2016 was not the year that Hillary Rodham Clinton expected to hang up her political pantsuit. But now the fate of the U.S. is out of her hands; only the divisive legacy remains

 

An advocate for female progression

 

Hillary Clinton broke boundaries. During the White House years she was widely credited as being the puppet behind Bill’s fondly remembered presidency. In this respect, she was perhaps a rightful successor to Nancy Reagan in terms of her ability to manipulate ‘her Ronnie’.

She became the only First Lady (thus far) to seek elective office as senator after leaving the White House. Indeed, she became the first female to win the title for New York in 2000. In her 2008 run for president she won many more delegates than any other female competitor in history, before losing to Senator Obama.

In 2009 she became the third  female U.S. Secretary of State behind hawkish figures like Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice. In 2016, she rounded this off most famously by becoming what should have been a far more successful first female party nominee.

One may question whether her ability to become a ‘female role model’ was irrevocably compromised in the years she stood by her husband, letting him publicly humiliate her with mistress after mistress. Still, it cannot be denied that Clinton has broken down gender barrier after gender barrier.

However, as she famously retorted, the tallest of glass ceilings still remains to be broken.

 

Scandal: The White House Years and beyond

 

Troopergate, Travelgate, Whitewater, Vince Foster, Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Bosnian sniper fire, Benghazi, e-mail servers … the list of Clinton-involved controversies is long and memorable.

Indeed, it was these events that the Trump campaign capitalised on and that arguably cost her the presidency. For as long as Clinton has been in the political spotlight, she has been under the FBI spotlight too. It would be difficult therefore, to imagine any history book in fifty or a hundred years time that did not attach the word ‘controversy’ to Mrs Clinton.

 

International diplomacy: Secretary of State

 

In 2008, a phone call from President-elect Barack Obama was to transform Clinton’s legacy. By accepting his offer of becoming the 67th Secretary of State, Clinton became the most widely travelled diplomat to ever hold the cabinet.

Her expeditions in foreign policy ranged from diplomacy in Burma, to the somewhat painful mishap of ‘resetting’ negotiations with the Kremlin. Clinton, however, held office in the only way she knew how, with controversy right at her heels.

This time it concerned the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, with many circles still believing her to have his blood on her hands.

 

A tragic end

 

Few could be unmoved by watching Clinton’s concession speech on November 10. Attempting to inject some colour into what was otherwise a bleak, grey end to her political career, her pantsuit said it all.

Blame can easily be pointed at Mrs Clinton for Trump’s win. Just as easily, it can be pointed at the establishment that she so regrettably represented, or indeed at the fact that the president-elect was able to manipulate people’s lack of intelligence through blatant untruths.

Regardless, standing on that podium was a pale late-60s grandma who had just been slapped down by the people she had tried to represent for the past 30 years. If there is one thing that will cement the political life of Hillary Clinton, it is the way it tragically came to an end.

 

 

Image Source