations from six Western nations only.[nb 15]

Clinton Foundation

Clinton Foundation
Clinton Foundation logo.png
Founded 1997; 19 years ago[1]
2001 (as William J. Clinton Foundation)[2]
2013 (as Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation)
Founder Bill Clinton, former President of the United States
Purpose Humanitarian
  • New York City
Area served
Key people
Bill Clinton (2001–present)
Hillary Clinton (2013–15)
Chelsea Clinton (2011–present)
Donna Shalala (president, 2015–present)
Eric Braverman (president, 2013–2015)
Bruce Lindsey (president, 2004–2011)
Ira Magaziner (head of Clinton Health Access Initiative)
Doug Band (originator of Clinton Global Initiative)
$214 million in 2012;[2]
$262 million in 2013[3]
$223 million in 2015[1]
350 in 2013[2]
2,000 in 2015[1]
Mission “To bring people together to take on the biggest challenges of the 21st century”
Website www.clintonfoundation.org

The Clinton Foundation encompasses a number of different efforts and entities, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI, spun off into a separate but related organization in 2010), the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI, split off after 2009 but reintegrated after 2013), Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), the Clinton Development Initiative (CDI), the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative, the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the No Ceilings Project.The Clinton Foundation (founded in 1997 as the William J. Clinton Foundation,[4] and called during 2013–15 the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation[5]) is a nonprofit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code. It was established by former President of the United States Bill Clinton with the stated mission to “strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.” The Foundation focuses on improving global health and wellness, increasingopportunity for women and girls, reducing childhood obesity and preventable diseases, creating economic opportunity and growth, and helping communities address the effects of climate change. The Foundation works principally through partnerships with like-minded individuals, organizations, corporations, and governments, often serving as an incubator for new policies and programs. Its offices are located in New York City and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Through 2016 the foundation had raised an estimated $2 billion from U.S. corporations, foreign governments and corporations, political donors, and various other groups and individuals,”[3] and the acceptance of funds from wealthy donors has been controversial at times.[3][6] The foundation “has won accolades from philanthropy experts and has drawn bipartisan support, with members of the George W. Bush administration often participating in its programs.”[3]

Charitable grants are not a major focus of the Clinton Foundation, which instead keeps most of its money in house and hires staff to carry out its own humanitarian programs.[7] Because of this unusual structure for a foundation,Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog, has said it does not have a methodology to rate the Clinton Foundation.[7] Consequently, they added the foundation to their charity “watch list” in April 2015; it was removed from the “watch list” in December 2015 after the charity posted amended tax returns and a public memo on its website.[8] A different charity monitor, the American Institute of Philanthropy, says that 89 percent of the foundation’s money goes toward its charitable mission and gave the foundation an A rating for 2013.[1]

Questions have been raised about the foundation’s financial practices, about its fundraising from foreign governments and corporations, about the transparency of its reporting of its donors, and about possible conflicts of interest between donations to the foundation and the actions of Hillary Clinton when she was U.S. Secretary of State during 2009–13 and in connection with her subsequent 2016 presidential campaign.


The origins of the foundation go back to 1997, when the president was focused mostly on the future Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.[1]

Bill Clinton founded the William J. Clinton Foundation in 2001 following the completion of his presidency.[2] Longtime Clinton advisor, Bruce Lindsey, became the CEO in 2004.[13][14] Later, Lindsey moved from being CEO to being chair, largely for health reasons.[13] Other Clinton hands who played an important early role included Doug Band,[15] and Ira Magaziner. Additional Clinton associates who have had senior positions at the foundation include John Podesta and Laura Graham.[2]

Most of the foundation’s successes came from Bill Clinton’s worldwide fame and his ability to bring together corporate executives, celebrities, and government officials.[2]Similarly, the foundation areas of involvement have often corresponded to whatever Bill Clinton suddenly felt an interest in.[2]

