Living History

date Apr 12, 2007
authors Hillary Clinton
reading time 4 mins

Hillary Rodham Clinton - former First Lady of US, mother of Chelsea Clinton,  junior US Senetor for New York. I had a chance to read her own words about her life until the day she left the White House living history. You can get a glimpse of one chapter ’Bill Clinton’ right here.

I have listed a lot of extracts here… because each of them were really a strong lesson for me… enjoy…

On the decision for Bill to not run for Presidency earlier on:

Much has been written about the reasons for his decision not to run, but it finally came down to one word: Chelsea. Carl Wagner, a longtime Democratic activist and father of an only daughter, told Bill he would effectively turning his daughter into an orphan.

About mother-in-law and her relationship:

Eventually, Virginia and I grew to respect each other’s differences and developed a deep bond. We figured out that what we shared was more significant than what we didn’t: we both loved the same man.

During Bill’s presidential campaign:

If the first 44 years of my life were an education, the 13 month presidential campaign was a revelation. Despite all the good advice we has received and all the time Bill and I spent in the political arena, we were unprepared for the hardball politics and relentless scrutiny for his political beliefs and we had to endure exhaustive inspection of every aspect of our lives.

Some of public attacks and scrutinies on her:

Some of the attacks, whether demonising me as a woman, mother and wife or distorting my words and positions on issues, were politically motivated and designed to rein me in. Others may have reflected the extent to which our society was still adjusting to the changing roles of women. I adopted my own mantra: Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If the truth or merit in the criticism, try not to learn from it. Other, let it roll right off you. Easier said than done.

On being Chelsea’s mom:

On the other hand, I believed that being a mother was the most important job I ever had. If people didnn’t know that they certainly couldn’t understand us…. So, Bill and I established guidelines: When Chelsea was with us as part of our family - attending an event with Bill or me - the press would naturally cover her. But i would not agree to more articles or interviews that included her. This was one of the best decisions Bill and I made, and we stuck with it through the next 8 years.


The purpose of the investigations was to discredit the President and the Administration and slow down its momentum. It dind’t matter what the investigations were about; it only mattered that there were investigations. It didn’t mater tat we had done nothing wrong; it only mattered that the public was given the impression that we had. It dind’t matter that the investigations cost tax payers tens of millions of dollars; t only mattered that our lives and the work of the President were disrupted over and over again. Whitewater signaled a new tactic in political warfare: investigation as a weapon for political destruction.

Jackie’s advice to Hillary on Chelsea:

“You’ve got to protect Chelsea at all costs”, Jackie said. “Surround her with friends and family, but don’t spoil her. Don’t let her think she’s someone special or entitled. Keep the press away from her if u can, and don’t let anyone use her.”

Hillary and Chelsea:

I also had a chance to talk to Chelsea away from the fray. She is a bright and inquisitive, and I knew she was following the Whitewater saga in the news. I could tell she was torn between wanting to ask me about it and wanting to let me forget it. I was torn between wanting to share with her my frustrations about what was happening an wanting to shield her as much as possible, not only from political attacks, but also from my own outrage and disillusionment. This was a constant tug-of-ware and both of us had to work hard to keep our equilibrium.

Nelson Mandela’s inauguration…

… But here was Mandela, honoring 3 men who had held him prisoner.

When I got to know Mandela better, he explained that as a young man he had a quick temper. In prison he learned to control his emotions in order to survive. His years in jail had given him the time and motivation to look deeply into his own heart and to deal with the pain he found. He reminded me that gratitude and forgiveness, which often result from pain and suffering, require tremendous discipline. The day his imprisonment ended, he told me, “as I walked out the door towards the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in Prison.”