Hillary Rodham Clinton
When Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at the Democrats' Chicago convention in August 1996, she laid out a handful of family-oriented policy initiatives for a second term. It was a signal that she was not going to fade into the woodwork.
Already, since the election, Mrs. Clinton has talked about working on welfare reform, as states move people off Aid To Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) and into jobs.
But Mrs. Clinton remains a deeply controversial figure. She stirs strong emotions, and as the first baby-boomer generation first lady, has struggled to work out what her role should be -- policy wonk sometimes, dutiful wife and mother at others.
In the Clinton Administration's first two years, Mrs. Clinton took an active role. The president appointed her to head his task force on national health care, which critics said gave her too much power. When that plan collapsed without a vote, she received much of the blame and retreated.
By February 1995, however, she began to work her way back into the spotlight, with a less sweeping agenda. She focused on issues concerning women and children, without proposing new government programs. She also launched a newspaper column, appeared at the Beijing Women's conference and wrote a best-selling book, "It Takes a Village."
But controversy and embarrassing news stories never seemed more than a step away.
Bob Woodward's book "The Choice" reported she had consulted with Jean Houston, a controversial New Age scholar who had conducted experiments with LSD and spiritual channeling in the past. In June 1996 the Senate Whitewater Committee issued a majority report harshly critical of her. And on Jan. 26, 1996, she established a dubious record -- the first first lady to testify before a federal grand jury, answering questions about Whitewater-related documents.
Aside from politics and policy, Hillary Clinton's other current project is aiding daughter Chelsea with the process of choosing a college.
Updated Jan. 31, 1997
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