In 2008, a The New York Times article reported that a Canadian financier, Frank Giustra, flew Clinton on a luxurious jet to Kazakhstan in 2005 as part of a three-country philanthropic tour. The article implied that a statement Clinton made praising that nation’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, was linked to Giustra’s uranium company signing preliminary agreements for the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by the state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom. It also reported that in 2006, Giustra donated $31 million to the Clinton Foundation.[16]

In 2009, however, Forbes reported fact-checking the Times article and found that flight manifests showed the two arriving in Kazakhstan on separate dates, the deal was between private enterprises without a need for approval from the government, and Giustra maintained the deal was settled two weeks before Bill Clinton’s trip.[17][18]

Preceding Barack Obama‘s 2009 nomination of Hillary Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State, Bill Clinton agreed to accept a number of conditions and restrictions regarding his ongoing activities and fundraising efforts for the Clinton Presidential Center and the Clinton Global Initiative.[19] Accordingly, a list of donors was released for the first time in December 2008.[20]The list was large and included politically sensitive donors from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Blackwater Worldwide.[21]The foundation stated that the disclosures would ensure that “not even the appearance of a conflict of interest” would exist once Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.[21]

By 2011, Chelsea Clinton was taking a dominant role in the foundation and had a seat on its board.[2][22] To raise money for the Foundation, she gives paid speeches, such as her 2014 address at the University of Missouri in Kansas City for the opening of the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame, for which she was paid $65,000. The University had attempted to book Hillary Clinton, but reconsidered when they discovered her usual fee was $275,000. The University then booked Chelsea instead, with her fee going directly to the Clinton Foundation. A spokesperson for the Foundation said in 2015 that, “Unlike her parents’ talks, Ms. Clinton’s speeches are on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, and 100 percent of the fees are remitted directly to the foundation.”[23]

In 2013, Hillary Clinton joined the foundation following her tenure as Secretary of State. She planned to focus her work on issues regarding women and small children.[24][25] as well as economic development.[13] Accordingly, at that point, it was renamed the “Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation”.[2] Extra attention was paid to the foundation due to the United States presidential election, 2016.[2][13]

In July 2013, Eric Braverman was named CEO of the foundation.[14] He is a friend and former colleague of Chelsea Clinton from McKinsey & Company.[2][13] At the same time, Chelsea Clinton was named vice chair of the foundation’s board.[2][14]The foundation was also in the midst of a move to two floors of the Time-Life Building in Midtown Manhattan.[2]

Chelsea Clinton moved the organization to an outside review, conducted by the firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Its conclusions were made public in mid-2013.[13] The main focus was to determine how the foundation could achieve firm financial footing that was not dependent upon the former president’s fundraising abilities, how it could operate more like a permanent entity rather than a start-up organization, and thus how it could survive and prosper beyond Bill Clinton’s lifetime.[2][13] Dennis Cheng, a former Hillary Clinton campaign official and State Department deputy chief, was named to oversee a $250 million endowment drive.[2] The review also found the management and structure of the foundation needed improvements, including an increase in the size of its board of directors that would have a more direct involvement in planning and budget activities.[13] Additionally, the review said that all employees needed to understand the foundation’s conflict of interest policies and that expense reports needed a more formal review process.[13]

In January 2015, Braverman announced his resignation. Politico attributed the move to being “partly from a power struggle inside the foundation between and among the coterie of Clinton loyalists who have surrounded the former president for decades and who helped start and run the foundation.”[26] He was succeeded at first in an acting capacity by former deputy assistant secretary, Maura Pally.[27]

On February 18, 2015, The Washington Post reported that, “the foundation has won accolades from philanthropy experts and has drawn bipartisan support, with members of the George W. Bush administration often participating in its programs.”[3]

In March 2015, former Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration, Donna Shalala, was selected to run the Clinton Foundation going forward.[28]

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) was spun off into a separate organization in 2010.[2]

The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to strengthening integrated health systems in the developing world and expanding access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.[29]Organizations such as the Clinton Foundation continue to supply anti-malarial drugs to Africa and other affected areas; according to director Inder Singh, in 2011 more than 12 million individuals will be supplied with subsidized anti-malarial drugs.[30] As of January 1, 2010, the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, became a separate nonprofit organization called the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

