by Kati Marton
This year Hillary Clinton did something very rare for a politician: She won while losing. No, she didn’t reach the White House—but she motivated a new generation of women of every political stripe. Former GOP congresswoman Susan Molinari told Glamour, “I’m a Republican, but I’m also a mother of two girls, and now my daughters have no doubts that they could grow up to be president.”
Hillary (does anyone use her last name?) sometimes calls herself “the best-known person in the world whom you really don’t know.” As it happens, I know Hillary Clinton. Over the past decade I have spent a decent amount of time with her, partly because I interviewed her several times for a book I wrote about presidential marriages, and partly because my husband served in her husband’s cabinet. So I have seen her in the White House and the Senate, and as an honored guest at our home on close to a dozen occasions. Perhaps this middle distance—not part of Hillaryland and not a complete outsider—allows me a useful perspective on this trailblazing political pioneer.
She has always defied the odds—and her critics. As First Lady, when she was called down and out after the failure of her health care reform, she picked herself up and used her bully pulpit to become a global advocate for women and children.