Hillary Clinton: burning ambition and resilience to match

Hillary Clinton

On the subject of women in politics, Hillary Clinton is fond of quoting the words of another illustrious first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, who once said: “You need to grow a skin as thick as a rhinoceros.”

When out on the stump, in cafes, and rallies across the country, Clinton talks of the adversity she has faced down over the course of four decades in public life.

“I have the scars to prove it,” quips the former secretary of state, painted by her enemies as “crooked,” “corrupt” and even an enabler of her husband’s affairs.

A Machiavellian image clings to the ambitious Midwesterner, dating back to her years in the political spotlight as a tandem with Bill.

She is considered “dishonest” by a majority of Americans, and the mudslinging is only set to intensify as she heads into a brutal showdown with presidential rival Donald Trump.

And yet, at age 68, Clinton now stands at the threshold of the White House.

On Thursday, she accepted her party’s formal nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, making history as the first woman to carry the colors of a major US political party in the presidential race.

In her acceptance speech, Clinton vowed to be the president of all Americans.

“I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans and independents,” Clinton said. “For the struggling, the striving and the successful. For those who vote for me and those who don’t. For all Americans.”

And she fired off red-hot barbs at her Republican rival, who has gloomily depicted America as being mired in an acute crisis of crime, violence and other woes at home and disrespect abroad.

“He wants to divide us–from the rest of the world, and from each other,” Clinton said. “He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.”

President Barack Obama delivered a soaring testimonial Wednesday, praising Clinton’s caliber and readiness for the job.

“I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman… more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president,” he said.