What is Hillary Clinton most famous for? Inspiration to her fellow citizens?

What is Hillary Clinton most famous for? Inspiration to her fellow citizens?

Early mornings, late nights, endless hours of questioning, and traveling cross-country on a daily basis – all a day in the life of a Presidential candidate. But no, Hillary Rodham Clinton did not win the 2016 Presidential Election.

However, during the campaign and throughout her memoir, What Happened, Clinton keeps a positive mindset and shares her wisdom with people she meets along the way, as well as the reader. In her story, she describes the campaign process, along with the challenge of facing the unforgiving press; the citizens of America; and her notorious competitor, Donald J. Trump. By the end of the novel, the reader formulates certain understandings that they can instill in their daily lives. Regardless of the final result, Mrs. Clinton maintains her core values and realizations that people should apply in their decision making:

Rodham in Maine South High School‘s 1965 yearbook
Everyone makes mistakes, people should seize any given opportunity. And when something does not go one’s way, they must rebound and push beyond the event. 
The President, First Lady, and Chelsea on parade down Pennsylvannia Avenue on Inauguration day.

Everyone has an action in their past they wish they could change, and these flawed actions can affect us mentally. These flaws make people insecure about themselves, but there is only one way to overcome that feeling – to know that everyone has their own events just like that and there is more to a person than their mistakes. Virtually everyone is aware of what is likely Mrs. Clinton’s biggest flawed action – her email “scandal”. She addresses this issue in her novel, by expressing that

“[t]he truth is, everyone’s flawed. That’s the nature of human beings. But our mistakes alone shouldn’t define us” (Clinton 46).

One should be known for their triumphs and successes, not their errors. These errors only make someone human and represent the fact that there is no way to change someone’s actions. Although one cannot change their actions, they can do the best they can to keep their effects under control. Clinton describes a prime example of how not to act, referring to the current President:

“[Now we have a] President with a strategy of ‘never apologize when you’re wrong, just attack harder’” (120).

It is clear that when making a decision regarding a mistake, one should act in an orderly manner and apologize to anyone who takes offense. This allows one to feel at peace with their mistake and not be bombarded with criticism. In the end, it is important to make a decision that allows one to move past their mistakes in the least controversial way possible. 

Moving on, Clinton goes into detail about her decision to run for President, which reveals another understanding the reader develops through the novel – if an opportunity appears, pursue it. She knows there is the possibility of losing, but the prospective reward was far too high. When Clinton comments on her choice to run, she begins with:

Rodham (center) campaigning for Wellesley College Government President in 1968. An election which she later won
“There are things I regret about the 2016 campaign, but the decision to run isn’t one of them” (56).

Simply deciding to chase a goal will deliver a brand-new experience, whether one is successful or not. Furthermore, not reaching the goal may not be completely unfortunate. While Clinton says she will not run again, she will continue to campaign for other Democrats and fight for the causes she cares about (452). Even though she did not win, she can still make a difference, proving that she can still reach her goal. Imagine everyone in the country employing this ideology, where more people would take chances and succeed. Clearly, the odds of a negative outcome are minimal, therefore making it a logical idea to attack a new goal head-on.

Finally, the last thing everyone should implement into their lifestyle is a rule of having “skin as tough as a rhino”, which Clinton demonstrated throughout the campaign. To have thick skin means when someone makes an offensive statement or one faces a setback, they should simply ignore it.

Many of Clinton’s opponents would go as far as to describe her as “a ‘pathological liar’ and a member of ‘a crime family’…[as well as being] regarded by some as ‘the Antichrist’” (317).

2/22/1987 President Reagan Nancy Reagan Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Walking in Cross Hall during a dinner Honoring Nation’s Governors

People direct these comments at her all the time, but she does not let it aggravate her. Another example of this occurs moments after Clinton concedes the election, where she and her staffers realize that it is truly over:

“They were all in as much pain and shock as I was…everything we had worked for was gone” (386).

As previously stated, Clinton will continue to represent her beliefs, meaning she did not let her loss in the election defeat her. If everyone were to decide that minor things would not discourage and deter them, people would have more pride and be likelier to succeed. Overall, if people disregard derogatory comments and setbacks. And instead use them as motivation, they would be more inclined to work harder. 

Clinton in 1992

To bring it all together, identifying and accepting flaws, aspiring for and actively pursuing goals. And not letting setbacks get in the way are three crucial beliefs that should affect every decision one makes. Realizing that everyone has made harmful decisions is important. Nonetheless it is just as important to address them in a positive way to try and mend the error.

Clinton presenting her health care plan, September 1993

If everyone were to chase their dreams, so many people would be successful and could only result in a positive impact. Lastly, if someone did not let negative words or events hurt them. As a result, they would have more confidence and poise. Therefore, if one was to implement these three understandings into daily decision making, as elaborated upon in Hillary Clinton’s What Happened. They would lead a more prosperous life with far more self-confidence.

Written by Suneet Desai

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What is Hillary Clinton most famous for? Inspiration to her fellow citizens?


Work Cited Clinton, Hillary Rodham. What Happened. Simon & Schuster, 2017.

What is Hillary Clinton most famous for? Inspiration to her fellow citizens?