CHAI strives to make treatment for HIV/AIDS more affordable and to implement large-scale integrated care, treatment, and prevention programs. Since its inception, CHAI has helped bring AIDS care and treatment to over 750,000 people living with HIV/AIDS around the world. Its activities have included AIDS care and treatment in Africa, including the brokering of drug distribution agreements. During President Clinton’s 2006 trip to Africa, CHAI signed agreements with several new countries. Over the course of the past year, CHAI has expanded its partner countries and members of the Procurement Consortium to over 70 including 22 governments, who are now able to purchase AIDS medicines and diagnostic equipment at CHAI’s reduced prices.

CHAI launched the Pediatric and Rural Initiatives in 2005 to focus on bringing AIDS care and treatment to those most often marginalized— children and those living in rural areas. CHAI also negotiated agreements that reduce the prices of second-line drugs and rapid diagnostic tests. In May 2007, CHAI and UNITAID announced agreements that help middle-income and low-income countries save money on second-line drugs. The partnership also reduced the price of a once-daily first-line treatment to less than $1 per day.[31]

In addition to drug access programs, CHAI also focuses on country operations, with programs that help governments with pediatric care and treatment, improving rural health care and human resources for health and the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT). In 2008, approximately 185,000 children benefited from increased access to infant diagnosis aided by the training of 8,500 health care workers who offered pediatric antiretroviral treatment (ART). 2008 also saw six PMTCT country programs launched which ensured that every HIV-positive pregnant woman in the program catchment area was provided with prevention, care and treatment services including counseling, testing and feeding recommendations.[6]

In the Summer of 2008, CHAI’s Executive Vice President, Inder Singh, announced the closing of cost-reduction agreements with several suppliers of malaria medication, which will be extended to CHAI partners as part of its care and treatment program.

The Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative’s work on the ground has been subject of some criticism. The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, wrote that governments and organizations in Africa and Asia that partnered with the Foundation expressed caution and alarm at the Foundation’s focus on treating a large number of patients with less regard for the importance of adherence, follow-up and quality of care.[32]

CHAI was spun off into a separate organization in 2010; Ira Magaziner became its CEO (he had been a key figure in theClinton health care plan of 1993).[2] Chelsea Clinton joined its board in 2011, as did Tachi Yamada, former President of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[2]

Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was founded in 2005 by President Bill Clinton. Doug Band, who was a key architect of Clinton’s post-presidency, was heavily involved in the formation as well.[15] Clinton has credited Band with being the originator of CGI and has noted that “Doug had the idea to do this.”[33] Band left his paid position at CGI in 2010,[2]preferring to emphasize his Teneo business and family pursuits, but remains on the CGI advisory board.[13] The overlap between CGI and Teneo, which Bill Clinton was a paid advisor with for a while, has drawn criticism at times.[2]

CGI is a non-partisan organization that convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Each year, CGI hosts an Annual Meeting in September, scheduled to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly. Throughout the year, CGI helps its members – primarily corporations, NGOs, and government leaders – maximize their efforts to create positive change. CGI is not a grant-making organization. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. As of 2013, CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.[34]

President of Brazil Dilma Rousseffopens Clinton Global Initiative Latin America in Rio de Janeiro, 2013

CGI meetings also include CGI University, an annual conference for college students, and CGI America, an annual event focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States. In December 2013, CGI hosted its first CGI Latin America meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

One of its major donors is Norway’s government—20 million Norwegian kroner per year as of 2013.[35]

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting is attended by heads of state, business leaders, nonprofit directors, prominent members of the media, Nobel Prize winners, and other notable global leaders. Attendees have included President Barack Obama, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Lance Armstrong, Lloyd Blankfein, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, former Vice President Al Gore, Ruchira Gupta, Paul Farmer, Wangari Maathai, Rupert Murdoch, Rex Tillerson, Jeff Gordon, and Muhammad Yunus. The 2009 Annual Meeting featured an opening address by President Obama and a closing address by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The 2010 Annual Meeting took place September 21–23, in New York City.

