Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010

Hillary Clinton (1947-Present)

When her husband ran for President in 1992, he famously told American voters they would be getting "two for the price of one." Hillary Clinton had been a fierce advocate for victims of child abuse since her law-school days, and throughout her tenure as First Lady, she became a leading voice on the global stage on behalf of women in the developing world. And while many political wives are content with being a behind-the-scenes adviser, Clinton decided in 2000 to embark on a second career, this time with her name on the ticket. As New York Senator, she won over a state skeptical of the Chicago-born, Arkansas-reared celebrity by leading the efforts to boost funding for the recovery in lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 attacks. She also staked her claim as an authority on military affairs, gaining the trust of the armed forces and several Senate Republicans. Indeed, when she became Secretary of State in 2009, her vision for a military escalation in Afghanistan won out over competing plans. And while her attempt to become the first female President of the United States came up short in 2008, she paid no attention to her supporters who asked her not to join the cause of her Democratic competitor, Barack Obama, saying that wasn't why she had "spent the past 35 years in the trenches."