Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was born on October 26, 1947 in Chicago, IL. The family moved to Park Ridge, IL, an affluent suburb of Chicago, when she was three. Her father (Hugh Rodham) was a successful fabric store owner and her mother (Dorothy Howell Rodham) was a homemaker. Hillary has two younger brothers, Hugh Jr. (born in 1950) and Tony (born in 1954).
She attended public schools in Park Ridge and participated in swimming and baseball and was also active in the Brownies and Girl Scouts. She attended Maine East High School where she was on the student council, participated in the school newspaper and was selected for the National Honor Society. She was active in young Republican groups and even campaigned for Barry Goldwater (the Republican presidential nominee) in 1964.
Redistricting required her to transfer to the Maine South High School for her senior year, where she was a National Merit Finalist in 1965 and graduated in the top five percent of her class.
After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Wellesley College, where she majored in political science. She was (believe it or not) president of the Young Republicans in her freshman year. She later stepped down as her views changed regarding civil rights and the Vietnam War.
In her junior year, she became a supporter of Eugene McCarthy and following the assignation of Martin Luther King, Jr.; she organized a two-day student strike and worked with black students to recruit more black students and faculty. At this point in her life she still hadn’t committed to either political party and sometimes worked for both.
She interned at the House Republican conference and was invited to help then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s campaign for the Republican nomination for the presidency. She even attended the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, but later became disenchanted by Richard Nixon’s portrayal of Rockefeller and left the Republican Party for good.
In 1969, she graduated from Wellesley with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Her senior thesis has been a matter of some discussion since it was written about Saul Alinsky, said to be the “father” of community organizing. Hillary wasn’t particularly supportive of Alinsky’s methods and there were several criticisms of his methods in her thesis. However, she did appear to have a friendly relationship with him, interviewing him twice and she was even offered a job by Alinsky (which she turned down). You can download her thesis (in .pdf) HERE.
Hillary then entered Yale Law School, where she served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Review. During her second year, she worked on cases of child abuse and provided free legal advice to the poor. Later she worked on issues related to migrant workers’ housing, sanitation, health and education.
In the spring of 1971 she began dating Bill Clinton, also a law student at Yale. That summer she interned at an Oakland, CA law firm that was known for its support of radical causes (two of its four partners were current or former Communist Party members). Bill joined her in California and they lived together while they were there. They continued that arrangement when they both returned to New Haven and law school.
She graduated with honors and received her Juris Doctor from Yale in 1973, having stayed on an extra year to be with Bill. He proposed marriage following their graduation, but she declined, “uncertain if she wanted to tie her future to his.” How ironic that statement was.
In 1974, Hillary was part of a team investigating President Richard Nixon’s cover-up of a break-in at the DNC headquarters at the Watergate office complex. She was subsequently released from her position and accused by the head of the investigating committee as being a liar; of being dishonest and unethical, and conspiring to violate the Constitution and she conspired to deny Nixon’s right to counsel during the hearings. He also refused to give her a letter of recommendation.
After failing the D.C. bar exam, she took and passed the Arkansas exam and decided to follow Bill to Arkansas where he was teaching law at the University of Arkansas. She joined Bill as a faculty member at the U of A in Fayetteville, and also taught law there.
Hillary and Bill bought a house in the summer of 1975 and she finally agreed to marry him and she and Bill were married in October.
Although Bill had lost his try at a congressional seat in 1974, he was elected to be Arkansas’s Attorney General in 1976 and the couple moved to Little Rock, the state capital.
Then, in February 1977, Hillary joined the Rose Law Firm, a firm well known for having political and economic influence.
Following Bill’s successful bid to become the Governor of Arkansas in 1978, Hillary became First Lady. While looking to supplement the couple’s income, Hillary made a spectacular profit from trading cattle futures contracts. In ten months, a paltry $1,000 investment became $99,537 (a 9,987 percent profit). The likelihood of such a return on such an investment was close to lottery odds, twenty-four chances in a million.
Many were suspicious of Hillary’s luck since between 75 and 90 percent of commodity players lose money. She was also down by $60,000 at one point, but was not required to pay the margin (the usual practice). The New York Post explained, “There is no way that the commodity exchange or a broker would permit a novice speculator to control $280,000 worth of cattle with a skimpy investment of $1,000. Not, that is, unless a friend, guardian or partner guaranteed her investment.”
Speculation ensued that someone wanted the couple to have that cash windfall in exchange for buying influence with the governor. Many have suggested that the culprit was Don Tyson, of chicken company fame, who did benefit greatly from state loans, tax breaks, and the relaxation of environmental rules over the next several years – of course, that was purely coincidental.
Also in 1978, the couple joined with James and Susan McDougal to borrow $203,000 to buy 220 acres of land in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. They formed the Whitewater Development Corporation intending to build vacation homes.
In 1980, Bill loses his bid for reelection for governor and reenters private practice. James McDougal quits his government job and buys a small bank. He loans $30,000 to Hillary to build a model home on one of the Whitewater lots. McDougal buys a small savings and loan and names it Madison Guaranty.
Then, after only two years as a private citizen, Bill is once again elected governor in 1982.
By 1984, federal regulators were questioning the financial stability and lending practices of Madison Guaranty, including insider-lending, hefty commissions paid to McDougal, and improper use of depositor funds.
Bill Clinton is elected again in 1984 (terms at that time were two years).
James McDougal hires the Rose Law Firm (where Hillary was now a partner) to perform legal work for his ailing savings and loan. McDougal borrows $300,000 from a company owned by David Hale, a former Little Rock judge. Hale’s company receives federal funds from the Small Business Administration to lend to disadvantaged business owners, but it is later found that he lent money to political figures instead. Citing improper practices, regulators remove McDougal as Madison Guaranty’s president, but he retains his ownership.
