The 2016 presidential race is already shaping up to be one for the books. And while the vast majority of political commentators are spending their time trying to decipher campaign strategies, platform stances, and trends in the polls, we feel like one crucial task is being grossly overlooked — getting to know our top candidates on a more personal level.
We all know about Hillary’s successful career in politics. But did you also know that she started her political career as a Republican? That she beat John McCain in a drinking contest? That she has an award-winning spoken book?
We didn’t think so. Here are ten little known facts about Hillary Rodham Clinton that completely blew our minds.
1. She dreamed of being an astronaut.
While Clinton has made a name for herself as a notable politician, when she was a young one, she had different ambitions. Her dream was to become a baseball player, journalist or astronaut. She once wrote a letter to NASA letting them know of her goals. They told her they did not accept women in the program.
2. She was named one of the most influential U.S. lawyers.
Prior to her run for office, in 1988 and 1991, National Law Journal named her one of the 100 most influential U.S. lawyers.
3. She was once a Republican.
While Clinton has made her career as a prominent figure in the Democratic party, she grew up as a Republican. Prior to her switch, she campaigned for several Republican candidates and was elected president of Young Republicans Club at Wellesley College. She decided to switch parties in opposition to the Vietnam War.
4. She beat John McCain in a drinking contest.
On a congressional tour in 2004, Hillary Clinton and John McCain sat down in a restaurant in Estonia and faced off in a vodka shot contest. Although the rules of the contest are still unclear, one thing is for certain. According to Clinton’s former campaign manager Terry McAuliffe, “She’s a girl from Illinois who likes to throw ’em down with the rest of us.”
5. She worked at a fish processing plant for a summer job.
We all have had that one odd summer job to help us earn some extra cash. Clinton definitely takes the cake with this one. During her years as a law student, she worked a summer job in Alaska at a fish processing plant. Her job was to scoop out the insides of the dead fish. Yum.
6. She won a Grammy.
In 1997, she won a “Best Spoken Word Album” Grammy for the audio recording of her book, It Takes a Village. In it she discusses the importance of society’s role in helping raise and shape our children. As she so eloquently puts it, “All of us, whether we acknowledge it or not, are responsible for deciding whether our children are raised in a nation that doesn’t just espouse family values but values families and children.”
7. She was the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College.
Her alma mater never had a student speaker at graduation until her class in 1969. She boldly preceded her speech by criticizing the first speaker, leading to a standing ovation from the audience. Her commencement speech was printed in Life magazine and became a powerful voice of the young generation.
8. She has not driven a car in nearly 20 years.
Last year, she explained to the National Automobile Dealers Association that she hadn’t driven a car since 1996 as a result of her extremely public life. Any bets on when she will break the streak?
9. She was the first female U.S. Senator from New York.
In capturing the US Senate seat for New York, she became the first First Lady to be elected to the U.S. Senate. At the same time, she became the first female U.S. Senator from New York.
10. She approached Bill.
The two met as students at Yale Law School. She walked over to him from her desk, extended her hand and said, “If you keep looking at me, and I’m going to keep looking back, we might as well be introduced. I’m Hillary Rodham.” The rest is history.