There are many reasons to love Hillary Clinton, and apparently, many reasons not to. Personally, it was one iconic moment that was my first introduction to Hillary, and which instantly made me wish she were running for president, and not her husband. In March of 1992, Hillary caused a national freakout with these comments:
At the time, I was a very disillusioned Democrat who had largely tuned out of party politics. I had been a Jimmy Carter-then-Jesse Jackson Democrat watching my party vacillate against 12 years of Republican rule. Throughout the 90s, Bill Clinton found that one way to beat them was to accommodate the worst instincts of white voters in the political "center." I never liked Bill, and one thing that I think young voters may not get about the 90s is that it was generally understood that Hillary was the real liberal in that duo, and that Bill could barely keep a lid on her.
This moment was the first announcement of that, and would be followed by a long string of Bill and his staff undermining Hillary whenever she became politically inconvenient. But at the time, I loved that moment because Hillary was speaking for so many women who suffered for the choice, or were denied the choice, to forge lives and careers of their own. My mom baked cookies and stayed at home for a good chunk of my life, but had she had the opportunity, she'd have done so much more. Hillary, to my ears, was declaring war on the limited choices that were offered to women like my mom.
Like everyone else, I heard the remark absent context, but unlike a lot of people, I fucking loved it, and I was angry that Bill and his campaign made her walk it back later, which would become a pattern, and a major reason I never liked Bill.
As it turns out, the context was, of course, Bill drafting on Hillary to score points against Democratic rival Gov. Jerry Brown. At the Democratic primary debate in Illinois, Lynn Sweet asked then-Gov. Clinton to respond to press allegations he "funneled" state business to Hillary's law firm:
That led to this exchange, in which Jerry Brown went after Hillary, and Bill rode in as the White Knight:
It was Brown's attack to which Hillary was responding in that iconic moment.
A few weeks later, Hillary explained the remark and reacted to the freakout in a Today Show interview, which was awesome, but pay particular attention to the old white dude at the beginning, and see if it doesn't sound familiar:
No, that wasn't Jeff Weaver, but it sure sounded like him, didn't it?
For some added context to Hillary's explanation, it doesn't seem like she pulled that "bake cookies and have teas" thing out of thin air. Here's one interviewer in a 1979 local TV interview asking her about the expectations normally placed on a first lady: