Hillary Rodham (not yet ‘Clinton’) in 1979


Buzzfeed posted these clips (you’ll have to follow the link; the embed code isn’t working) from an interview with Arkansas First Lady Hillary Rodham (she had not yet taken Bill’s name). Buzzfeed notes:

In 1979, a month into her tenure as Arkansas first lady, Rodham sat down for an interview with the Arkansas public affairs program In Focus. The interview, available on BuzzFeed News for the first time in decades, is among the earliest, and most open, glimpses of Clinton’s efforts to balance public and private life, a theme that has followed her long career. Archived in the special collections at the University of Arkansas, the nearly half-hour-long interview offers an insight into the future Hillary Clinton and her early attempts to navigate the tough waters as the wife of a political figure — while keeping her own identity and privacy.

As for the video — yeah, we looked funny back then.

In the interests of fairness — that is, embarrassing a Republican equally — I went out and dug up this image of Marco Rubio at around that same time.


7 thoughts on “Hillary Rodham (not yet ‘Clinton’) in 1979

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah. NPR noted this morning that it had been three weeks since she’d taken a question. Here’s a piece the WashPost did earlier this week, when it was just 20 days.

      NPR had a GOP strategist saying Hillary doesn’t HAVE TO deal with the media, basically spouting the Nikki Haley line — you know, in a world with Facebook, pols don’t have to let the media filter them.

      Of course, in Nikki’s case, she has trouble comprehending that the media would seldom make her look as bad as she sometimes does on Facebook.

      And if Hillary is thinking the same way, well, just let me observe that there’s nothing new about this strategy. Nixon did it in 1968, big-time. Highly limited access for reporters, everything staged and controlled. Read Joe McGinniss’ book, “The Selling of the President 1968.” That was the New Nixon.

      That worked for Nixon, for a time. Then, of course, he was brought down. By those pesky, irrelevant reporters…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        People — envious Republican people — used to complain about how the media loved John McCain. You particularly heard this during the 2000 campaign, as I recall.

        Well, there was a reason for that. He made himself totally accessible. He’d walk back and shoot the bull with reporters whether they wanted him to or not. He was the anti-Nixon. And now, I suppose, the anti-Hillary…

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Of course reporters love McCain–not only does he shoot the bull, he’s prone to shooting off his mouth–great copy!

  1. Pat

    I loved McCain when he was being interviewed by several reporters, and they kept asking him the same question a dozen different ways which he artfully dodged. Finally they asked him one more time, and he answered with the party line … and then winked. I can’t remember the question or the answer.


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