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Hillary Clinton's December 2009 Vogue Interview

Hillary Talks Sexism, Obama's Job Offer, and Mad Men to Vogue

Hillary Clinton finally sat down for a long-overdue Vogue interview. She offended editor Anna Wintour during the primaries by turning down the fashion mag out fear of looking "too feminine." And though she won't be on the December cover, the article is as substantial and satisfying as a cover story.

From night swimming alone to her favorite shows (Mad Men!), we see a side of Madame Secretary that all the vetting in the world would not unearth. See some of what she had to say below.

On visiting countries as a high-ranking female: "You can go to some countries and there's not a woman in the room. They don't even make the effort to give me the token woman minister. . . . And in lots of African countries the honorific for women is 'Mama.' So I had lots of people say to me, 'Mama, what about this; Mama, what about that?'"


On President Obama's job offer: "I was stunned after the election when President Obama asked me to consider this. . . . I really was very unconvinced. I did not think it was the right thing to do. I didn't want to do it. I just really had a lot of doubts, and I kept suggesting other people: Well, how about this person! How about that person! This one would be really good! But then a friend of mine called me and basically said, 'How would you have felt if you'd been elected and you'd called him and asked him to do this?' And that really made a big impression on me. How do you say no? And so . . . I said yes. And here I am."

On Mad Men: "That's how it was! That's why the women's-liberation movement was so shocking. It was like news from outer space"

See what else she had to say after the jump.

On lashing out at an African student who accidentally asked for her husband's opinion: "Well, it was a very aggressive mood in that auditorium. I just sensed a real disappointment in everybody, including the United States. Forget it. There's nothing anybody can do. Why are you even here? It was a very intense experience. . . . The actual text of the question was pretty clear in the way it was translated. But, you know, it was just one of those moments."

On why she is such an inspiration to women: "Well, I don't really understand it myself. . . . So many women feel like I'm on their side. I somehow, through my life or their perception of me, give them courage to do things. And I think it's also that, whether I am meant to or not, I challenge assumptions about women. I do make some people uncomfortable, which I'm well aware of, but that's just part of coming to grips with what I believe is still one of the most important pieces of unfinished business in human history — empowering women to be able to stand up for themselves."

Image Source: Getty
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