At the Annual Meeting, CGI members discuss major global issues, share ideas and knowledge about effective solutions, and form partnerships that enable them to enhance their work.

Commitments to Action

Each CGI member develops a Commitment to Action – a plan to take specific action to make the world a better place. Commitments generally fit within one of CGI’s nine tracks: The Built Environment, Education & Workforce Development, Energy, Environmental Stewardship, Girls & Women, Global Health, Market-Based Approaches, Response & Resilience, and Technology.

Commitments must be new, specific, and measurable, but beyond those three criteria, members have wide latitude to determine which actions to take. CGI then monitors the progress and success of these commitments throughout the year. Funding pledged through commitments does not come through CGI, and is not donated to CGI. Rather, organizations commit to raise and distribute money on their own.

Since 2005, CGI members have made more than 3,400 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.[36]

CGI University

In 2007, President Clinton launched CGI U, which expanded the successful model of CGI to students, universities, and national youth organizations. CGI U includes two days of plenary sessions and hands-on breakout sessions, followed by a day-long service project.

Since the first meeting in 2008, CGI U members have made more than 2,000 Commitments to Action in the areas of energy and climate change, global health, human rights and peace, and poverty alleviation.

At its inaugural meeting, CGI University was held in March 2008 at Tulane University in New Orleans. More than 600 attendees came together to inspire action on college campuses. In 2009, the meeting was held at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 2010 the CGI U meeting was held in April at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. CGI U was held in April 2011 at the University of California, San Diego[37] More than 1,000 individuals attended the event.[37] In 2012, at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Panelists included Jon Stewart, Madeleine Albright, and Vandana Shiva.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton with Alonzo Mourning during CGI University Day of Service in Miami, Florida.

Washington University in St. Louis hosted CGI U in early April 2013. The event featured Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Stephen Colbert, Jack Dorsey, Salman Khan, and many others.[38] The seventh annual CGI U conference was held at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, which included speakers such as Mayor Greg Stantonand U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.[39] The University of Miami hosted the 2015 CGI U conference, which featured notable individuals such as Shane Battier.[40] In 2016, the University of California, Berkeley hosted the ninth annual CGI U conference, which featured over 1200 student participants and notable guests such as Salman Khan (founder of Khan Academy) and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.[41]

CGI America

On June 13 and 14 of 2013, President Clinton hosted the third meeting of CGI America in Chicago, an annual event focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States.[42]This working meeting purportedly brought together leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors to develop solutions to increase employment, advance access to education and skills development, strengthen energy security, and promote an environment for business growth and innovation.

CGI International

Responding to increasing interest among business and governments around the world, President Clinton launched CGI International to supplement the Annual Meeting in New York with additional meetings in various regions of the globe.

In December 2008, President Clinton convened the first CGI International meeting in Hong Kong to address local, regional, and global challenges. The focus of the CGI meeting in Asia was on three main areas: education, energy and climate change, and public health. The two-day meeting attracted over 3,000 accredited delegates, a record number for a nongovernmental organization gathering in Asia.

Prominent participants included: business leaders such as Ajay Banga, Ronnie Chan, Victor Fung, Christopher Graves and Stephen S. Roach; government leaders such as Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Lee Kuan Yew, Nambaryn Enkhbayar, and Donald Tsang Yum Kuen; NGO heads such as Elisea Gozun, David Ho, and Xiaoyi Liao; thought leaders such as Maris Martinsons, Sugata Mitra, and Hong Zhang; and Surin Pitsuwan and Ban Ki-moon, the Secretaries-General of ASEAN and the United Nations, respectively.[citation needed]

