10 Things You Didn't Know About Hillary Clinton's Senate Career

President-elect Barack Obama named Clinton secretary of state.


1. Then first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the Senate in 2000, becoming the first female senator from New York, and the first first lady to win elective office. She was re-elected in 2006.

2. Clinton's first Senate campaign prominently featured a "listening tour" of New York, and during her early years in office she focused largely on issues specific to the state.

3. Clinton became more visible on national security issues after the September 11 attacks, when she advocated for aid to New York City and supported military operations in Afghanistan.

4. In October 2002, Clinton voted to support the Iraq war. She also voted for the supplemental funding package the following year but later criticized the Bush administration on its handling of the war. By 2007, her stance had shifted—she voted against the proposed troop surge in Iraq and favored beginning the process of troop withdrawal.

5. Clinton became a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2003. She is the first senator from New York to serve in that capacity.

6. In addition to the Armed Services Committee, Clinton is a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and the Special Committee on Aging.

7. As a senator, Clinton has won attention for working with Republicans on a variety of issues, including some from the GOP who had been political antagonists of her husband. Among others, she has partnered with Bill Frist, Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, and Lindsey Graham, with whom she worked to improve healthcare for National Guard members.

8. Clinton is a member of the Transformation Advisory Group, an expert panel that advises the U.S. Joint Forces Command on issues pertaining to the different branches of the military. She is the only senator in the group.

9. One of Clinton's signature issues has been quality of life for military veterans and their families. She has introduced several pieces of legislation designed to improve healthcare and financial support for veterans, and she sponsored a bill that would provide educational and financial opportunities for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007, Clinton and Virginia Sen. Jim Webb called for an investigation into whether the body armor issued to soldiers in Iraq was adequate.

10. During her presidential run, Clinton laid out her foreign policy views in a piece she wrote for the magazine Foreign Affairs. She called for the United States to withdraw from Iraq, step up counterterrorism efforts, and to engage both allies and foes: "If we can exercise our power wisely and well, we can make America great again."


  • The Almanac of American Politics 2008
  • Associated Press
  • Boston Globe
  • CQ's Politics in America 2008
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Library of Congress
  • Los Angeles Times
  • New York Times
  • USA Today
  • Washington Post