October 16th, 2007
03:10 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton discusses struggles with work-life balance

Watch Clinton's comments on work-life balance Tuesday.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Calling current attitudes towards families, "outdated," Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, unveiled her agenda to “get real,” with the challenges of working families.

“It’s about time we stopped just talking about family values, and started pursuing polices that truly value families,” Clinton stated.

Before a crowd at the Young Women’s Christian Association, the presidential hopeful shared her own struggles with work-life balance as a young lawyer.

“Chelsea was sick, and my baby sitter wasn’t there and then she called and she was sick too and it was just that gut wrenching feeling, and I was lucky enough to have a friend who could come over and watch Chelsea while I ran to court and then ran back home,” Clinton said.

“If you have fewer resources, greater challenges and an unsympathetic employer, then the struggle to balance family and work can simply be overwhelming,” Clinton added.

Clinton's plan will cost $1.75 billion and seeks to expand paid leave, offer incentives for companies that support workplace flexibility, increases affordable child care and ban pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

“Now I assume I will have 100 percent support from the Republicans who care deeply about supporting pregnant women and their families and I look forward to having that when I'm President,” Clinton said with sarcasm.

A spokesman for the Republican National Committee immediately criticized Clinton’s plan.

“Hillary Clinton’s agenda for working families is pretty clear: higher taxes to pay for outrageous spending proposals totaling more than $750 billion,” said RNC spokesman Danny Diaz. “Senator Clinton’s plans to grow government and weaken our national defense will not resonate with American families at any rung in the economic ladder.”

- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • New Hampshire
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. sonya, atlanta, ga

    HRC got tired of stealing from Obama now she resorted to stealing from a fourth tier canidate whose bill in languishing in congress. Senator passed the original FMLA and has a supplemental bill covering the same topics as HRC. Next thing she will be stealing ideas from Mike Gravel.

    October 16, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  2. ronnie - knoxville

    I d like to see a candidate who values a woman not even trying to get to court, but putting family first.

    October 17, 2007 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  3. laurinda,ny

    Women are not the only ones supporting Hillary. I happen to know of alot of men who are supporting her and some of them are Republicans who are disqusted with their own party.

    October 17, 2007 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.



    Actually she didn't say that she would never stand by her man. She said that she "wasn't some little woman 'standing by my man.'" Instead, she was supporting Bill Clinton because she honored her marriage and what they had built together. (Is your character terrible because you mischaracterized her quote in a way that makes it sound as if she had promised to leave Bill if she ever caught him cheating, but then didn't?)

    The "cookie baking" comment, while not my favorite quote of Sen. Clinton’s, wasn't an insult to stay-at-home moms. It was aimed at reporters and pundits who rarely question the choices of political wives who don't have careers outside the home. And, whose mothering skills nobody challenges, no matter how many times, their daughters are caught engaging in underage drinking (for example).

    As for the Sir Edmund Hillary "point," can you give a source other than the "American Spectator" for this? I'm a little leery of their reportage. That's before we talk about exactly how far this is from indicating, much less proving, that Sen. Clinton is lacking in character. And several steps removed from demonstrating in any way that she doesn't care about ordinary people.

    Finally, although she did write her college thesis about Saul D. Alinsky, I wouldn't call him her "mentor" in any sense. She seems to have met with him only a handful of times and the extent of his influence on her appears to have been extremely limited. In the thesis itself, she criticizes and rejects his rejects his tactics as anachronistic, judges his "power/conflict model" as inapplicable to then-existing social realities, and finds that his approach had yielded few material gains. She did express admiration for him in her thesis, but many people can admire those with whom they seriously disagree.

    I mean no criticism to you Mr. Dedham, but whenever I read any of the charges with which you regularly indict Sen. Clinton, I know that a simple Google search or quick memory check will always reveal additional information that throws a very different light on your allegations.

    October 17, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. James, Phoenix AZ

    "I have noticed that as Hillary goes through these town hall style meetings with people, that they come out seeing that she "isn't" the "wicked witch" the Republicans have labeled her all these years."

    Posted By Wynter, Loudon, NH : October 16, 2007 5:22 pm


    Actually, Wynter, she looks "warm and friendly" as long as you don't ask her a challenging question. Ask her about her vote for Kyl-Lieberman... or ask her why she is pushing a healthcare program that could leave behind minorities... this this "warm and friendly" woman turns into the angry witch.

    No worries... she's working on the cackle and will really try harder to cackle more instead of attacking the questioner.

    Or – can you not see that?

    October 17, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.


    As I wrote, you mischaracterized her quote. She didn't say that she would never stand by her man. The quote in the second comment sounds right. After saying that she wasn't just standing by her man, she continued, saying that she'd stayed with her husband because she honored her marriage and what she and Bill had together. Very different from what you implied in your first comment.

