American Attorney, First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination
"My view is that, you know, life unfolds at its own rhythm. You know, I have never lived a life that I thought I could plan out. And I'm just trying to do the best I can every day. I find I have a lot to get done between the time I get up and the time I go to bed."
"No government can love a child, and no policy can substitute for a family's care. But at the same time, government can either support or undermine families as they cope with moral, social and economic stresses of caring for children."
"New research in childhood development establishes that a child's environment affects everything from IW to future behavior patterns. These studies confirm the importance of breast-feeding infants, of setting aside time for family meals, and of empowering parents to shield their children from predatory marketing and the violent and sexually explicit media that contribute to aggressive behavior, early sexual experimentation, obesity, and depression. The case for quality early childhood education and programs like Head Start is stronger than ever, and we should expand them. According to a study conducted by Federal Reserve economist Rob Grunewald and conducted by Nobel laureate economist James Heckman, high-quality preschool programs are among the most cost-effective public investments we make, lowering dependency and raising lifetime earnings."
"No matter what you think about the Iraq war, there is one thing we can all agree on for the next days - we have to salute the courage and bravery of those who are risking their lives to vote and those brave Iraqi and American soldiers fighting to protect their right to vote."
"Often times when you face such an overwhelming challenge as global climate change, it can be somewhat daunting - it's kind of like trying to lose weight, which I know something about."
"Only about half of all female workers of childbearing age are eligible for short-term disability benefits that would cover pregnancy and childbirth, because the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, while it prohibits discrimination against these conditions, does not mandate coverage where none exists."
"One of the most hopeful signs I have seen is the growing interest of the business community in assisting employees with child care. Businesses are recognizing that when employees miss work to stay home with sick children, the bottom line suffers too."
"One thing we know for sure is that change is certain. Progress is not. Progress depends on the choices we make today for tomorrow and on whether we meet our challenges and protect our values. "
"Over the last decades we have made some significant progress in fighting AIDS in our country. But we cannot rest until this progress reaches every corner of the globe and we are able to ensure that no matter where you live, the scourge of AIDS ceases to be the terrifying killer that it is today."
"Our lives are a mixture of different roles. Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is... me, that balance is family, work, and service."
"Parenthood has the power to redefine every aspect of life - marriage, work, relationships with family and friends. Those helpless bundles of power and promise that come into our world show us our true selves- who we are, who we are not, who we wish we could be. "
"Over the last several years, there has been a dramatic increase in media stories of abducted & abused children. Where there has not been an increase in the overall numbers of such cases, many families, and children, are more fearful. I have pushed for legislation that would appoint a national coordinator for AMBER alerts, and alert system for missing children; provide additional protections for children, and establish stricter punishments for sex offenders. That legislation passed the Congress in 2003."
"Remember that movie Independence Day, where invaders were coming from outer space and the whole world was united against the invasion? Why can't we be united on behalf of our planet? And that's what I want to do."
"Some critics of public schools urge greater competition among schools as a way of returning control from bureaucrats to parents and teachers. I find their argument persuasive and I favor promoting choice among public schools, much as the President's Charter Schools Initiative encourages. Charter schools are public schools created and operated under a charter. They may be organized by parents, teachers, or others. The idea is that they should be freed from regulations that stifle innovation, so they can focus on getting results. By 1995, 19 states had enacted charter school laws about 200 schools have been granted charters. The Improving America's Schools Act, passed in October 1994 with the President's support, provided federal funds for a wide range of reforms, including launching charter schools. Federal funding is needed to break through bureaucratic attitudes that block change and frustrate students and parents, driving some to leave public schools."
"Research shows the presence of women raises the standards of ethical behavior and lowers corruption."
"Some factors that increase the risk of substance abuse in adolescents deserve emphasis. Casual attitudes towards marijuana and minors' access to cigarettes raise the likelihood that teenagers will make a sad progression to more serious drug use and earlier sexual activity. Dropping out of school puts the child at greater risk, as does having a parent who is an abuser of alcohol or drugs."