Clinton Global Citizen Awards

The Clinton Global Citizen Awards are a set of awards which have been given by the Clinton Global Initiative every year since 2007.[43] The awards are given to individuals who, in the opinion of the Clinton Foundation, are “outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership”.[43] Past recipients of the award include Mexican business magnate and philanthropist Carlos Slim,[43] Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien,[44] Moroccan entrepreneurMohammad Abbad Andaloussi,[45] Rwandan President Paul Kagame,[46] Afghan women’s rights activist Suraya Pakzad,[47]Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández,[48] and Pakistani labour rights activist Syeda Ghulam Fatima.[49]

Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI)

“Building on his long term commitment to preserving the environment, President Clinton launched the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative (CCI) in August 2006, with the mission of applying the Foundation’s business-oriented approach to fight against climate change in practical, measurable, and significant ways.” [50]

Recognizing the opportunity to fight climate change in the world’s cities, CCI is working with 40 of the world’s largest cities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of large-scale programs, a purchasing alliance, and measurement tools to track progress and share best practices.

On August 1, 2006, the Foundation entered into a partnership with the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, agreeing to provide resources to allow the participating cities to enter into an energy-saving product purchasing consortium and to provide technical and communications support.[51]

In May 2007, CCI announced its first project which will help some large cities cut greenhouse gas emissions by facilitating retrofitting of existing buildings. Five large banks committed $1 billion each to help cities and building owners make energy-saving improvements aimed at lowering energy use and energy costs.[52]

At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced the 1Sky campaign to accelerate bold federal policy on global warming.[53] The 1Sky campaign supports at least an 80% reduction in climate pollution levels by 2050.

On May 19, 2009, CCI announced the global Climate Positive Development Program where it will work with the U.S. Green Building Council to promote “climate positive” city growth.[54]

Clinton Development Initiative (CDI)

The Clinton Development Initiative, originally the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, was formed in 2006 as a partnership between Scottish philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter‘s Hunter Foundation and former President Bill Clinton‘s Clinton Foundation to target the root causes of poverty in Africa and promote sustainable economic growth.[55]

The initiative will invest $100 million over the next 10 years in projects that will improve food security, clean water and sanitation, and quality health care. Right now, these programs are focused in Rwanda and Malawi, but can potentially be expanded to other countries in the future.

Together with the governments of these two countries, CDI has had such successes as helping farmers access fertilizer, disease-resistant seeds, irrigation systems, advanced planting techniques and micro-credit. This assistance has led to a record harvest in eastern Rwanda. CDI has also helped Partners in Health build new health care facilities in Neno, Malawi.

In 2007 and 2008, CHDI assisted in the training of thousands of farmers on advanced planting techniques, helped to strengthen the organization, operations and sales of Rwandan coffee manufacturers and Malawian cotton farmers and partnered with local governments in large-scale developments including irrigation, hospital and school projects.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Following his quadruple bypass surgery in 2004, President Clinton became even more outspoken about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the prevalence of childhood obesity in America. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association that is working to end the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States by 2010.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation includes The Healthy Schools Program, The empowerME Movement for youth leadership to fight obesity, an industry team working to make deals with food and beverage organizations (which is why The Alliance does not accept money from food and beverage companies), and a healthcare initiative.[56]

The Healthy Schools Program supports schools’ efforts to create healthier environments for students and staff. The Program provides hands-on and online support to schools, helping them to offer healthier food, more opportunities for exercise, and education on how to lead a healthier lifestyle. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which provided an initial $8 million to start the Healthy Schools Program, recently awarded a $20 million grant to expand the program to over 8,000 schools in states with the highest obesity rates.[57]

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Kid’s Movement known as The empowerME Movement empowers children to take charge of their own healthy lifestyles and be leaders in a movement for healthier living. empowerME focuses on engaging, educating and activating kids to eat better and exercise. The Kids’ Movement has inspired more than 2.5 million kids to make a pledge to go healthy.