    As for how many times Bill gets to cheat on her, that's for Sen. Clinton to say. However, I noticed that you don't provide even an approximate figure of his supposed dalliances.

    It's very interesting and admirable what you say about your own marriage. Perhaps you should run for office, listing the conduct of your personal affairs as a qualification.

    As I wrote, Sen. Clinton didn't criticize a "very few of" Alinsky's beliefs. She questioned then repudiated his tactics, wrote that they were unworkable in the U.S. BEFORE concluding that they had achieved very few results. Once you've rejected someone's tactics and belittled the results he achieved, what's left? She did find many of his ideas unremarkable, as I daresay many of them are. We may also convict her of finding him very charming indeed.

    Finally, as I implied in my first comment, you habitually make two kinds of charges. The first are of a near perfect insignificance. The second are poorly articulated, barely or badly supported, or merely asserted without any support at all. It's as if you're regurgitating somebody else's words without completely understanding them, and certainly without subjecting them to sufficient critical scrutiny to determine their plausibility or importance.

    October 17, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Tom Dedham, Mass

    You continue to amaze me dawn, I provide dead on reasoning, with actual details and thorough and thoughtful analysis and you deem them poorly articulated.

    I didn't mischaracterize anything, you requested a direct quote and I gave it, you are word playing or hoping for nuance. I see it the right way and that is why she APOLOGIZED to Tammy Wynette, remember?

    You write real well for someone who is so narrow minded, facts and details mean nothing to you if they are not supportive of someone you hold so dear.

    Sorry, the Sir Edmund Hillary is again a direct quote from a reliable news source, sorry it doesn't meet your requirements.

    That's fine, I sleep well knowing that my singular vote based on more than a cult like devotion to a candidate, will cancel out yours.

    I am done discussing with you, as I wrote before, we could have her on tape robbing a bank with a KKK shirt and burping dixie and you would find a way to explain it away and blame the messenger.

    Join her campaign, they are going to need all the apologists they can get in 2008.

    Big Fuzzy hugs.

    October 17, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    Tom Dedham, Mass:

    You did mischaracterize Sen. Clinton's words to support your point. You either misquoted or paraphrased her wrongly. Furthermore, you left out the second part of her quote: deliberately, because you'd forgotten it, or, because your source, if you had one, had also left it out.

    Here's what you said that Mrs. Clinton said.

    "I would never "Stand by your man" like that Tammy Wynette did"

    Then you commented: "actually you [Mrs. Clinton] did stand by your man, turned a blind eye and all for political expedience."

    The combination of your misquote or misleading paraphrase of Mrs. Clinton's words and your comment strongly implies that Mrs. Clinton promised that she "would never" (I'm quoting YOU here) stay with Bill Clinton if he cheated, but then did stay with him after she actually caught him. And that she did this out of "political expedience" (I'm quoting you again).

    But the actual quote, which you gave in your 10/17/07, 3:12 pm post ( and good for you) has a considerably different meaning and implication. "I'm not sitting here as some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette." Saying "not," rather than "never" meant that Mrs. Clinton's words were not a promise of her future conduct should Bill Clinton cheat on her, but a prelude to her reasons for staying with him (presumably whether he had cheated or might cheat or not). "I'm sitting here," Mrs. Clinton continued, "because I love him and I respect him and I honor what we've been through together. If that's not enough for people, then heck, don't vote for him."

    The reason she apologized for her remarks wasn't because she had been dishonest (the point of your first post), or because she was a weak woman pretending to be strong (the point of your second, I suppose). She apologized because she had referred to Ms. Wynette personally, rather than limiting her remarks to Ms. Wynette's song, thereby hurting the Ms. Wynette's feelings. I freely confess that I don't know what you mean by "see[ing] it the right way," or what part the reference to Mrs. Clinton's apology to Ms. Wynette is supposed to play in buttressing your argument. At this point, I'm even beginning to lose sight of your argument altogether.

    I'm also not entirely certain what you mean by “word-playing" or “hoping for nuance,” but, as I've demonstrated, there is a significant difference between what you said Mrs. Clinton said and what she actually said. The charitable explanation for the discrepancy is that you thought you were paraphrasing a quote that supports your perpetual proposition that Sen. Clinton is a self-serving liar. But in mis-remembering, you changed her words from a statement, explaining why she was staying with her husband, into a promise that she wouldn't, which you then convicted her of breaking. That is very serious stuff for a man who has no patience with even white lies and obviously prides himself on his unimpeachable integrity.

    Given your past record, I would seem to be in absolutely no danger of being presented with a tape of Sen. Clinton "robbing a bank ..." At least, not by you.

    October 18, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    I stand by every well researched, well thought out and brilliant point I made on this subject.

    Hillary and dawn – 2008

    Because everyone else is wrong.

    October 18, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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