Hillary Clinton Quotes

Attorney, First Lady, Senator, and Presidential Candidate

Hillary Clinton

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Attorney Hillary Rodham Clinton was born in Chicago and educated at Vassar College and Yale Law School. She served in 1974 as counsel on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee which was considering impeachment of then-President Richard Nixon for his behavior during the Watergate scandal. She married William Jefferson Clinton. She used her name Hillary Rodham through Clinton's first term as governor of Arkansas, then changed it to Hillary Rodham Clinton when he ran for reelection.

She was First Lady during Bill Clinton's presidency (1993-2001). Hillary Clinton managed the failed effort to seriously reform health care, she was the target of investigators and rumors for her involvement in the Whitewater scandal, and she defended and stood by her husband when he was accused and impeached during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Near the end of her husband's term as President, Hillary Clinton was elected to the Senate from New York, taking office in 2001 and winning reelection in 2006. She unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, and when her strongest primary opponent, Barack Obama, won the general election, Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State in 2009, serving until 2013.

In 2015, she announced her candidacy once again for the Democratic presidential nomination, which she won in 2016. She lost in the November election, winning the popular vote by 3 million but losing the Electoral College vote.

Select Hillary Rodham Clinton Quotations

  • "There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard. There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives. There cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the lives of their country. We all owe so much to those who came before and tonight belongs to all of you. [July 11, 1997]"
  •  "Tonight's victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible. [June 7, 2016]"
  • "People can judge me for what I've done. And I think when somebody's out in the public eye, that's what they do. So I'm fully comfortable with who I am, what I stand for, and what I've always stood for."
  • "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."
  • "If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.
  • "The challenges of change are always hard. It is important that we begin to unpack those challenges that confront this nation and realize that we each have a role that requires us to change and become more responsible for shaping our own future."
  • "The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible."
  • "If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.
  • "The failure was principally political and policy driven, there were many interests that weren't at all happy about losing their financial stake in a way that the system currently operates, but I think I became a lightning rod for some of that criticism. [about her role, as First Lady, in attempting to win reforms in health care coverage]"
  • "In the Bible, it says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive, and he said 70 times 7. Well, I want you all to know that I'm keeping a chart.
  • "I have gone from a Barry Goldwater Republican to a New Democrat, but I think my underlying values have remained pretty constant; individual responsibility and community. I do not see those as being mutually inconsistent."
  • "I'm not some Tammy Wynette standing by my man."
  • "I have met thousands and thousands of pro-choice men and women. I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is not being pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is trusting the individual to make the right decision for herself and her family, and not entrusting that decision to anyone wearing the authority of government in any regard."
  • "You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion."
  • "When does life start? When does it end? Who makes these decisions?... Every day, in hospitals and homes and hospices... people are struggling with those profound issues."
  • "Eleanor Roosevelt understood that every one of us every day has choices to make about the kind of person we are and what we wish to become. You can decide to be someone who brings people together, or you can fall prey to those who wish to divide us. You can be someone who educates yourself, or you can believe that being negative is clever and being cynical is fashionable. You have a choice."
  • "When I am talking about "It Takes a Village", I'm obviously not talking just about or even primarily about geographical villages any longer, but about the network of relationships and values that do connect us and binds us together."
  • "No government can love a child, and no policy can substitute for a family's care. But at the same time, government can either support or undermine families as they cope with moral, social and economic stresses of caring for children."
  • "If a country doesn't recognize minority rights and human rights, including women's rights, you will not have the kind of stability and prosperity that is possible."
  • "I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration."
  • "We are Americans, We have the right to participate and debate any administration."
  • "Our lives are a mixture of different roles. Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is . . . For me, that balance is family, work, and service."
  • "I wasn't born a first lady or a senator. I wasn't born a Democrat. I wasn't born a lawyer or an advocate for women's rights and human rights. I wasn't born a wife or a mother."
  • "I will fight against the division politics of revenge and retribution. If you put me to work for you, I will work to lift people up, not put them down."
  • "I am particularly horrified by the use of propaganda and the manipulation of the truth and the revision of history."
  • "Would you tell your parents something for me? Ask them, if they have a gun in their house, please lock it or take it out of their house. Will you do that as good citizens? [to a group of schoolchildren]"
  • "I think it does once again urge us to think hard about what we can do to make sure that we keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals and mentally unbalanced people. I hope we will come together as a nation and do whatever it takes to keep guns away from people who have no business with them."
  • "We need to be as well prepared to defend ourselves against public health dangers as we should be to defend ourselves against any foreign danger."
  • "Dignity does not come from avenging insults, especially from violence that can never be justified. It comes from taking responsibility and advancing our common humanity."
  • "God bless the America we are trying to create."
  • "I have to confess that it's crossed my mind that you could not be a Republican and a Christian."
  • "Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world."
  • "In too many instances, the march to globalization has also meant the marginalization of women and girls. And that must change."
  • "Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process."

From Hillary Clinton's Nomination Acceptance Speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

  • "If fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the woman card, then deal me in!"
  • "Our country’s motto is e Pluribus Unum: out of many, we are one. Will we stay true to that motto?"
  • "So don’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak. We’re not. Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes. We do. And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.”
  • "None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone. America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger."
  • "Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come. Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit. So let’s keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves. Because even more important than the history we make tonight is the history we will write together in the years ahead."
  • "But none of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot."
  • "My primary mission as President will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States, from my first day in office to my last!"
  • "I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives."
  • "I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should."
  • "It’s wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other."
  • "I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs."
  • He spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd.
  • "In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it."
  • "Ask yourself: Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief? Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he’s challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally. Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."
  • "I can’t put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride."
  • "Strength relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power."
  • "I’m not here to repeal the 2nd Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place."
  • "So let’s put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job. We will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve."
  • "Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger. None of us can do it alone. I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we’ll ever pull together again. But I’m here to tell you tonight – progress is possible."
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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Hillary Clinton Quotes." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/hillary-clinton-quotes-3525393. Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2023, April 5). Hillary Clinton Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/hillary-clinton-quotes-3525393 Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Hillary Clinton Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/hillary-clinton-quotes-3525393 (accessed May 30, 2023).