At the industry level, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation struck agreements with major food and beverage manufacturers to provide kids with nutritional options, and established nutrition guidelines for school vending machines, stores and cafeterias to promote healthy eating. Some of the companies involved in these efforts are Coca-Cola, Cadbury plc, Campbell Soup Company, Groupe Danone, Kraft Foods, Mars and PepsiCo.[58][59]

The fourth initiative involves working with insurance companies and healthcare providers to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of childhood obesity.

Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative

President Clinton established the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative to help individuals and families succeed and business grow. The Foundation’s domestic efforts began in 2002 with the Harlem Small Business Initiative, which provided local business with pro bono consulting services. In 2007, CEO initiated the Financial Mainstream Program, which increases the access of unbanked populations to starter bank accounts and the Entrepreneur Mentoring Program, which pairs inner city entrepreneurs with successful business mentors. These new initiatives broadened CEO’s focus by promoting financial stability and money management skills and helping to develop sound business knowledge. As part of the Harlem Small Business Initiative, in August 2009 the foundation released a Harlem guide with Zagat Survey highlighting hundreds of local businesses in an effort to promote them to a wider audience and to attract additional economic development.[60]

International Initiatives:

The foundation is also endorsing economic opportunity programmes as part of the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Of note are programmes such as Porto Maravilha (revitalisation of the port area), Morar Carioca (urbanisation of all the favelas), UPP Social (development of social programmes in pacified favelas), the Rio Operations Centre (a nerve centre that monitors all municipal logistics), and the establishment of the BRT system (four express corridors for articulated buses that will connect the whole city).[61]

Significant along the path to economic opportunity is also the countdown towards Brazil’s involvement in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.[62]

Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative

Frank Giustra is a Canadian business executive sitting on the board of the Clinton Foundation. Launched in 2007, CGSGI describes itself as working with local communities, the private sector, governments and other non-governmental organizations to develop models for businesses to spur social and economic development as part of their operations in the developing world. CGSGI says it is focusing on market-driven development that creates jobs and increases incomes, and on enabling factors such as health and education.[citation needed]

CGSGI says it will focus on Latin America in its early phases, and anticipates expanding its work to additional countries to Latin America, Africa and beyond.

CGSGI says it has engaged in social and economic improvement including projects in health, education and business entrepreneurship and development. In 2008, CGSGI described itself as working to deliver health care and job training to people in rural areas.

Frank Giustra‘s involvement with the Clinton Foundation has been criticized by the International Business Times.[63]

Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI)

In November 2012, Bill Clinton announced the launch of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI). CHMI is a national initiative, building on the Clinton Foundation’s work on global health and childhood obesity, that works to improve the health and well-being of people across the United States by activating individuals, communities, and organizations to make meaningful contributions to the health of others. CHMI works to implement evidence-based systems, environmental and investment strategies, with the goals of ultimately reducing the prevalence of preventable diseases, reducing health care costs associated with preventable diseases, and improving the quality of life for people across America. CHMI works to activate individuals to lead healthier lives by providing a platform to access local, scalable solutions for healthy change agents; advance community health by closing gaps in health disparities and focusing efforts in under-served areas; and, engage the private sector through pledges to improve the health and well-being of the nation. These successes are showcased at the annual Health Matters conference, where national thought leaders convene to discuss ways in which individuals, communities, and corporations can contribute to the health of others. The Health Matters Conference is held every January in the Coachella Valley in partnership with the Humana Challenge golf tournament.[citation needed]

Disaster relief

The Foundation has funded extensive disaster relief programs following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit, President George W. Bush asked former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clintonto raise funds to help rebuild the Gulf Coast region. The two Presidents, having worked together to assist victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami, established the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund to identify and meet the unmet needs in the region, foster economic opportunity, and to improve the quality of life of those affected.[64] In the first month after the hurricane, the Fund collected over 42,000 online donations alone; approximately $128.4 million has been received to date from all 50 states and $30.9 million from foreign countries.

The foundation was again involved following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[2] Bill Clinton has spent considerable time in Haiti following that disaster.

