12 Unexpected Hillary Clinton Facts To Get You Even More Jazzed About 2016
There's no question that Hillary Clinton has recorded many firsts. Having worked her way up from a small conservative family in suburban Illinois to become the country's top diplomat, Clinton has had a one-of-a-kind life that could be topped off with the biggest first of her life: the first female president of the United States. With her campaign now in full swing, here are a bunch of fun facts about Hillary Clinton that will, no doubt, leave you more excited than ever about her potentially historic presidential bid.
After her crushing defeat in the 2008 presidential primaries, Clinton told disappointed supporters in her concession speech that even if she couldn't nab the White House that time around, there would come a day when that "glass ceiling" would be broken.
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.
Like other first-name greats — Beyoncé, Madonna, Cher — Hillary is a gal that has had a long history of breaking barriers and raking in countless achievements. But like the rest of us, Clinton is more than just her job. Cheers to you Hillary! Let's crack that glass ceiling.
She was once a Republican
Clinton's politically conservative upbringing was largely due to her father Hugh Rodham's staunch Republican values. She volunteered for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign. She also was heavily involved with Republican student groups at Wellesley College but switched to the Democratic Party before graduating.
She delivered Wellesley College's first ever student commencement speech in 1969
At the request of her peers, Clinton was chosen by her peers to deliver the first graduation speech at the women's liberal arts college in 1969. She made a name for herself nationally after she criticized main speaker Sen. Edward Brooke over his speech, which suggested politically charged students should give up their protesting ways.
She was featured in Life magazine at the age of 22
Her graduation speech, which made headlines across the nation, prompted Life magazine to highlight the recent grad in a student speaker series. With her John Lennon glasses and inquisitive look, Clinton made a name for herself before ever stepping in public service.
She wanted to be an astronaut — and was rejected by NASA
During a 2012 event celebrating flying pioneer Amelia Earhart, Clinton revealed she had dreams of rocketing into space but was told NASA had no plans to employ women astronauts.
When I was about 13, I wrote to NASA and asked what I needed to do to try to be an astronaut. And of course, there weren’t any women astronauts, and NASA wrote me back and said there would not be any women astronauts. And I was just crestfallen.
She made the first move when it came to Bill
While they were both law students at Yale University, Hillary and Bill were aware of each other but never really talked. After she caught Bill staring at her in the library, she walked over and said, "Look, if we’re going to spend all this time staring at each other, we should at least get to know who the other is.”
She turned down Bill's marriage proposal a bunch of times
According to her book Living History, Clinton repeatedly rejected Bill's marriage proposals because she wasn't sure whether she was ready to move to Arkansas and feared she would lose her own identity. After a couple years, Bill took her to a house he secretly bought and asked if she would marry him so he wouldn't have to live there alone. In 1975, they were married in their living room.
She kept her maiden name for years
In what was considered at the time a major pioneering move for modern marriages, Clinton chose to keep her maiden name Rodham for nearly a decade. But after her husband lost his re-election bid for Arkansas governor in 1980, she officially took on the Clinton surname after polls showed voters were skeptical about their marriage.
She was part of the Watergate investigation inquiry that looked into President Richard Nixon's possible impeachment
In 1974, Clinton was one of three women on the staff of 43 lawyers who advised the House committee during the Watergate scandal. Their work led to Nixon's eventual resignation.
She was the first First Lady to have a post-graduate degree, a professional career, and an office in the West Wing
Clinton was listed twice as one of the hundred most influential lawyers in America in The National Law Journal. As a lawyer, she earned four times as much as Bill did with $188,547 in 1991, according to their income tax forms. She was also the first presidential spouse to have a prominent role in policy-making since Eleanor Roosevelt, according to PBS. One week into his presidency, Bill appointed Clinton to lead a task force for health care reform.
She won a Grammy
Clinton has more Grammys than Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, and Janis Joplin combined. Her audio book "It Takes A Village," which outlines how children can help contribute to the world, won her a Grammy Award in 1997 for the category of Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Album. Bill also won the award in 2004.
She has a winning recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
After her famous blunder about choosing a professional career over baking cookies at home during Bill's first presidential campaign, Clinton made amends by accepting a bake-off from Family Circle. She offered up an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe that beat Barbara Bush's.
She beat John McCain at a drinking contest
Who says there's no bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill? In 2004, Clinton's camp confirmed the then-senator of New York beat Arizona Sen. John McCain in a vodka shot contest during a trip to Estonia. She was declared the winner after four shots.
Images: Wellesley College; Getty Images (6)