Witnesses from the Rose Law Firm testified that Hillary Clinton asked them to destroy the Madison Guaranty land contract files.
The federal government finally closes Madison Guaranty down and spends $73 million bailing it out. James McDougal is indicted on federal fraud charges related to his management of a Madison real estate subsidiary. He is later acquitted.
When Madison Guaranty failed, Hillary’s work at Rose was scrutinized for a possible conflict of interest in representing the bank before state regulators that her husband had appointed.
During the 1992 presidential campaign, independent counsel Kenneth Starr subpoenaed Hillary Clinton’s legal billing records from her time at Rose; but they somehow (magically) disappeared. She said she didn’t know where they were, but claimed she had only done minimal work for the bank.
Another interesting aspect of Hillary’s time with the Rose Law Firm was that Vince Foster and Webster Hubbell also worked there. Both names would later become well known to the public.
Foster and Hubbell moved to D.C. with the Clintons in 1992 when Bill was elected to the presidency. They were to infest the White House Counsel’s office with their “legal expertise.” Hubbell served as assistant U.S. attorney general before pleading guilty to overbilling clients at the Rose Law firm. Hubbell was later indicted, tried and convicted of tax fraud.
Vince Foster later turned up dead in Fort Marcy Park, triggering suspicions since he was a material witness for then-independent counsel Ken Starr’s Whitewater criminal investigation. Foster’s death was ruled a suicide.
No suicide note was initially found when his briefcase was searched and his effects removed. But, a suicide note miraculously appeared on July 26, 1993, supposedly in that very same (previously emptied) briefcase, and was held by the White House for some 30 hours before it was turned over to investigators.
The note (it was presumed to be a draft of a resignation letter) was found torn into 27 pieces in Foster’s briefcase after his death. The note was clearly missing a piece; so 27 of 28 pieces were recovered.
It certainly was a miracle that the White House was able to find a note in the previously emptied briefcase – and torn into 27 pieces no less. How did the original investigators miss those 27 bits of paper? That’s a real mystery. And why did Hillary et al wait for 30 hours before turning the 27 pieces of a “suicide note” over to investigators?
And isn’t it convenient happenstance that the note specifically absolves the White House from any misdeeds?
Another few thousand words could easily be written about the inconsistencies in the handling of the investigation of Foster’s death. At least ten witnesses changed stories, crime scene pictures disappeared, conflicting forensic evidence of a bullet trajectory wasn’t resolved , a mystery pathologist was present during the autopsy and was never identified, no official time of death was ever set, etc.
All in all, much too much to cover here, but it is an interesting subject to read about all by itself.
Mysteries and miracles seem to follow Hillary Clinton wherever she goes.
Following deputy White House counsel Vince Foster’s July 1993 suicide, allegations were made that Hillary Clinton had ordered the removal of potentially damaging Whitewater files from Foster’s office on the night of his death. In the end, no one pursued a case against Hillary and she escaped without indictment. Tarnished, but unindicted.
In 1993, another minor scandal erupted when Hillary was accused of firing employees of the White House Travel Office so that she could replace the staff with friends from Arkansas. This came to be known as “Travelgate.”
An Independent Counsel report later concluded that she was involved in the firings and that she made “factually false” statements (lied) to investigators, but she escaped prosecution (once more).
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”. Accusations were made that Hillary Clinton had requested these files and that she had recommended hiring an unqualified individual to head the White House Security Office.
The missing Whitewater records magically reappeared in the First Lady’s White House book room after a two-year disappearance and were delivered to investigators in early 1996. The delayed appearance of the records sparked another investigation concerning where they had been and how/why they surfaced.
Clinton’s staff attributed the problem to continual changes in White House storage areas since the move from the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. On January 26, 1996, Clinton became the first First Lady to be subpoenaed to testify before a Federal grand jury. 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
But investigators still believed that the damning records were wrongfully kept in Vince Foster’s White House office and were spirited out in the dead of night and hidden from the law for those two years.
The legendary New York Times columnist William Safire once wrote on the subject of Hillary Clinton and the missing records, “Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our first lady – a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation – is a congenital liar.”
“She had good reasons to lie; she’s in the longtime habit of lying; and she has never been called to account for lying herself or in suborning lying in her aides and friends,” Safire charged.
Even though issues about possible cover-ups in the Whitewater scandal and Vince Foster’s death are more than 20 years old, they laid the groundwork for many more conspiracy theories swirling around the Clintons. And they persist to this day.
In 1998, the Clintons’ relationship became the subject of much speculation when investigations revealed that the President had had extramarital relations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Events surrounding the Lewinsky scandal eventually led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton by the House of Representatives. The Senate declined to remove him from office.
When the allegations against her husband were first made public, Hillary Clinton stated that they were the result of a “vast right-wing conspiracy”, characterizing the Lewinsky charges as the latest in a long, organized, collaborative series of charges by Bill Clinton’s political enemies rather than any wrongdoing by her husband.
She later said that she had been misled by her husband’s initial claims that no affair had taken place. After the evidence of President Clinton’s encounters with Lewinsky became incontrovertible (via the DNA-stained blue dress), she issued a public statement reaffirming her commitment to their marriage, but privately was reported to be furious at him and was unsure if she wanted to stay in the marriage.
Hillary the saint, the pillar of goodness and purity, would stand by her man.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – Hillary pads her resume
And remember, as we consider the activities of our present White House occupant and the woman who wants to succeed him, these words of wisdom: “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the greatest liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” H.L. Mencken.
NOTE: The information contained in this report was gathered from many sources, including Wikipedia and the Washington Post.