January 26, 1992/60 Minutes w/Bill& Hillary Clinton:
Kroft: I think most Americans would agree that it's very admirable that you've stayed together – that you've worked your problems out and that you've seemed to reach some sort of understanding and arrangement.
Bill Clinton: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. You're looking at two people who love each other. This is not an arrangement or an understanding. This is a marriage. That's a very different thing.
Hillary Clinton: You know, I'm not sitting here – some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette. I'm sitting here because I love him, and I respect him, and I honor what he's been through and what we've been through together...
Hillary’s Secret Weapon; Huma Abedin oversees every minute of Senator Clinton’s day.
By Rebecca Johnson
It’s the morning after the second set of Democratic debates. Huma Abedin has had three hours of sleep and four cups of coffee, but her black Prada suit is wrinkle-free, her skin is flawless, and her long, luxurious hair is blow-dried into the kind of bouncy waves you see mostly in shampoo commercials. Her mind, however, is on her boss. As Hillary Clinton basks in the adoration of 500 of New York’s most powerful women, all of whom paid $250 a head for breakfast, Abedin watches proudly from the back of the room. 'We’re on such a high from last night,' she says. 'I was so nervous I got teary. It was like watching your kid go off to kindergarten, but I thought she did great.'
Today, however, is a new day with a new set of problems waiting to be solved. At the moment, it’s the generic ballroom in a Hilton hotel, which looks too much like, well, a generic ballroom in a Hilton hotel. Where are the Hillary banners? Or the floor with the campaign logo that looks so good in photographs? 'It’s just,' Huma explains, clicking away on one of the two BlackBerrys that constitute her traveling office, 'you want everything to be perfect.'
Actually, the banners could be anywhere. For the previous ten days, Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin, her traveling chief of staff, have been flying around the country nonstop. First Northern and Southern California, followed by Las Vegas, Iowa, then New Hampshire. Today in New York their itinerary is six pages long, with the day sliced into fifteen-minute increments. After the breakfast, there is a private meeting with a local New York politician, followed by a meeting with magazine editors, a photo shoot, an interview, then back to D.C. and yet another debate with rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards. It’s a schedule no ordinary person could maintain. But, then, Hillary Clinton is no ordinary person. Neither is Huma.
'Both Hillary and Huma are extraordinary people who are also workaholics,' says Oscar de la Renta, who has often hosted the two at his house in the Dominican Republic. 'The E-mailing! It never stops. I tell Hillary, ‘Just because you are working in the sun, that doesn’t make it a vacation.’ They are lucky to have found each other.'
'I don’t think you could say they are like mother and daughter. It’s more like an older sister-younger sister relationship, but it’s definitely familial,' according to a longtime Hillary friend, actress Mary Steenburgen.
'I’m not sure Hillary could walk out the door without Huma,' says Clinton adviser Mandy Grunwald. 'She’s a little like Radar on M*A*S*H. If the air-conditioning is too cold, Huma is there with the shawl. She’s always thinking three steps ahead of Hillary.'
Abedin is remarkably cheerful about holding shawls-'There’s no detail too small for me,' she says-but there’s a lot more to her job than that. 'Huma does make the trains run on time,' says Bob Barnett, the Clintons’ longtime personal lawyer, 'and she does it well, which is important when you are as in demand as the senator is. But she also has an incredible ability to remember people and get things done. I’m always looking to her for her judgment and encyclopedic knowledge of what’s been said, where, and by whom.'
Among Clinton’s inner circle, Abedin has been referred to as 'Hillary’s secret weapon,' but last March the New York Observer profiled her (without her cooperation) in an article titled 'Hillary’s Mystery Woman: Who Is Huma?' The takeaway message was that Huma is preternaturally calm under pressure and one fine hottie. 'Hoh, my God,' James Carville panted to the reporter, 'have you seen Huma? She takes your breath away.' [...]
'What Hillary and Huma share,' says Steenburgen, 'is an absolute lack of jadedness. In that job, it’s easy to become numb because so much of what you hear is a complaint. But they have both managed to maintain a sense of outrage and sorrow. If anything, I think Hillary is feeling things more intensely than when she was younger. I don’t know if it’s a chicken-or-the-egg thing-Hillary affecting Huma or the other way around-but together they work.'
After hearing from so many people that Huma Abedin is the master of the velvet no, I finally got to experience it firsthand. Following Hillary’s breakfast in the Hilton ballroom, her traveling press person introduced me to the senator so I could get a quote about her employee. Just as I was about to ask, Abedin swooped in. 'No, no, no,' she said, waving her hands. 'She has to go.'
Clinton smiled and shrugged. 'I go where I’m told,' she said.
“I’m sorry,' Huma later apologized. 'She’s just so busy today. I don’t want to bother her with my stuff.'