"Some of the most effective approaches to promoting affirmative living are those that involve the entire village. An annual event in Boston called Team Harmony brings middle and high school students together with local sports figures and business leaders to take a stand against prejudice and bigotry. After the Team Harmony event in 1994, many students wrote about the positive messages they received. Since the event, I want to do all that I can to stop racism, one of them wrote. I want everyone to live in peace and harmony, where there is no hatred and no violence."
"Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you."
"The African proverb It takes a village to raise a child summed up for me the commonplace conclusion that, like it or not, we are living in an interdependent world where what our children hear, see, feel, and learn will affect how they grow up and who they turn out to be. The five years since 9/11 have reinforced one of my main points: How children are raised anywhere can impact our lives and our children's futures. In this book and my autobiography, Living History, I wrote about my own mother's difficult childhood. Abandoned by her teenage parents, mistreated by her grandparents, she was forced to go work as a mother's helper when she was thirteen. Caring for another family's younger children while attending high school may sound harsh, but the experience of living in a strong, loving family gave my mother the tools she would need later when caring for her own home and children."
"Some people think elections are a game — it's about who's up and who's down. It's about our country's future, it's about our kids' future — it's really about all of us together."
"The American taxpayer should not be treated more shabbily than debtors from other nations and we should be encouraging other nations to help rebuild Iraq's economy."
"The Cairo Document, drafted at the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, reaffirms that in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning. And it recognizes the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so. Women and men should have the right to make this most intimate of all decisions free of discrimination or coercion."
"The characteristics that keep kids from using drugs are hard to quantify but not to understand. Children who truly grasp that they have a choice to make in the matter are more likely to make a responsible one. So are children with high self-esteem. Most influential of all is the optimism and awareness that comes from knowing their parents are interested and involved in their lives."
"The challenge is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible. "
"The lost opportunities of the years since September 11 are the stuff of tragedy. Remember the people rallying in sympathy on the streets of Teheran, the famous headline - 'we are all Americans now.' Five years later much of the world wonders what America is now. As we face this landscape of failure and disorder, nothing is more urgent than for us to begin again to rebuild a bipartisan consensus to ensure our interests, increase our security and advance our values. It could well start with what our founders had in mind when they pledged 'a decent respect for the opinions of mankind' in the Declaration of Independence. I think it's fair to say we are now all internationalists and we are all realists. This Administration's choices were false choices. Internationalism versus unilateralism. Realism versus idealism. Is there really any argument that America must remain a preeminent leader for peace and freedom, and yet we must be more willing to work in concert with other nations and international institutions to reach common goals? The American character is both idealistic and realistic: why can't our government reflect both?"
"The standards and accountability movement has grown dramatically over the last decade. The No Child Left Behind Act became law, and it has laid bare the problems in many of our poorest, worst-performing schools. We can no longer say that we didn't know that these schools were failing some of our most vulnerable kids. To improve the quality of education, we need to improve instruction in the classroom. Nationwide, two million teachers will leave teaching over the next decade. NYC already loses 30% more math teachers and 22% more science teachers than it certifies every year. IN 2001, I proposed the National Teacher Corps, which brings teachers into the classroom, and a new initiative that would provide more schools with strong principals. Both became law."
"The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information. It puts people's lives in danger, threatens our national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems."
"The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman think about the next generation."
"The failure was principally political and policy driven, there were many interests that weren't at all happy about losing their financial stake in a way that the system currently operates, but I think I became a lightning rod for some of that criticism. [about her role, as First Lady, in attempting to win reforms in health care coverage]"
"The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees unpaid leave to employees in firms with more than 50 workers. Many parents, however, cannot afford to forgo pay for even a few weeks, and very few employers in America offer paid maternity leave."
