Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Hillary Rodham Clinton

American Attorney, First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination

"The challenges of change are always hard. It is important that we begin to unpack those challenges that confront this nation and realize that we each have a role that requires us to change and become more responsible for shaping our own future."

"There is no such thing as other people's children."

"All of us have to recognize that we owe our children more than we have been giving them. "

"We'll hold out our hand; they have to unclench their fist. "

"Let's not leave an educational vacuum to be filled by religious extremists who go to families who have no other option and offer meals, housing and some form of education. If we are going to combat extremism then we must educate those very same children. "

"You show people what you're willing to fight for when you fight your friends. "

"Freedom is never granted. It is earned by each generation… in the face of tyranny, cruelty, oppression, extremism, sometimes there is only one choice."

"A 2004 study found that teens who watch a lot of television with sexual content and more likely to initiate intercourse in the following year. Overexposure to highly-sexed television made kids act older--12-year-olds behaved like 14-year-olds. A decade of new research confirms that heavy exposure to violent and sexually explicit media triggers unhealthy responses from boys and girls alike, regardless of race. But we don't yet know the full effects of all this technology on our kids. CAMRA, the Children and Media Research Advancement Act, which I introduced in the Senate, would coordinate and fund new research into the effects of viewing and using electronic media, including television, computers, video games, and the Internet…"

"A number of schools around the country are incorporating the teaching of empathy & self-discipline--what social theorists call character education--into their curricula. In New Haven CT, a social development approach is integrated into every public school child's daily routine. Children learn techniques for developing & enhancing social skills, identifying & managing emotions like anger, and solving problems creatively. The program appears to raise grades as well as to improve behavior."

"Acting alone, minorities can never achieve the majorities necessary for political change."

"After many years of working with and listening to American adolescents, I don't believe they are ready for sex or its potential consequences--parenthood, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases--and I think we need to do everything in our power to discourage sexual activity and encourage abstinence. Young people can learn to value the intimacy of friendships with the opposite sex as well as their own, can enjoy being in groups as well as couples. Those kinds of relationships need adult support, including the time it takes to organize gatherings for kids, instead of turning them loose in malls, video arcades, or the streets. Homes, schools, churches, and communities should provide havens for kids who want an alternative. These same entities have to pitch in when it comes to educating kids about sex."

"All people deserve to be treated with dignity and have their human rights respected, no matter who they are or whom they love."

"And Israel is not only our ally; it is a beacon of what democracy can and should mean. If the people of the Middle East are not sure what democracy means, let them look to Israel."

"Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. When you stumble, keep faith. When you're knocked down, get right back up. And never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on."

"As First Lady, I worked with members of Congress in creating the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in the summer of 1997. It made a tremendous investment in the expansion of children's health insurance, and it has had tremendous results. Today, because of SCHIP the number of children who lack health insurance coverage has dropped from over 10 million in 1995 to some 8.3 million kids in 2005. However, the number of uninsured have grown in the general population over the last 10 years."

"As soon as Goals 2000 passed, it was attacked by extremists, who stirred up anxious parents with visions of totalitarian control over their children's minds and of secular humanists stealing their children's souls. What are these goals that promote such reactions: By 2000: All children in America will start school ready to learn. High school graduation rates will increase to at least 90%. All students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter. US students will be first in the world in science & math. Every adult will be literate and will possess the skills necessary to compete in a global economy. Every school will be free of drugs & violence. Teachers will have access to continuing education. Every school will promote partnerships with parents. These goals are hardly the stuff of revolution and are not likely to be fully achieved by 2000. We cannot expect to reverse decades of declining standards in a few years."

"At the end of the day, the American people are going to be faced with some very tough judgments, because, at the current course this president is pursuing, I'm afraid that the next president will inherit this situation, with all of its complexity and all of its heartbreak… And let's not kid ourselves. I think this administration is also focused on Iran. And I think we need to send a very strong message that an administration with its track record of failure, of arrogance, of refusal to listen and learn from the disastrous steps that have, unfortunately, been taken should not be rushing off and putting American service members in harm's way and possibly widening the conflict."

"Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality."

"Both the American people and nations that censor the internet should understand that our government is committed to helping promote internet freedom."

"As we learn more about the kind of intensive child care that gives our kids the best start, parents worry that their kids' care doesn't measure up. Our tax policies do not reflect the cost of raising children, which is why we should expand the child tax credit for the first year of a child's life to help parents stay home and give lower-income parents who receive government support for child care the option to sue the subsidies to cover the costs of staying home and caring for their own children. I want to see the Family and Medical Leave Act expanded so that all families who need it can use it without losing their jobs. It is past time for our national politics to do more than just talk about family values. We need to value families by helping them raise resilient, productive children."

