What Bill Clinton revealed about Hillary in his DNC speech

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"In the spring of 1971, I met a girl," Bill Clinton said at the top of his speech at the DNC in Philadelphia, where he told the story of how he met then-Hillary Rodham in college, and his plight to convince her to marry him. (KGO)

"In the spring of 1971, I met a girl," Bill Clinton said at the top of his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where he told the story of how he met then Hillary Rodham in college, and his plight to convince her to marry him. In his speech, he shed light on a different and personal side of Hillary Clinton we don't often hear. This is what we learned about Hillary from her husband's speech:

Hillary introduced herself to Bill.
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Bill Clinton describes how he met Hillary.



Bill and Hillary were both in a political civil rights class, where she caught Bill's eye: "She had thick blond hair, big glasses, wore no makeup and she exuded this sense of strength and self-possession that I found magnetic," said Bill. "After the class I followed her out intending to introduce myself. I got close enough to touch her back but I couldn't do it."

Despite seeing her several more times, Bill said he never spoke to her. But one night in the library, Hillary caught Bill staring at her from the opposite end of the room.
"Finally she was staring back at me. So I watched her. She closed her book, put it down and started walking toward me. She walked the whole length of the library, came up to me and said, look, if you're going to keep staring at me, and now I'm staring back, we at least ought to know each other's names. I'm Hillary Rodham, who are you? I was so -- I was so impressed and surprised that whether you believe it or not, momentarily, I was speechless."

Bill liked her family despite their differences.
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Bill Clinton tells the story of when he met Hillary's family.



"I really liked her family. Her crusty, conservative father, her rambunctious brother, all extolling the virtues of rooting for the Bears and the Cubs," recalled Bill. "And for the people from Illinois here, they even told me what waiting for next year meant. Could be next year, guys."

"Now her mother was different," Bill said. "She was more liberal than the boys. And she had a childhood that made mine look like a piece of cake. She was easy to underestimate with her soft manner, and she reminded me all over again of the truth of that old saying, you should never judge a book by its cover. Knowing her was one of the greatest gifts Hillary ever gave me."

A youth minister compelled her to change parties and become a Democrat.

Hillary's friend and mentor Don Jones, a methodist youth minister, made a huge impact on her life and career by introducing her to social justice.

"He took her downtown to Chicago to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak and he remained her friend for the rest of his life," said Bill. "This will be the only campaign of hers he ever missed. When she got to college, her support for civil rights, her opposition to the Vietnam war compelled her to change parties and become a Democrat."

Bill had to propose three times.
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Bill Clinton speaks during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.



The first time Bill proposed was on a trip to Great Britain, where she said 'I can't do it,'" according to Bill. The second time, while Bill was living in Arkansas and Hillary in Massachusetts, he said he would try a different tact.

"I said I really want to you marry me but you shouldn't do it," recalled Bill. "She smiled and looked at me like what is this boy up to. She said 'that's not a very good sale pitch.'"

While Hillary was visiting him in Arkansas, she accepted a teaching position, and when they passed by a "little brick house" that was for sale.

"It is 1,100 square feet, an attic fan and no air conditioner in hot Arkansas and a screened in porch, said Bill. "Hillary commented on what a uniquely designed and beautiful house it was. So I took a big chance. I bought the house. My mortgage was $175 a month. When she came back being I picked her up and said remember that house you liked? She said yeah, I said 'while you were gone, I bought it, you have to marry me now.' The third time was the charm. We were married in that little house on October 11, 1975. I married my best friend."

"Hillary, first and foremost, was a mother."
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Bill Clinton tells the story of he and Hillary becoming parents.


"On February 27, 1980, 15 minutes after I got home from the national governor's conference in Washington, Hillary's water broke and off we went to the hospital," Bill recalled. "Chelsea was born just before midnight. It was the greatest moment of my life. The miracle of a new beginning. The hole filled for me because my own father died before I was born and the absolute conviction that my daughter had the best mother in the whole world."

"For the next 17 years, through nursing school, montessori, kindergarten, through t-ball, soccer, volleyball and her passion for ballet, through sleepovers, summer camps, family vacations and Chelsea's own very ambitious excursions from Halloween parties in the neighborhood to a viennese waltz gala in the White House, Hillary, first and foremost was a mother, said Bill." "She became, as she often said, our family's designated worrier. Born with an extra responsibility gene."

They rarely disagreed on parenting.
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Bill Clinton tells the story of Hillary being the family's "designated worrier."


"Although she did believe I had gone a little over the top when I took a couple of days off with Chelsea to watch all six Police Academy movies back to back."

After Bill was defeated for reelection in the 1980 Arkansas gubernatorial race, Hillary asked, "what are we going to do?"

"We're going to get a house, you're going to get a job, we're going to enjoy being Chelsea's parents," Bill recalled Hillary telling him. "And if you really want to run again you got to go out and talk to people, figure out why you lost, tell people you got the message and show them you still have good ideas. I followed her advice."

Related Topics:
politics2016 democratic national convention - dncelections2016 electionbill clintonhillary clintonpresidential raceparentingmarriage

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