No couple is ingratiated in American politics quite like the Clintons. Bill and Hillary Clinton have been two of the most recognizable figures in the government landscape. for decades, and their personal lives have always been the subject of harsh scrutiny and close examination. However, the early days of their courtship, before he became the governor of Arkansas and she became a New York senator, they were just a young man and woman who saw each other on the Yale University campus.
Hillary was one of only 27 women in a class of 235 students at Yale Law School, according to ABC News. Friends called her studious and practical, while Bill was praised for his charm and sensitivity.
Hillary's friend Sara Ehrman says in William Chafe's biography of the couple, Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal, “He saw the side of her that liked spontaneity and laughter. He found her guttural laugh [appealing]: it’s fabulous — there’s nothing held back. The public never sees that side of her. When she’s laughing, that’s when she’s free.”
Though the couple has faced many political and personal stumbling blocks, they remain attached to one another and beloved by many Americans. Here are eight quotes about when they first met and fell in love.
When He First Saw Her
Bill says in his memoir that he first saw Hillary in a political and civil rights class, according to Slate.
She had thick dark blond hair and wore eyeglasses and no makeup. But she conveyed a sense of strength and self-possession I had rarely seen in anyone, man or woman.
On Her First Impression
Hillary seemed just as captivated with Bill as he was with her. She told Barbara Walters for ABC News:
There was a point at which … I still hadn't really met him, and I was sitting in the library, and he was standing just outside the door. He was looking at me, and I was looking at him. And I finally thought this was ridiculous, because every time I saw him on campus, I just couldn't take my eyes off of him, and he was always watching me.
When They First Met
Chafe's biography of the couple reveals how the two first met. At Yale University, Bill and Hillary would watch each other in the library until one day, she marched up to him, 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.
On Finally Meeting
Hillary introduced herself, and Bill told her his name, though he tells people that he couldn't remember it. Hillary told Walters:
It was an immediate attraction, and it was just a life changing experience to have met him.
On Their First Date
According to Bill's memoir, he saw Hillary in line for registration, and though he had already registered, he joined her. They started talking and then went to the Yale Art Museum because they both wanted to see an exhibit on Mark Rothko. She sat right on the lap of a Henry Moore sculpture. He wrote:
Before long, I leaned over and put my head on her shoulder. It was our first date.
Chafe's biography cites an interview with Hillary in which she said of that early time with Bill:
He was the first man I'd met who wasn't afraid of me.
On The Attraction
Hillary wrote in her own memoir about Bill's attractiveness. Fun fact: She really liked the shape of his hands. Hillary wrote:
His wrists are narrow and his fingers tapered and deft, like those of a pianist or a surgeon.
On Their Relationship Today
Hillary's book, Living History, shares a lot about her relationship with her husband. It says:
No one understands me better, and no one can make me laugh the way Bill does. Even after all these years, he's still the most interesting, energizing and fully alive person I have ever met. Bill Clinton started a conversation in the spring of 1971, and more than 30 years later we're still talking.
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