No matter. That evening, I received an E-mail from the senator herself [Hillary]. 'Huma Abedin has the energy of a woman in her 20s, the confidence of a woman in her 30s, the experience of a woman in her 40s, and the grace of a woman in her 50s. She is timeless, her combination of poise, kindness, and intelligence are matchless, and I am lucky to have had her on my team for a decade now.'”
6 days ago/NYDAILYNEWS:
"As many of you who has followed this campaign know, I’ve spent a good deal [of time] on the campaign trail. Going to churches and street fairs, parades. But this is the first time I’ve spoken at a press conference, and you'll have to bear with me, because I’m very nervous, and I wrote down what I wanted to say.
"When we faced this publicly two years ago, it was the beginning of a time in our marriage -- it was very difficult, and it took us a very long time to get through it.
"Our marriage, like many others, has had its ups and its downs. It took a lot of work -- and a whole lot of therapy -- to get to a place where I could forgive Anthony.
"It was not an easy choice in any way. But I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage. That was a decision I made for me, for our son, and for our family. I didn’t know how it would work out, but I did know that I wanted to give it a try.
"Anthony's made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after. But I do very strongly believe that that is between us and our marriage. We discussed all of this before Anthony decided he would run for mayor.
"So really what I want to say is: I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward. Thank you very much. Thank you for your time.
-- Huma Abedin
4 days ago/ The Rush Limbaugh Show:
CALLER: (laughing) Hillary Clinton owns that marriage of Huma and Weiner. [...] Rush, the reason they have to bail out Huma is to save Hillary's chances for 2016, because if you are able to connect the dots from Huma to Hillary, and you look at Hillary's original --
RUSH: That is an excellent point. If Huma bails, what does that make Hillary look like? Because everybody knows that Huma is Hillary's body person.
CALLER: And Bill married them!
CALLER: (giggling) Yes!
RUSH: He presided over the marriage of Weiner and Huma?
CALLER: Yes. (laughing) This is really their couple!
RUSH: This stuff... The Clinton wing of the party is a Mad magazine all on its own.
CALLER: Yes. Yes.
RUSH: You have a great point here -- and I'm not trying to set your Detroit stuff aside.; I'll get back to that in a second. Here's Hillary, who is being reported as the mentor to Huma --
RUSH: -- and advising Huma on how to handle all this. "You gotta do it like I did." This is the assumption. "Do it like I did, Huma! Stand by the guy. The guy's going places. When he gets there, take over. You know, like I did with the president." The difference is, nobody likes Weiner.
CALLER: Riiiiiiiight! He's not likable, Rush. He's not likable, and that's what the Democrats knew. They thought Obama was more likable than Hillary. He's not. Now he's making Hillary look good again.
RUSH: See, I've never thought any of them were likable.
CALLER: Well, I know! (giggling wildly)
RUSH: Now, Clinton isn't --
CALLER: I've been listening to you for 20 years -- okay, 23 years.
RUSH: Bill Clinton's an exception. I'm on record as saying I'd love to go to a ball game with the guy and chase women afterwards. I mean, he's that kind of guy. But there's nothing to likable about the others. I've never thought so. Hillary's always been Nurse Ratched to me. Huma? I don't see anything but just, "Stay away from that," and Weiner is insane. Weiner's an unbalanced lunatic.But here's the point that you made that is really good. So here's Hillary, the role model. Hillary's shown every woman how to do it. Hillary gave it all up at Yale and she followed Bill to Arkansas and she hung by him and she hung in. Doing so permitted Bill to become what he became, which then permitted Hillary to do what she wanted to do. So Hillary is saying, "Now, Huma, you gotta hang in there. You gotta hang in there!" Well, if Huma doesn't hang in there, what does it make Hillary look like?
This morning's NYPost:
"The Clintons are upset with the comparisons that the Weiners seem to be encouraging — that Huma is ‘standing by her man’ the way Hillary did with Bill, which is not what she in fact did,’’ said a top state Democrat." [...]
“'The Clintons are pissed off that Weiner’s campaign is saying that Huma is just like Hillary,' said the source. 'How dare they compare Huma with Hillary? Hillary was the first lady. Hillary was a senator. She was secretary of state.' [...]
"In the view of many Democrats, the Weiners have also alluded more subtly to the Clintons.
"For instance, Abedin, with her husband at her side, declared last week, 'Our marriage, like many others, has had its ups and its downs.'
“'Who didn’t think Huma was referring to the Clintons when she said that?' asked another prominent Democrat.
"Worried about the potential impact on Hillary’s likely run for president in 2016, the political power couple has begun aggressively distancing itself from the crippled mayoral contender, according to sources...
Standing by her man cost Huma her Hillary. Somewhere, Tammy Wynette is laughing because poetic justice.