Despite the fact that John Edwards' main claim of success while in the Senate, The Patients' Bill of Rights, never actually was enacted, and the fact that Hillary has plenty of change to run on, Edwards still claims that she defends the status quo against change. It is noteworthy that in spite of all the successful work Hillary has done in support of the Children's Defense Fund and a longstanding friendship, CDF Founder Marian Wright Edelman says Hillary is no friend in politics. (link)
Are Edwards and Edelman being realistic? Or does Hillary really have the record of change to back up her claims of being best able to bring change? As I wrote here, my overall take on Hillary is that, though not perfect, the seeming duality of her personality is explained thusly: Her intention is to do as much good as she can given the circumstances she has to work with.
Read and decide for yourself:
At Wellesley (link):
a) Worked for anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy, driving to new Hampshire on weekends.
b) Helped organize "teach-ins" on the war and on Civil Rights.
At Yale Law School(link)
a) (1970) Staff member of the Washington Research Project (later the Children's Defense Fund); wage was a stipend paid by a Law Student Civil Rights Research Council grant. This activism is part of a thread that runs throughout her adult life.
b) worked at Yale Medical School on issues of early childhood education and healthcare. (1972) Research assistant for Anna Freud, Joseph Goldstein, and Albert Solnit (authors of Beyond the Best Interests of the Child) at the Yale University Child Study Center.
After graduation from Yale and before marrying Bill (link)
a) Worked with Marian Wright Edelman in Massachusetts for the Children's Defense Fund. (This work would later be followed with a stint on the board of Children’s Defense Fund and passage of legislation favoring CDF interests. Her work as an advocate for children is also behind much of what she writes in It Takes a Village)
b) In 1974 Hillary participated in the Watergate inquiry into the possible impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon. (1974) Staff lawyer in charge of legal procedure for the special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, then inquiring into the impeachment of President Nixon, Washington, DC.
After Marriage to Bill
a) (1974-1976) Instructor at the University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, Arkansas.
b) (1975-1979) US District Court (east district) of Arkansas, reporter for federal court speedy trial planning group.
c) (1976-1977) Adjunct professor and director of the legal aid clinic at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.
d) (1977) Associate at the Rose Law Firm.
e) (1980) Becomes first female partner at the Rose Law Firm.
f) (1980-1982, 1984-1992) During her husband's tenure as governor of Arkansas, holds a number of positions, including head of the Arkansas Education Standards Committee, board of director for the Arkansas Children's Hospital, member of the Southern Governors' Association Task Force on Infant Mortality.
g) (1986-1992) Head of the Board of Children’s Defense Fund
During the White House Years
a) Crucial advisor to the President (link)
Was part of Decision to use force to rescue Albanian Kosovars from Milosevic. Also advocated for intervention in Rwanda. (link)
b) Pushed for women, Madeleine Albright for instance, to have top positions (link)
c) Was part of use of “soft power” (link)
Her role mostly involved what diplomats call "soft power" — converting cold war foes into friends, supporting nonprofit work and good-will endeavors, and pressing her agenda on women’s rights, human trafficking and the expanded use of microcredits, tiny loans to help individuals in poor countries start small businesses.d) Health Care Task Force (See fantastic discussion by digby here)
...The foreign policy achievement most often credited to Mrs. Clinton came in 1995, with her speech to the United Nations conference on women in Beijing, where she declared that "human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights." She also tangled with Chinese officials, she said, and refused to bow to pressure to soften her remarks.
"She had a good balance of being firm on these issues, even if they clearly covered Chinese sins, but also understanding the need for good relations with China," said Winston Lord, then the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, who briefed and accompanied her on the trip.
The Clinton administration enabled the most powerful successes of CDF to date. A deep commitment to children's issues was shared by Hillary Rodham Clinton, a college friend of Edelman's. This political backing yielded improvements such as an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, which provided more support to working parents. Other legislation enacted during this time period included the Childhood Hunger Prevention Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Funding was also increased for the Head Start program and for child immunization.
The president promoted several of the CDF's positions in his legislative goals: he signed family leave legislation into law and stepped up enforcement of child support payments with the help of the Internal Revenue Service. He also proposed budgets that would fully fund or expand Head Start and WIC, advocated a comprehensive federal immunization program for children, and supported health care reform that would ensure care for children and pregnant women. Although not all these initiatives succeeded in Congress, the effort reflected the growing influence of the CDF on national policy.Hillary in the Senate
Other Affiliations over time
board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation; Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters; board of directors Arkansas Children's Hospital; ; board of directors Wal-Mart, TCBY, and LaFarge (resigned them all in May 1992); Board of directors Childrens Defense Fund, Washington, 1976-92, chair, 1986-91, Legal Services Corporation., Washington, 1977-81, chair, 1978-80; founder, president, board of directors for the Arkansas Advisory Committee for Children and Families, 1977-84; board of directors for the Child Care Action Campaign, 1986-92, National Center on Education and the Economy, 1987-92, Arkansas Children's Hospital, 1988-92, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, 1988-92, Children's TV Workshop, 1989-92, Pub./Pvt. Ventures, 1990-92; chairperson of the Arkansas Education Standards Commission, 1983-84; Member, Committee on Quality Education. So. Regional Edn. Bd., 1984-92; chair of the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, 1987-91; honoray president Girl Scouts of America, 1993-; member of the advisory board of HIPPY, 1988-92, board of directors; honorary chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, 1993-, U.S. Delegate to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995; honorary member of The Pen and Brush, 1996-. Fellow American Bar Foundation; member Arkansas Bar Association, Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, Arkansas Women Lawyers Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Pulaski County Bar Association.