Hillary Clinton photo

Press Release - President Clinton's Stories Explain Why Hillary Is the "Single Best Changemaker" He's Ever Met

January 31, 2016

"I could keep you here until tomorrow morning telling you these stories."

President Bill Clinton has been by Hillary's side since law school—and as he puts it, she's the "single best changemaker" he's ever known. At a recent campaign stop, he shared a few lesser-known stories about Hillary's ability to make things happen.

Example one: better schools for Arkansas

When he was governor of Arkansas, he put Hillary in charge of coming up with new state educational standards. She traveled to every county in the state to talk to parents and teachers, and she came up with a plan to improve the public schools: Hillary for America

And her hard work paid off for the students of Arkansas; the state became one of the most improved school systems in the nation. Hillary for America

Example two: juvenile prison reform

As one of her first jobs out of law school, Hillary went to work for the Children's Defense Fund. She traveled to prisons in South Carolina to investigate why African American teenagers were being jailed as adults—and her work helped to change federal law. Hillary for America

Example three: expanding early childhood education

When he became governor, a lot of poor and rural Arkansas counties didn't have preschool or kindergarten, meaning many kids weren't getting off to the strongest possible start. Hillary made it her mission to change that. She came home one day and told him: Hillary for America

The program was called HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters), and Hillary was determined to bring it to Arkansas children. Hillary for America

Hillary got the program started in Arkansas, and soon it became a model for states across the country. Hillary for America

The story is a classic example of Hillary's determination and ability to make change happen. And President Clinton has plenty more examples where that came from. Hillary for America

Watch President Clinton tell all three stories about Hillary:

She is the best qualified person for this moment in history I have ever seen. And I have studied all my predecessors.

The average person who gets elected president is intelligent, hardworking, and honestly tries to do what they say they're gonna do when they get there, but there's a big difference in a who can do and who can't.

Here's what I know about Hillary. She's the single best changemaker I've ever met in my life, and we need a changemaker, not a change talker a changemaker.

So I'll tell you a couple of stories you may not know. A court said our schools weren't properly financed in Arkansas, and we we're going to have to reallocate the money. I put Hillary in charge of coming up with new standards; she went to every county in the state, made all the people who didn't want to change mad, presented it to the legislature. The crusty old head of the education committee in the legislature said it was so good that maybe we had elected the wrong member of our family. There's something to be said for that. Anyway.

Nine years later I come to Iowa, running for president telling you, one reason you ought to vote for me is that the same guy had just given us a report saying the two most improved school systems in America were in Arkansas and South Carolina. She did that, not me. She had never been elected to anything; she just always made something good happen.

She went to South Carolina to see why all these African American teenagers were being jailed as adults; 13, 14, 15 years old being kept for years in adult prisons. And she went back and they changed that too. She hadn't been elected to anything but she was making change. That's just the beginning I could keep you here until tomorrow morning telling you these stories.

It's hard work. It's policy. The country needs somebody who can actually get something done.

She comes in one day just jumping up and down happy. She said, "You know, I've been so worried we have six of the 20 poorest counties in America." She said, "These kids are going to school, they're not able to learn. There's no kindergarten, there's certainly no pre-kindergarten and there's no preschool. I found it. I found a preschool program in Israel that teaches people to be their children's first teachers even if they're illiterate. I think it would work here." I said, "Well, what are we gonna do?" She said, "I did it. I called the woman who started it, she'll be here in 10 days and we're gonna start this program." Now ...

Here's what happened. Next thing I know I'm going to these little graduations for preschoolers. Next thing you know it's in 26 states, it's still thriving. And there are thousands of people in this country today who have learned more and grew up just because of her. And they have no clue, and she didn't care, and she hadn't been elected to anything. She just made something good happen.

You're entitled to give all these remarks the love discount if you want. But everything I have told you I believe with all my heart. She's the best person to win the election, the best person to implement the changes we need, economically and socially, the best person to preserve the gains we've made under President Obama. But mostly, I want you to do what's best for you. Most of the people in this audience have more tomorrows than yesterdays.

Those of us who have more yesterdays than tomorrows, believe it or not, spend most of our time thinking about the future. And I believe it would be a gift that would keep on giving, because she made everything she ever touched better. Thank you very much.

Hillary Clinton, Press Release - President Clinton's Stories Explain Why Hillary Is the "Single Best Changemaker" He's Ever Met Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/317263

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives