October 23rd, 2007
05:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Hillary opens up on romance with Bill

Sen. Clinton said she is 'really happy' she made the decision to stay with husband Bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton is quite the romantic husband, according to wife Hillary.

The Democratic presidential frontrunner discusses her relationship with her famous spouse in the latest issue of Essence Magazine, describing how the former president often showers her with gifts when returning from trips abroad.

"He's so romantic. He's always bringing me back things from his trips," the New York senator told the magazine. "He brought me a giant wooden giraffe from Africa. Oh, he bought me this watch…I had dental surgery, and he said it reminded him of teeth.”

Clinton adds she is "really happy" she decided to stay with her husband following the news of his affair in 1996 with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

"Obviously we've had challenges as everybody in the world knows," she told the magazine. “But I never doubted that it was a marriage worth investing in even in the midst of those challenges and I'm really happy that I made that decision."

"Again, not a decision for everybody," she continued. "And I think it's so important for women to stand up for the right of women to make a decision that is best for them.”

Clinton also describes her first impressions of the future president when passing him by chance at Yale Law School in 1971.

"I thought he was very attractive. I mean, he was tall. At the time he had long hair and a red beard. His hair was much more red-gold, and it was curly, and he had a vikingesque beard."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. Anderson, Cooper, IL

    Of course Bill is romantic. How else could he have seduced so many women in his affairs?

    October 23, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. MR, Lincoln NE

    Leave Hillary Alone. She loves her husband. And for most of you, it's obvious you don't know what love is.
    It is too bad that Hillary and Clinton have to live such public lives. They could give a rats butt about what you all have to say either negatively or positively. Hillarys political career is GREAT. Don't hate on their relationship. It is just that THEIR relationship. Bill loves his wife, and for some of you love actually goes BEYOND a physical attraction to another person. So for Hillary, she is great, and will lead this country back to America as it should be.

    October 23, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. josh

    I believe Mrs. Clinton was also quoted as saying: "He's so romantic. You should see what he can to with a bottle of scotch and a cuban cigar! Here's the dress I wore last night to prove it."

    I'm not really sure what she meant.

    October 23, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Frank, Minneapolis, MN

    Love to read these utterly objective and so clearly thought out comments by CNN readers who, themselves, obviously lead painstakingly chaste lives of righteousness, purity, and charity. Who could know more about the personal motivations and affections of Bill and Hillary than these seekers of truth and justice?

    The sheer nastiness of their responses to this story reminds me of another time, when righteous figures like Ken Starr and his sanctimonious posse of rightwing misfits managed to ride high in the news for years, stirring the passions of morally correct Americans such as these present day commentators. And it causes me to wonder just how much better the world might be if these self-righteous ninnies ever managed to actually gain the sort of unchallenged control in America they seem to think they deserve.

    Oh, wait! Some of their ilk have actually tried that in other parts of the world, in darker historical moments. All these folks need to pull it off again, and to galvanize their movement of moral righteousness, would probably be one strong, socially unblemished, moral leader to gather round.

    Certainly, there are plenty of such noble, honest and selfless champions among them who could rise to the occasion and lead Americans and the world to better times of grace and integrity. Their ranks must be brimming with clean cut, morally pure and affable, potential leaders like themselves. After all, the daily news is filled with stories about them and how their evangelical zeal so often leads them into glorious encounters with our State and Federal legal systems. Some are preachers, some are elected officials, and some are even administrators of institutions of 'higher' education. Some ride the Nation's highways in well-deserved luxury cars. Others jet along the Nation's airways, stopping only on occasion to police an airport's restrooms and guarding others from the humiliation of unwittingly roaming the concourses, while dragging toilet paper streamers stuck to the soles of their shoes. And still others determinedly guard our national honor, as they roar down the rivers of historical correctness in Swift Boats, heroically contrived to seek the 'Truth'.

    Yeah. It's plain to see that we'd all be a heck of a lot better off with those guys in charge.

    October 23, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Chris, FL

    That's bloody great! It's good to see. Hope it's real. Some people stay together until their children go off to college.

    October 23, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. John

    Hey if she wants to stay with the man she married and worked through it,and she did ,thats her bussiness.I do believe that Bill n Hillary will be best for the country.Hillary is smart with solid proposals,more than any other canidate,i just think we will be better off with Bill in there to.whatever hes ask to do, he said he would help her.I think thats good ,its convinced me to vote for her.There both brilliant people.I cant save a dime since bush has been in there,with the clintons I lived well and could save.Happy Birthday Hillary!!! in 08

    October 23, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Evanston, IL

    Ok, now Hillary's just making me think of when Lisa Marie was with Michael. Ugh.

    October 23, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    "Let me get this straight. You folks are PO'd with Hillary because you're still PO'd Bill got a little action at the office. Yet, you're OK with your current President who has sent 3800 of your finest sons and daughters to their death in the armpit of the world for no good reason. I will never understand you Yanks…."
    R.D. Carter, Edmonton, Canada

    I agree Carter. And what amazes me the most are the bloggers here that know what Hillary thought in the past, Know what's she thinking now and can predict what she'll think and do in the future! WOWWWW Fortune Tellers Supreme and I thought you found those gigsters at the Fairs!

    FACT FINDER: Nobody knows why Hillary decided to stay with Bill ONLY HILLARY.
    And Nobody knows the real trugh about Bill's extracurriculur activities only Bill. And he was not the first man, US President or politician to fool around, nor will he be the last! So why all the Hype about Bill and Hill?
    Even Eisenhower had a mistress! And shall I out more US Presidents?

    I commend her for keeping her marriage together. I'm sure being a public figure and daily fodder for all the Gossip Columns and Rag Magazines it wasn't an easy decision or road to hoe. And it was HER decision to make.

    October 23, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Chris Haynes, Winston-Salem, NC

    Wow, now the right wing nut jobs who post on this site are suddenly psychologists as well as expert marriage analysts/counselors. It is amazing how talented you all are. Yesterday, you were environment experts (global warming is a myth), the day before that you were military experts (the war in Iraq is out of necessity and we are winning), the day before that you were fiscally responsible (too much spending on domestic issues), the day before that you were ethical advertising experts (Moveon.org - but Swift Boat is perfectly acceptable), tomorrow you will be education experts (No Child Left Behind works) and today you are marriage experts who know intimate details about another's relationship. Wow!!!!

    You all need to look in the mirror before you even think of insulting others.

    Oh, and for the right wingers out there who were not born with a trust fund, "when the rich wage war, it is the poor who die."

    October 23, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. Faith, Dublin, OH

    It's a shame and a disgrace that she is asked to respond to these inquiries. I would like to see a male candidate be questioned on his wife's internationally publicized infidelity and outright embarrassing juvinile behavior...all for the the benefit of a salaciously lustful public.

    October 23, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. Billy, Streamwood, IL

    Aw, did I hit a nerve there Tommy of Dedham MA? Guess you're one of them up-tight New Englanders. Actually you seem much more uptight than the ones I've known.

    You are wrong, one party has been claiming moral superiority over the other.

    Had you been paying attention anytime during the last decade, the GOP has been hawking itself as the party of values and family values. Their campaign literature from presidential candidates all the way down to local officials just reeks of it.

    So, enjoy your little world. I am certain that your reality is much more entertaining ... to you.

    October 23, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Jim Columbus, GA

    Come on folks - lighten up on poor Hillary - Hey, Who was that good looking Blond aide she had when she was first lady? You'd see her with Hillary every time ? Maybe her payback for the guy who wagged his finger in our face and .......Lied!

    October 23, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Rod C. Venger, Colorado Springs, CO.

    After reading that nonsense I think I'm going to be sick. Hillary's an expert liar. Maybe she should take up poker and save us the pain of what she'll do to our country.

    October 23, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. Lindsay, Fayetteville, AR

    I think that everybody should just mind his or her own business. How would you like if somebody questioned the legitimacy of your marriage all of every form of public media? Get a grip and focus on the real issues of this next election.

    October 23, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. lynn, vancouver, bc

    In reply to Rex:

    1. Canadians I talk to are extremely reflective and aware. We think it is absued that people are basing a rosy nostalgia on voting for Hillary Clinton, that an election takes so long, that it costs so much money and that a president is able to stay in power with such a low standing. In Canada, he would have been removed by a simple nonconfidence vote.

