A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton

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A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton was written by Carl Bernstein, an American investigate journalist who is most known for his work in the Watergate scandal. The 640-page book was published by Knopf on June 5, 2007.

Notable quotes

  • "In elementary school, Hillary became known as a teacher's pet, because of her desire to please, her willingeness to work hard, and her ability to stay alert."[1]
  • "Aside from her family, Hillary's Methodism is perhaps the most important foundation of her character."[2]
  • A former Wellesley classmate said, "It seems wildly tragic that we know she could have been president if she had just not even married him." [3]
  • Hillary said military expansion in Cambodia was an "unconscionable expansion of a war that should never have been waged."[4]
  • "She had a knack for making male friends, some of whom found her easier to talk to than Bill."[5]
  • "At one point Hillary threatened in a phone call to go to bed with somebody in Washington if Clinton persisted in his womanizing."[6]
  • Hillary said, "With the unexpected end of my work in Washington, I [could] give our relationship -- and Arkansas -- a chance."[7]
  • Bernstein wrote, "Hillary vented about Jimmy Carter, too -- and she has never been one to let go of grudges. Twelve years later, as Bill Clinton ascended to the White House she decreed that members of Carter's inner circle could not serve in a Clinton presidency.[8]
  • Bill Clinton said, "I was born at sixteen and I'll always feel I am sixteen. And Hillary was born at age forty."[9]
  • Dick Morris, adviser to the Clinton's said, "I've always said it's a shorthand that she loves Bill and Bill loves Bill, so they have something in common."[10]
  • According to a high official who worked closely with the Clinton's, "It's as if she thinks that there are some unpleasant compromises one makes when given the responsibility -- perhaps by God -- of leading the lesser lights to the Promised Land...She thinks she should be telling the 'little people' how to live. Some people react so strongly to her because they sense it about her. Even in the way she gives a speech. She talks sometimes as if she's explaining something to a third grade class."[11]
  • Bernstein wrote, "Permanent staff members generally preferred Hillary to the president, whom some of the help judged inconsiderate, rude, and un-presidential.[12]
  • Bernstein wrote about the health care reform attempts, "Hillary also tended to view anyone who criticzed her plan, even constructively, as an enemy.[13]
  • Bernstein wrote, "Bill was not the only Clinton locked in a golden cage after January 20, 1993. To an even greater extent perhaps, Hillary was finding herself a prisoner of the presidency."[14]
  • Bernstein wrote, "The first lady's social secretary was flabbergasted by Hillary's initial unwillingness to engage in the usual protocols of White House entertaining.[15]
  • "My view is Hillary Clinton destroyed the Democratic Party." -- Lawrence O'Donnell, Pat Moynihan's aide.[16]
  • "If [Bill] was going to go one way, she was going to go the other way. [Hillary] deliberately did not want to be anywhere near him at all. She watned nothing to do with him." -- An aide discussing the Clinton's relationship in Summer 1998.[17]
  • "My husband may have his faults, but he has never lied to me." -- Hillary speaking to Bob Barnett in 1998.[18]
  • "Well, Bill, this is your speech. You're the one who got yourself into this mess, and only you can decide what to say about it." -- Hillary to Bill while their team was crafting a response to the Lewinsky investigation and grand jury testimony.[19]

Chapter summaries

One: Formation

Topics discussed
Notable events
  • Hillary hears Dr. Martin Luther King speak in 1961.[20]
  • Hillary meets reverend Don Jones, the "most important teacher" in her life until she met husband Bill.[21]

Two: A Young Woman on Her Own

Topics discussed
  • Hillary's time at Wellesley College
  • Her struggles at Wellesley and how she coped with them.
Notable events
  • Hillary dated Geoff Shields for three years.[22]
  • Hillary is elected student president at Wellesley.
  • Met David Rupert while interning in Washington DC.