"Competing visions of the role of government and the rights of individuals exist all along the political spectrum. Most of us hold a point of view that exists somewhere between the extremes. We may grumble about taxes, but we generally support programs like veterans' benefits, Social Security, and Medicare, along with public education, environmental protection, and some sort of social safety net for the poor. We are wary of government interference with private initiative or personal belief and the excessive influence of special interests on the political system. We respect the unique power of government to meet certain social needs and acknowledge the need to limit its powers."

"Clearly, we need more incentives to quickly increase the use of wind and solar power; they will cut costs, increase our energy independence and our national security and reduce the consequences of global warming."

"Don't confuse having a career with having a life. "

"Children are not rugged individualists. They depend on the adults they know and on thousands more who make decisions every day that affect their well-being. All of us, whether we acknowledge it or not, are responsible for deciding whether our children are raised in a nation that doesn't just espouse family values but values families and children."

"Caring for others is an expression of what it means to be fully human."

"Every nation has to either be with us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price."

"Countries that will not tax their elite who expect us to come in and help them serve their people are just not going to get the kind of help from us that historically they may have."

"Every child needs a champion. "

"Eleanor Roosevelt understood that every one of us every day has choices to make about the kind of person we are and what we wish to become. You can decide to be someone who brings people together, or you can fall prey to those who wish to divide us. You can be someone who educates yourself, or you can believe that being negative is clever and being cynical is fashionable. You have a choice."

"Every president, if you watch what they look like when they come into office, you can see their hair turn white because it's such a hard job."

"Every moment wasted looking back, keeps us from moving forward. "

"Everything that happens in America happens in New York. "

"Fail to plan, plan to fail. "

"Faith is like stepping off a cliff and expecting one of two outcomes- you will either land on solid ground or you will be taught to fly."

"For too long, our close ties with the Arab world have been compromised by negative stereotyping on both sides. It is my hope that this trip will help strengthen the bonds of friendship among our nations."

"First, we parents have to back up school authority and quit making excuses for our kids when they misbehave."

"Fewer teens are having sex, getting pregnant, and having abortions, but there are clearly too many young people who have not gotten the message. Every teenager must be reached. More has to be done to reach out to young men, and enlist them in the campaign to make abortions rare, and to make it possible for them to define their lives in terms other than what they imagine sexual prowess and fatherhood being."

"For those who live in urban areas with few businesses of any kind, the impact of changes in the private sector is most direct and devastating, with high unemployment and crime, drug abuse, welfare dependency, and school failure. Problems elsewhere eventually affect us all so government has a big responsibility to help remedy them. But its resources are limited. Other developed countries, like Japan and Germany, are more committed to social stability than we have been, and they tailor their economic policies to maintain it. We have chosen a different path, leaving more of our resources in the private sector. As a society, we have a choice to make. We can permit the marketplace largely to determine the values and well-being of the village, or we can continue, as we have in the past, to expect business to play a social as well as an economic role. That means we have to look realistically at what government must require business to do, principally in the areas of health, safety, the environment [and so on]."

"From my perspective, this is part of the continuing political campaign against my husband... I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings. The great story here for anybody willing to find it, write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president."

"Forward-thinking teachers and school administrators across the country are creating a whole range of alternatives to cookie-cutter teaching and evaluation methods, such as the use of student portfolios and exhibitions in addition to conventional exams to assess students' progress. "

"From my own personal experience, I have been in countries that have taken very different views about this profoundly challenging question [of abortion]. I went to China in 1995 and spoke out against the Chinese government’s one child policy, which led to forced abortions and forced sterilization because I believed that we needed to bear witness against what was an intrusive, abusive, dehumanizing effort to dictate how women and men would proceed with respect to the children they wished to have. And then shortly after that, I was in Romania and there I met women who had been subjected to the Communist regime of the 1970s and ‘80s where they were essentially forced to bear as many children as possible for the good of the state. And where abortion was criminalized and women were literally forced to have physical exams and followed by the secret police and so many children were abandoned and left to the orphanages that, unfortunately, led to an AIDS epidemic."

"Gay rights and human rights are… one and the same."

"Home is a child's first and most important classroom."

"I also believe that we have an extraordinary opportunity for the United States and European Union to lead the world in developing and implementing new and more efficient technologies - smart electrical grids and electrical vehicles."

"I also learned that a person was not necessarily bad just because you did not agree with him and that if you believed in something, you had better be prepared to defend it. "

"I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration."

"I am and always have been pro-choice, and that is not a right any of should take for granted. There are a number of forces at work in our society that would try to turn back the clock and undermine a woman’s right to choose, and [we] must remain vigilant."

"I am worried that it seems inconsistent and unsustainable for the president to be asking for large tax cuts before we know what our continuing obligations are. I would like to see us take a deep breath, deal with Iraq… I don't believe that we really fully appreciate the cost that we may be embarking upon."

"I believe in a zone of privacy."

"I feel very lucky because of my parents and then my education, the opportunities that I've had, so I would like to continue working to improve lives for others."