Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Tuesday, January 27, 1998 Published at 19:54 GMT

Hillary Clinton stands by her man

The first lady has been loyal to her husband through thick and thin

Rumours of President Clinton's womanising have plagued the first family since he first sought public office in 1974, and Hillary Clinton has stood steadfastly by him throughout.

[ image: Gennifer Flowers: sold tapes of their phone conversations]
Gennifer Flowers: sold tapes of their phone conversations
In 1992 when Gennifer Flowers, a cabaret singer, claimed she had had a 12-year affair with Mr Clinton, it nearly destroyed his presidential chances.

Hillary Clinton rescued her husband by going on television to demonstrate her support, making the now famous reference to the country song 'Stand by your man'.

In the interview Mrs Clinton said: "I'm not sitting here, some little woman standing by her man. I'm sitting here because I love him and I respect him."

[ image: Paula Jones: pursuing the president through the courts]
Paula Jones: pursuing the president through the courts
Asked whether he had a 12-year affair with Ms Flowers, the president said the "allegations are false." But he admitted to having "caused pain" in the marriage.

Since then further scandals have put more pressure on the Clintons, and newspaper speculation that their marriage is a mere formality are rife.

Early days

At the time of her marriage, Hillary was one of the country's top lawyers, but since her marriage she has herself entered political life.

President Clinton appointed her to head his controversial health care reform in the early years of his presidency. This scheme was meant to provide all Americans with health insurance.

However both the scheme and Hillary's appointment were widely criticised. The reform failed to pass through Congress in 1993, and the following year the First Lady largely withdrew from public life.

However, she later became embroiled in the Whitewater property scandal. In January 1996, she was forced to stand before a federal criminal grand jury to answer questions about how some billing records that had been missing for several years reappeared in the offices of her law firm. For a while there was speculation that she would be indicted.

[ image: Hillary Clinton at a recent education initiative]
Hillary Clinton at a recent education initiative
More recently, she has returned to the public stage, and has been actively promoting education and childcare.

She recently wrote a successful book, 'It Takes A Village' about the way children need to be brought up in communities.

She has traveled abroad considerably in recent years, to India, Africa, China and Latin America, concentrating on promoting health, welfare and women's issues.

Her most visible role was at the UN's fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995, where she lashed out at the Chinese government's record on women's rights and human rights.

On a recent trip to Argentina, the First Lady took a particularly feminist line, winning plaudits from her female audience, but at home her feminist side has been toned down with more emphasis on the wider issue of the family.

She is also involved in the Millennium Program, a series of events to celebrate 2000.

Brief profile

  • Hillary Clinton was born in Chicago on October 26, 1947.

  • She was educated at Wellesley and Yale and was ranked as one of the nation's top young attorneys.

  • She married Bill Clinton in 1975.

  • They have one daughter, Chelsea, who is at Stanford University in California.

  • She headed a task force on education reform while her husband was Governor of Arkansas. She was First lady of Arkansas for twelve years in all.

  • Bill Clinton was re-elected President of the United States in November 1996. He is only the third Democrat this century to be elected to two terms of office.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Relevant Stories

30 Jan 98 | Talking Point
Analysis: What you think of Bill Clinton

Internet Links

Hillary Clinton's home page

White House

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Hillary Rodham Clinton Defence Forum

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.