Three: Love and War at Yale

Topics discussed
Notable events

Four: Making Arkansas Home

Topics discussed
  • Hillary's decision to marry Bill for love and follow him to Arkansas.[23]
  • Hillary first met Bill's brother Roger, who thought Hillary "wasn't good looking enough" and bossed Bill around.[24]
  • Hillary's role on the Richard Nixon impeachment inquiry. Hillary was one of three female lawyers out of the 44 on the staff.[25]
  • The Clinton's roll in Cattlegate[26]
  • Hillary considers running for Governor of Arkansas in 1990.[27]
Notable events
  • Hillary first visits Arkansas in June 1973.[28]
  • Hillary moves alone to Cambridge.[29]
  • Hillary fails the DC bar exam in July 1973.[30]
  • Bill runs for election to the US House. Hillary lived in Washington, but phoned in daily advice to campaign managers.[31]
  • Hillary moves to Arkansas and teaches at the law school.[32]
  • Bill is elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978.[33]
  • Daughter Chelsea is born.
  • Bill loses re-election bid in 1980.
  • Hillary returned to work at the Rose Law Firm.
  • Bill runs for re-election in 1982. Hillary takes a front seat on the campaign team. Hillary changed her name from "Hillary Rodham" to "Hillary Clinton".[34]

Five: The Prize

Topics discussed
  • Bill's decision to run for president and whether their troublesome marriage and Bill's other women would be pried out during a campaign.[35]
Notable events
  • Bill runs for president and is elected in 1992. Hillary plays a vital role in his election campaign.[36]
  • Bill has a heated argument during a debate with fellow Democratic presidential candidate Jerry Brown, after Brown attacked Clinton's "electability."[37]
  • Hillary is depicted as a radical feminist by Pat Buchanan at the Republican convention in August 1992.[38]

Six: A Transitional Woman

Topics discussed
  • Hillary's role during Bill's presidency.[39]
  • The manner in which the Clinton's would appoint cabinet members to their administration.[40]
Notable events
  • Hillary is discussed as the lead candidate for a task force on reshaping health care[41]

Seven: Inauguration

Topics discussed
  • Hillary helped Bill write his inauguration speech, which would "pledge that the Clinton administration be the most open and ethical in history."[42]
  • The public perception of how active Hillary should be in the White House administration.[43]
Notable events
  • Bill is inaugurated and the family moves into the White House[44]

Eight: Settling In

Topics discussed
  • First hundred days of the Clinton presidency
  • How the administration would deal with the budget
Notable events
  • Hillary ordered that the corridor that gave reporters access to the West Wing be closed off -- which locked reporters in the White House cellar.[45]
  • Hillary is appointed head of the health care task force.

Nine: Portrait of a First Lady

Topics discussed
  • The interaction between the Clinton family and Dick Morris between 1978-1996.[46]
  • Hillary's image as First Lady.
Notable events
  • Hillary delivers a lecture at Camp David which is termed one of the "defining moments of the Clinton presidency," in which she outlined goals and objectives for the administration.[47]

10: A Downhill Path

Topics discussed
  • The difference in approach to White House personnel staff between the Bush presidency and the Clinton presidency.[48]
  • Hillary's relationship with Vince Foster.
Notable events
  • Chicago Sun Times columnist Bill Zwecker publishes a column alleging Hillary threw a lamp at Bill during an argument.[49]
  • The Secret Service detailed assigned to the presidential family is changed following the leak. The agents began to stay out of Hillary's way.[50]

11: Health Care

Topics discussed
  • The Clinton administration's attempt to establish universal healthcare.
  • Hillary said she and the President would make the 1994 midterm elections a vote about healthcare.[51]
Notable events
  • Bill began placating Hillary more often and became caught at times between her and his advisers.[52]
  • Gephardt and George Mitchell warned Hillary and Bill that it would be impossible to pass a budget and healthcare reform prior to the 1994 elections. The Clintons ignored the advice.[53]

