On the cusp of a new millennium, a wildly charismatic president and his better half moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and politics would never again be the same. Peace and prosperity prevailed during the First Family’s years, but so did late-night banter. Adding to the First Lady’s “firsts” list, Hillary Clinton was the first presidential wife to earn both a post-grad degree and a professional career. The distinction of being the most-traveled First Lady would portend well for a role she’d later play in another administration. She was also the first to face a seismic scandal and a 24/7 news cycle nearly impossible to escape.
Yet, the episode would bolster her popularity, and catapult her beyond a supporting role in the White House. Clinton became the first, First Lady to run for a U.S. senatorial seat…and then won it and re-election handily. While defeated for her party’s presidential nomination, she beat the record for most U.S. primaries and delegates ever won by one woman. Although not the first woman Secretary of State, she was the only former First Lady to serve in the U.S. Cabinet. (She also traveled to more countries than any Secretary.) Will another “first” appear on her resume before 2016 is a wrap? Pundits suggest it’s a certainty.
Tune in to the National Geographic Channel for the three-night event, “The 90s: The Last Great Decade?” this Sunday, July 6 at 9/8c.