No Ceilings project

In 2013, Hillary Clinton launched a partnership between the foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to gather and study data on the progress of women and girls around the world since the United Nations Fourth World Conference On Women in Beijing in 1995.[65][66] This is called “No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project.” [65][66] The Project released a report in March 2015.[67]


Around 2007, the Clinton Foundation was criticized for a lack of transparency. Although U.S. law did not require nonprofit charities — including presidential foundations — to disclose the identities of their contributors, critics said that the names of donors should be disclosed because Hillary Rodham Clinton was running to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Commentator Matthew Yglesias wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that the Clintons should make public the names of foundation donors to avoid any appearance of impropriety.[68]

A lengthy donors list was then released by the Foundation in December 2008,[20] which included several politically sensitive donors, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Blackwater Worldwide.[21] The Foundation insisted that the disclosures would ensure that “not even the appearance of a conflict of interest” would exist once Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.[21]

The ethics agreement between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation that was put into force at the beginning of the Secretary of State Clinton’s tenure came under scrutiny from the news media during February 2015. A Wall Street Journal report found that the Clinton Foundation had resumed accepting donations from foreign governments once Secretary Clinton’s tenure had ended.[69] Contributions from foreign donors who are prohibited by law from contributing to political candidates in the U.S. constitute a major portion of the foundation’s income. The foundation’s chief communications officer Craig Minassian explained that it is a “false choice to suggest that people who may be interested in supporting political causes wouldn’t also support philanthropic work.”[3] A Washington Post inquiry into donations by foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation during the secretary’s tenure found six cases where such governments continued making donations at the same level they had before Clinton became secretary, which was permissible under the agreement, but also one instance of a new donation, $500,000 from Algeria for earthquake relief in Haiti, that was outside the bounds of the continuation provision and should have received a special ethics review, but did not.[9] Foundation officials said that if the former secretary decided to run for president in 2016, they would again consider what steps to take in reference to foreign donations.[9] But in general, they stressed that, “As with other global charities, we rely on the support of individuals, organizations, corporations and governments who have the shared goal of addressing critical global challenges in a meaningful way. When anyone contributes to the Clinton Foundation, it goes towards foundation programs that help save lives.”[9] State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki attested that the foundation’s commitment to the ethics agreement in question “has been over and above the letter of the law”.[70]

In March 2015, Reuters reported that the Clinton Foundation had broken its promise to publish all of its donors, as well as its promise to let the State Department review all of its donations from foreign governments.[71] In April 2015, the New York Times reported that when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, the State Department had approved a deal to sell American uranium to a Russian state-owned enterprise Uranium One whose chairman had donated to the Clinton Foundation, and that Clinton had broken her promise to publicly identify such donations.[72] The State Department “was one of nine government agencies, not to mention independent federal and state nuclear regulators, that had to sign off on the deal.”[73] FactCheck.org notes that there “no evidence” that that the donations influenced Clinton’s official actions or that she was involved in the State Department’s decision to approve the deal,[74] and PolitiFact concluded that any “suggestion of a quid pro quo is unsubstantiated.”[73]

After her January 2009 appointment as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton proposed hiring long-time Clinton friend and confidant Sidney Blumenthal as an advisor, however, Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, blocked Blumenthal’s appointment at the State Department.[75] Blumenthal was subsequently hired by the Clinton Foundation and after the 2011 uprising in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi, Blumenthal prepared, from public and other sources, about 25 memos which he sent as emails to Clinton in 2011 and 2012 with advice regarding Libyan matters.[76][77]

