While Hillary Clinton may be re-announcing her run for president of the United States on Saturday, she’s definitely not an unknown quantity in most Americans’ households. She’s been around quite a bit, and, while she may use that experience to pull her into the White House, it can be informative to look back at some of the more memorable moments in her over two-decade career in national politics. Clinton's quotes have encompassed quite a bit, from the sexual scandal that rocked her husband’s presidency to her support of women's’ rights to her vote to go to war in Iraq.
Here are a few notable statements from Clinton over the years:
"I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life."
Clinton said this in March of 1992, when her husband, Bill, was running for president. Especially in the early days, Clinton received a lot of backlash for her decision to continue her career as an attorney while Bill was the governor of Arkansas.
Clinton received her law degree from Yale in 1973. In the beginning, she interned for a civil liberties law firm and then was a lawyer for the Children’s Defense Fund. In 1974 she worked for special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee John Doar, who was in charge of the investigation that led to President Richard Nixon’s impeachment.
She taught at a law school before going into private law. She was named as a partner of Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1979. She kept the position while Bill was the governor of Arkansas, which made her the first first lady of Arkansas to continue working when her husband took the governor’s office.
“From my perspective, this is part of the continuing political campaign against my husband … I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings. The great story here for anybody willing to find it, 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.”
Clinton said this in January 1998 in response to reports that Bill Clinton had had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The Clintons were the targets of plenty of political controversy while in the White House, including sexual allegations like the Lewinsky scandal that led to President Clinton’s impeachment for lying under oath.
“I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote. I have had many disputes and disagreements with the administration over how that authority has been used, but I stand by the vote to provide the authority because I think it was a necessary step in order to maximize the outcome that did occur in the Security Council with the unanimous vote to send in inspectors.”
Clinton gave these remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations in December 2003. Her vote would later become a huge liability when public opinion of the war effort plummeted and she had to explain herself and her vote while campaigning against the young, anti-war Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary race.
“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 … and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”
In her June 2008 concession speech to Barack Obama, Clinton dropped this line to highlight the historic nature of her run and the progress women had made. Clinton received more votes in the primary than any woman had before her, garnering 18 million votes and losing to Obama by less than 1 percent in a very long and bitter primary.
“[M]any Senators came to wish they had voted against the resolution. I was one of them. As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake become (sic) more painful. I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”
Clinton wrote this in her 2014 memoir detailing her time as secretary of state.
“With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans—was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk one night and decided to 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.”
Clinton said this to Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to explore the attack and deaths at the U.S embassy in Libya. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the 2012 attack.