    2. We are also amazed at the power that nonelected officials have in your cabinet, that a president has so much power in a democracy, able to veto any law passed and that your government is constantly riddled with corruption. Makes are sponsorship scandle seem like peanuts. No wonder you would't trust your gov't to run a health care system.

    Although not a Harper fan, we have a dollar stronger than yours, are one of the few westernized countries to be buying down our debt rather than increasing it, and have policies that recognize the rights of citizens to make life choices without the interference of government.

    Sadly the comments on this blog indicate that another Bushlike, America knows best type of leader will be elected and the world will be worse off.

    October 23, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. Frank Virginia Beach VA

    Hillbilly are hicks. Do you ever hear classy people discuss their romance? Leave it in, CNN.

    October 23, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. Russell NC

    Makes me want to vomit.

    October 23, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. David, Dallas

    If she'd divorced him, her antagonists would be calling her "anti-family", a "failed wife", and talking about the damage to Chelsea.

    Since she stayed with him, they can only talk about how certain they are that she only did it for political gain.

    It is likely that all the above considerations and several other factors were considered—could they reconcile and be happy, what about lingering trust issues, what did family and friends advise, etc.

    Bottom line, nobody knows how much each consideration weighed in her decision, and those who claim otherwise sound foolish.

    October 23, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. Pat Omaha, NE

    Amazing!! I teach morality. The definition is: "our decision making ability as it affects ourselves and others."
    Let's see here.....Clinton......Bush.......you decide whose "morals" have affected how many? negatively? (immoral) or positively? (moral)......
    The relationship between Bill and Hilary has been microanalyzed in public for how long now? How many of us would survive?
    Please.......are we better off today? Are you ready to send your children to war for one man's delusional idea?
    Are you happy about millions a day being spent in this
    culture od death?
    I miss Bill, I miss peace, I miss prosperity....guess I'm just a fool.....

    October 23, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. MBS, Baton Rouge, LA

    This is so funny. The only reason Hillary stayed with Bill is because she wanted to further her career. As a woman, I do not respect her AT ALL for her decision to stay with him after his MANY public affairs. And the only reason he brings her gifts is probably because he's guilty of having affairs in those other countries. Their marriage was a business transaction. Face it all you Bill and Hill fans, he's a cheat and she's a liar. And we want them to run our country yet again...hmmm...

    I don't like her, her "husband" or her politics, so I won't be voting her.

    October 23, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Maria Smith

    I hate it when people judge her decision to stay with Bill. Every marriage has challenges and you really have to be able to take a joke to stay in a long term marriage. I should know.

    October 23, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Nan, Wilmington, NC

    Hey, CNN, with this kind of junk offered up, you might go back to being called "Chicken Noodle News". Good grief, like anyone cares.

    How 'bout some substance??

    October 23, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. Ryan Indianapolis

    Please.....this is the fakest to two people on the earth,,,GW and his wife really love each other and you can tell, with hillary you can tell it is purely theater and the only reason she did not leave Bill was to further her political ambitions..Hillary your not fooling anybody....Sad sad SOULS

    October 23, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. Olga, Chula Vista, CA

    Anything to get the votes Hillary, any lie to get the votes. You're staying with a rapist and women abuser..the worst kind of liar of a man because you're just like him. You lied about so many things when you were in office plus you knew about his abuse/affairs with women (probably so he would not touch you) and you kept it a secret so he would look good to the ignorant masses who voted for him. You continue to lie but one day when you die you'll be facing your Maker and your lies will not work with Him. I feel for you..I would not want to be in your shoes when that day comes.

    October 23, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. John Chicago

    If America had a King and Queen, William Jefferson Clinton and Hillary R Clinton would be our royalty. Bill and Hillary are the most loved and most reviled couple in the country.
    Bill at his worst is 100 times better than Bush and Hillary, well, she is nonpariel. These two are an American treasure, much to the dismay of republicans.

    Posted By Tom, AlBUQUERQUE, NM : October 23, 2007 1:19 pm

    Your kidding right????I read your post on here all the time and wonder what Funny farm let you out. Your about as clueless as the rest of the lost liberals out there. Dude get some meds cause you need to come back to reality. The Clintons are the most corrupt politicians ever to walk this planet and hillary will never win an election cause everybody knows it.

    October 23, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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