"The episodic, reactive, almost frantic pace of what is broadcast makes children feel and act frantic and shortens their attention spans and their patience for activities that take time and problems that don't yield immediate solutions. "
"The last minimum wage increase was in 1996, when Congress and the president raised it to $5.15 an hour. However, the impact of the 1996-7 increase has been eroded by inflation. Adjusting for inflation, the minimum wage is at its lowest point in 50 years. While minimum wage workers have not had a single raise, Congress has given itself $31,600 in pay raises. In the Senate, I've proposed blocking Congress from giving itself another raise until it lifts wages for workers."
"The first step is to take weapons off the streets and to put more police on them. The Brady Bill, which my husband signed into law in 1995, imposes a 5-day waiting period for gun purchases; time enough for authorities to check out a buyer's record and for the buyer to cool down about any conflict he might have intended the gun to resolve. Since it was enacted, more than 40,000 people with criminal records have been prevented from buying guns. The 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act banned 19 types of military-style assault weapons whose only purpose is to kill people… As part of a zero tolerance policy for weapons, drugs, and other threats to the safety of teachers and students, the President signed an executive order decreeing that any student who comes to school with a gun will be expelled and punished as a condition of federal aid."
"The first step is to take weapons off the streets and to put more police on them. 25,000 new police officers are being trained, with the goal of adding 75,000 more by the end of the decade. Taking a cue from what's worked in the past, cities are deploying officers differently, getting them out from behind desks and putting them back on the sidewalks, where they can get to know the people who live and work on the streets they patrol. They will be doing what is called community policing. The other half of community policing, of course, is the community's role. Citizens have to be active participants in crime prevention. In Houston, nearly a thousand new officers added to the city's police force since 1991 have been joined by thousands of citizen patrollers observing and reporting suspicious or criminal behavior in an anticrime campaign."
"This decision, which is one of the most fundamental, difficult, and soul-searching decisions a woman and a family can make, is also one in which the government should have no role. I believe we can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many women. Often, it's a failure of our system of education, and preventive services. It's often a result of family dynamics. This decision is a profound and complicated one; a difficult one, often the most difficult that a woman will ever make. The fact is that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in the first place."
"There are 4 billion cell phones in use today. Many of them are in the hands of market vendors, rickshaw drivers, and others who've historically lacked access to education and opportunity. Information networks have become a great leveler, and we should use them together to help lift people out of poverty and give them a freedom from want. "
"There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives. There cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the lives of their country."
"They [parents] can resist the impulse to prove their love by showering children with things they do not need and give them precious time and attention instead."
"There is a great deal of political pressure to only talk about abstinence, and to deny support for condoms and education on using them. This policy will lead to the unnecessary deaths of many people."
"There is probably no more important task parents--and the rest of the village--face than raising children not only to tolerate but to respect the differences among people and to recognize the rewards that come from serving others. I call this affirmative living--the positive energy we derive from taking pride in who we are and from having the confidence and moral grounding to reach out to those who are different."
"This is very personal for me. It's not just political, it's not just public — I see what's happening. We have to reverse it. "
"To me it's a failure every time we keep a child in foster care for that child's entire life. You know, there should be a decision made to either re-unite a child by helping a family get back on its feet and take care of its children or we should remove the child and try to find a good loving home with the foster care system but much more importantly, trying to find a permanent home."
"To bring reason and clarity to this often contentious issue, my husband's administration developed a statement of principles concerning permissible religious activities in the public schools. The complete guidelines include: Students may participate in prayer during the school day, as long as they do so in a non-disruptive manner and when they are not engaged in school activities. Schools should open their facilities to student religious organizations on the same terms as other groups. Students should be free to express their beliefs about religion in school assignments. Schools may not provide religious instruction, but they may teach about the Bible, civic values and virtue, and moral codes, as long as they remain neutral with respect to the promotion of any particular religion. This last point is particularly important, [because religious institutions, parents, and schools share] the responsibility of helping children to develop moral values and a social conscience."