Through 2016 the foundation had raised an estimated $2 billion from U.S. corporations, foreign governments and corporations, political donors, and various other groups and individuals.”[3] The foundation “has won accolades from philanthropy experts and has drawn bipartisan support, with members of the George W. Bush administration often participating in its programs,”[3] and much of its work has been “widely praised.”[6] At the same time, the “overlap between the Clintons’ political network and their charitable work” (mostly in the form of donors who contribute to both the Clintons’ political campaigns and to the foundation),[3] and the foundation’s acceptance of funds from wealthy interests, has been controversial.[3][6] Some ethics experts, such as Stephen Gillers of the New York University School of Law and philanthropy expert Joel Fleishman, suggest that an appearance of a conflict of interest (although not an actual conflict of interest) would be raised if Hillary Clinton serves as president while the Clintons continue to raise money for the Foundation, with Gillers saying that “If Bill [Clinton] seeks to raise large sums of money from donors who also have an interest in U.S. policy, the public will rightly question whether the grants affected United States foreign policy.”[6]

2015 State Department Subpoena

In February 2016, The Washington Post reported that the United States Department of State issued a subpoena to the foundation in fall of 2015. According to the report, the subpoena focused on “documents about the charity’s projects that may have required approval from federal government during Hillary Clinton’s term as secretary of state” and “also asked for records related to Huma Abedin, longtime Clinton aide who for six months in 2012 was employed simultaneously by the State Department, the foundation, Clinton’s personal office, and a private consulting firm with ties to the Clintons.”[78]

2016 presidential campaign

Clinton speaking at the Brown & Black Presidential Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, January 11, 2016

On April 12, 2015, Clinton formally announced her candidacy for the presidency in the 2016 election.[429] She had a campaign-in-waiting already in place, including a large donor network, experienced operatives, and the Ready for Hillary andPriorities USA Action political action committees, and other infrastructure.[430] The campaign’s headquarters were established in the New York City borough ofBrooklyn.[431] Focuses of her campaign have included raising middle class incomes, establishing universal preschool and making college more affordable, and improving the Affordable Care Act.[432][433] Initially considered a prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination,[429] Clinton has faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from self-professed democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whose longtime stance against the influence of corporations and the wealthy in American politics has resonated with a dissatisfied citizenry troubled by the effects of income inequality in the U.S. and has contrasted with Clinton’s Wall Street ties.[425][433]

Hillary Clinton, a 68-year-old white woman with blonde hair, holding a microphone and wearing a blue suit.

Clinton at an event inPhiladelphia on April 20, 2016

In the initial contest of the primaries season, Clinton only very narrowly won the Iowa Democratic caucuses, held February 1, over an increasingly popular Sanders,[434][435]making her the first woman to win the Iowa caucuses.[434] In the first primary, held in New Hampshire on February 9, she lost to Sanders by a wide margin.[436] Sanders was an increasing threat in the next contest, the Nevada caucuses on February 20,[437] but Clinton managed a five-percentage-point win, aided by final-days campaigning among casino workers.[438] She followed that with a lopsided victory in the South Carolina primaryon February 27.[437] These two victories stabilized her campaign and showed an avoidance of the management turmoil that harmed her 2008 effort.[437]

On March 1 (“Super Tuesday“), Clinton won seven of eleven contests, including a string of dominating victories across the South buoyed, as in South Carolina, by African-American voters, and opened up a significant lead in pledged delegates over Sanders.[439] She maintained this delegate lead across subsequent contests during the primary season, with a consistent pattern throughout being that Sanders did better among younger, whiter, more rural, and more liberal voters and in states that held caucuses or where eligibility was open to independents, while Clinton did better among older and more diverse voter populations and in states that held primaries or where eligibility was restricted to registered Democrats.[440][441][442]

By June 6, 2016, she had earned enough pledged delegates and supportive superdelegates for the media to consider her the presumptive nominee.[443] The next day, after winning most of the states in the final major round of primaries, Clinton held a victory rally in Brooklyn in which she became the first woman to claim the status of presumptive nominee for a major American political party.[444] By campaign’s end, Clinton had won 2,219 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 1,832; with an estimated 594 superdelegates compared to Sanders’ 47.[445] She received almost 17 million votes during the nominating process, as opposed to Sanders’ 13 million.[446]

Clinton was formally nominated at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016, becoming the first woman to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party.[447] Her opponents in the general election areRepublican Donald Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein, presumptive nominee of the