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Politicians: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona

Synopsis: Hillary Clinton was born on October 26, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her law degree from Yale University and married fellow law school graduate Bill Clinton in 1975. After her husband became president, she served as first lady from 1993 to 2001. She became a U.S. senator in 2001. In 2008, she ran unsuccessfully for president. She became U.S. secretary of state, and in 2016, she became the first woman in American history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party. After a bitter campaign against the Republican candidate Donald Trump, Clinton lost in the general election that November.


Hillary Clinton was born Hillary Diane Rodham on October 26, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. She was raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

Hillary Rodham was the eldest daughter of Hugh Rodham and Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham. Her father was a wealthy fabric store owner.

As a young woman, Clinton was active in young Republican groups. She campaigned for the Republican presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, in 1964. She was inspired to work in public service after hearing a speech by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. She became a Democrat in 1968.

Education And Early Career

Clinton attended Wellesley College, where she was active in student politics and was elected senior class president. She then attended Yale Law School, where she met Bill Clinton, and graduated with honors in 1973.

Hillary Clinton worked at various jobs during her summers as a college student. In 1971, she first came to Washington, D.C. to work on a U.S. Senate subcommittee, and in the summer of 1972, she worked on the campaign of the Democratic presidential candidate, George McGovern.

She later taught at University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her Yale Law School classmate and boyfriend, Bill Clinton, also was teaching there.

Marriage To Bill Clinton

Hillary Clinton married Bill Clinton in 1975, and in 1980 they had a daughter named Chelsea.

In 1976, Hillary Clinton worked on Jimmy Carter's successful campaign for president while Bill was elected attorney general. Bill Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas in 1978 at age 32.

Hillary Clinton joined a law firm in Little Rock. As first lady of the state of Arkansas, she chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee and co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.

In 1988 and 1991, The National Law Journal named her one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in America.

First Lady

During Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton emerged as an active and valued partner of her husband. As president, he named her to head the Task Force on National Health Reform. The commission produced a complicated plan that was dropped in September 1994.

Senate Win And Presidential Run

In 2001, Clinton became a U.S. senator, becoming the first wife of a president to win public office. She was also the first woman to be elected to the Senate from New York. She easily won reelection in November 2006.

In early 2007, Clinton announced her plans to be the first female president. During the 2008 Democratic primaries, Clinton withdrew from the race when it became clear that Barack Obama would win the nomination.

U.S. Secretary Of State

Shortly after becoming president, Obama nominated Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. During her term, Clinton emphasized women's rights and human rights. She became one of the most traveled secretaries of state in American history, and promoted the use of social media to convey the country's positions.

The State Department, which Clinton headed, came under investigation after a deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, killed the U.S. ambassador and three others in 2012. An independent panel found leadership and management problems at the State Department.

Having said that she would only serve as secretary of state for one term, Clinton stepped down from the role on February 1, 2013.

Bid For 2016 Presidency

In June 2014, Clinton released "Hard Choices," a book about her life. The following year, it came out that she had used her personal email account to handle official government business while she was secretary of state. This revelation caused a big scandal.

She announced she would run for president in the spring of 2015.

Campaign Issues

On her campaign website, Clinton discusses a wide variety of issues she believes in. They include lowering student debt (the amount of money students owe for college loans), reforming the criminal justice system, improving healthcare coverage and women's rights.

However, Clinton is also known for changing her positions on various issues. She used to be against gay marriage, but now she supports it. Clinton has a plan to fight climate change, the heating up of the earth's climate. Yet she supports fracking, a way to extract natural gas from rock which some experts say is bad for the environment. Clinton is also in favor of the death penalty but claims it should only be used in unusual cases.

Email Scandal

After a yearlong investigation, the FBI announced in July 2016 that the agency would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton for her email practices. The director said there was no clear evidence that Clinton intended to break the law. He did say, however, that she and her staff members were "extremely careless" in handling secret information.

Clinton's email troubles resurfaced in October 2016. That month, FBI director James Comey revealed in a letter to Congress that officials had found new emails that appeared to relate to the now-closed investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server. The timing of Comey's letter, so close to Election Day, angered many.

On November 6, two days before the election, Comey wrote another letter. It stated that Clinton still should not face criminal charges, based on a review of the new emails. 

Making History

In July 2016, Clinton accepted her party's nomination for president, a historic achievement for women in the U.S. She became the first woman in the nation's 240-year history to be chosen by a major political party as its candidate for president.

Election Upset & Concession

On Election night, as the results rolled in, Clinton’s path to victory faded. Late into the evening her defeat became clear when Trump earned the required majority of electoral votes. Breaking with political tradition, she declined to give a concession speech when the race was called. Instead, she phoned Donald Trump to concede.

The following afternoon Clinton delivered an emotional concession speech. She congratulated Donald Trump and said she "offered to work with him on behalf of our country."

"Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election," Clinton told her supporters. "It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead."

As she continued, she acknowledged her painful defeat. Still, she encouraged her supporters to continue to participate in American democracy. “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it,” she said.

Clinton also addressed falling short of becoming the first female president of the United States. "I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling," she said, "but someday, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now."

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Anchor 1: What the Text Says

Which section highlights the idea that Clinton hasn't always been consistent on her policies?


"Education and Early Career"


"U.S. Secretary Of State"


"Campaign Issues"


"Email Scandal"

Anchor 1: What the Text Says

Which sentence from the article BEST explains why Hillary Clinton's campaign is significant?


In 2008, she ran unsuccessfully for president.


In 2001, Clinton became a U.S. senator, becoming the first wife of a president to win public office.


She became one of the most traveled secretaries of state in American history, and promoted the use of social media to convey the country's positions.


She became the first woman in the nation's 240-year history to be chosen by a major political party as its candidate for president.

Anchor 3: People, Events & Ideas

What is the MOST significant reason why some of the public want to criticize Clinton's legacy as secretary of state?


Clinton actively supported fracking to extract natural resources.


Clinton changed her positions on multiple issues.


Clinton was found to have made reckless mistakes.


Clinton was asked to step down as secretary of state after the attack on Benghazi.

Anchor 3: People, Events & Ideas

According to the article, which of the following MOST influenced Clinton to participate in politics?


being one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in America


meeting and marrying Bill Clinton


attending Wellesley College and Yale Law School


hearing a speech by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.


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