12: The Politics of Meaning...and Family

Topics discussed
  • Hillary's relationship with her father and his failing health.
  • The impact of Hillary's absence from the White House, which she found on "disarray" upon her return.[54]
Notable events
  • Hugh Rodham has a stroke on March 19, 1993.[55]
  • Hillary delivers a sermon about her faith on April 6 at a church in Austin, Texas.[56]

13: The Cruel Season

Topics discussed
  • The evolving state of Hillary's healthcare plan.
  • Hillary's personality and its interaction with living in the White House.
  • The impact of Hillary's faith when she was under duress.
  • The loyalty of Hillary's staff.
  • The last month of Vince Foster's life.
Notable events
  • Clinton's host their first state dinner -- on January 30, 1993 for the nation's governors. The next dinner takes place 10 months later.[57]
  • Sally Quinn pens an attack piece against the Clintons that runs in Newsweek.[58]
  • Seven members of the travel office are fired in what is considered the first ethics controversy of the Clinton presidency.[59]
  • Close associate Vince Foster is found dead on July 20, 1993.

14: Not a Crook, Not a Degenerate

Topics discussed
  • The Clintons role in the Whitewater scandal.
  • Whether the health care proposals could survive a Whitewater inquiry.
  • Whether Bill would appoint a special prosecutor to handle the Whitewater investigation.[60]
Notable events
  • Two police officers from Arkansas allege stories of Bill's female exploits while Governor.[61]
  • Bill's mother, Virginia, passes away.[62]
  • Members of Congress demand Clinton turn over all papers from the Whitewater incident.[63]
  • Bill begins a tour through central Europe and the former Soviet Union.

15: Truth or Consequences

Topics discussed
  • Hillary's role in Whitewater.
  • Hillary tries to keep the country's focus on healthcare reform, rather than Whitewater, in the spring/summer of 1994.
  • Paula Jones relationship with Bill and the events in the summer of 1994.
  • Hillary feared that Chief Justice William Rehnquist and other "enemies" would "screw" the Clintons.[64]
  • Dick Morris's rise back into power after the 1994 elections.
  • Hillary spent less time in the White House after 1994 and more time resting and traveling.[65]
Notable events
  • Hillary's approval rating plummets from 56 to 44 percent in early 1994.[66]
  • Robert Fiske issues two reports on June 30, 1994. One, found that Vince Foster had committed suicide. The second, maintained that there was no evidence to charge anyone in the White House with intent to corrupt the RTC.[67]
  • On August 5, 1994, Kenneth Star is named to replace Fiske.[68]
  • Republicans sweep into control of Congress in 1994.

16: Truth or Consequences (2)

Topics discussed
  • The Clinton's and Susan McDougal.[69]
  • The relationship between the United States and China.[70]
  • Bill's second term and Hillary's "cynicism" as that term began.[71]
  • Hillary suggested to Bill that he not let Chief Justice William Rehnquist administer the oath for Bill's second term, owing to the political battles between the two.[72]
Notable events
  • Hillary attends UN's Fourth International Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995.[73]
  • Hillary testifies before a Grand Jury on January 26, 1996.[74]
  • Hillary met with Dick Morris every two weeks from July 1995 to August 1996.[75]
  • Hillary urged Bill to appoint her friend fellow Wellesley graduate Madeline Albright to the position of secretary of state after the 1996 election.[76]
  • Hillary meets with historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin at the White House.[77]

17: The Longest Season

Topics discussed
  • Bill's affair with Monica Lewinsky and the events surrounding the cover-up.[78]
  • Hillary's brothers believed the Lewinsky allegations to be true, and this caused some discontent between the two families.[79]
  • How Hillary handled Bill's admission of guilt and inappropriate behavior.[80]
Notable events
  • On January 21, 1998, the Washington Post ran a story that said Bill had urged Monica Lewinsky to lie about whether they had an affair.[81]
  • The Clintons take an 11-day trip to Africa, starting March 22, 1998.[82]

18: A Woman in Charge

Topics discussed
Notable events

See also

External links

References

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