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Herstory in the making: Clinton becomes first female president

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton made history on Tuesday as the country elected her as the first female president of the United States, defeating Republican opponent Donald Trump.P

After a close race, Hillary Clinton became the first female President of the United States. Photo courtesy of Hillary Clinton website.

After a bitter election marked by controversy and negativity from both sides, the former secretary of state emerged as the victor by securing XXX electoral votes versus Trump’s XXX.

Following his loss, Trump offered a ________ concession from _____ in ____.

Quote from concession speech”, Trump said.

Clinton’s  email controversy and concerns about her health became sore topics that persistently haunted her campaign throughout the election season. On the other hand, the most widely publicized aspects of Trump’s campaign were his comments regarding women and racial minorities and the sexual assault accusations made against him. These issues combined to firmly divide the voting population not only between the parties but also within them.

According to Keneshia Grant, associate professor of political science at Howard University, Clinton was able to use that split to her advantage and secure the presidency.

“She probably struck a chord and was able to turn out an appropriate number of both those sentiments: people who believe she was best equipped, people who were excited about her historic potential as the first woman president, and people who had a ‘never-Trump’ idea about politics,” Grant said.

Predictions of the first female president’s term are favorable. Her experiences as a New York senator combined with her time as secretary of state in the Obama administration leave experts confident that a Clinton administration has the potential to yield positive results for the country.  

“I think she will do a better job than Obama has of doing what Obama was trying to do,” said Lorenzo Morris, Howard University professor of political science. “In other words, I think she will attempt to carry on Obama’s legacy, but she’s more attentive to detail and less willing to expect a cooperative Congress.”

Born in 1947 in Chicago to a business-owning father and a mother who was abandoned by her parents, Clinton was raised as a Republican in a middle-class, Chicago suburb. She was inspired by her mother’s background to champion for children and families.

Clinton’s passion for social activism began when she attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts. This is where her lifelong political career started as she was a well-respected  student leader.  According to her campaign website hillaryclinton.com, her peers elected her to be the first student commencement speaker.

Upon her college graduation, Clinton enrolled in Yale Law School as one of 27 women in her graduating class. It was then that she met and began dating her husband and former president, Bill Clinton. The two married in 1975 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Clinton’s legal career blossomed as she worked as a staff attorney at the Children’s Defense Fund after graduating law school. After that, she became a member of the congressional committee that investigated President Nixon in the Watergate scandal. This opened the doorway for her to teach at the University of Arkansas Law School.

In Arkansas, she served as the state’s first lady, where she ran legal clinics representing disenfranchised people and co-founded one of the state first children’s advocacy group.

Her husband was first elected as president in 1992 and was reelected in 1996. Clinton continued to advocate for children as the country’s first lady through the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

In 1995 she made her debut as an international politician when she led the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, where she first said, “Women’s rights are human rights.”

In the wake of 9/11, Clinton, a newly elected senator, pressured the Bush administration to set aside $20 billion to rebuild New York City. She continued her crusade to improve health care for the Ground Zero first responders, members of the Reserves and National Guard and their families throughout her senatorship.      

Eight years later, the road to Clinton’s groundbreaking win began in 2008 in her first campaign for the presidency. Throughout the campaign, she made clear to her supporters that she would do everything in her power to unite the Democratic Party.

“I will work my heart out for the Democratic Party and the party’s eventual nominee,” Clinton often said when closing her campaign speeches in 2008.

Clinton was defeated by then Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic bid, but when asked to serve as the country’s secretary of state, she put all her efforts into ensuring the victory of the Obama administration.

While serving as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013, Clinton was able to actively influence foreign affairs by visiting 112 countries, advising the president on an appropriate plan of action regarding the revolution in Egypt and the use of military force in Libya.

Throughout her political career, Clinton was a proponent for the improvement of health care for children and families, increased educational standards and women’s rights.

Clinton was able to draw from her well of experience as a lawyer, advocate and politician to shape her 2016 campaign. After a contentious primary race between herself and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton prevailed and snagged the Democratic nomination on Jun. 6, after obtaining the 2,383 delegates needed to win, according to AOL News. The next day the FBI recommended that no charges be filed in regards to Clinton’s use of private email servers while secretary of state.

While some believe that the email scandal would debilitate the Clinton campaign, results of a study done by a group of Howard University faculty and the National Newspaper Publishers Association showed that coverage of the controversy increased her support.

“Before the coverage, 66 percent said that they were favorable toward Clinton and after the coverage, 74 percent of respondents favored her,” said Carolyn Byerly, professor and chair of Howard’s Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies.

With a new Clinton administration on the horizon, her supporters are relieved and hopeful for the future of a country headed by a woman.

“It’s time,” said Ivy Kayira, 70, while casting her vote in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. “Men have been doing everything for all these years and [they] mess up everything. We need a chance and I think she would do a great job.”