39 Photos That Prove Hillary Clinton Is — And Always Has Been — A Total Badass

hillary clinton

Photo: AP

Hillary Clinton stepped down as Secretary of State on Friday, returning to private life after 31 years in the public eye. In those three decades, Clinton has gone from one of the country’s most divisive political figures to one of its most beloved. As First Lady of Arkansas — and later the United States — and then as a U.S. Senator and 2008 presidential candidate, Clinton navigated policy battles, scandal, and five campaigns, breaking down gender barriers at each step. She endured our ridicule over her fashion choices and our judgement over her marriage, facing down her critics with humour and steely resolve. 

The country finally came around to Clinton during her four years as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. She exits Foggy Bottom today with sky-high approval ratings and a cadre of loyal fans who are ready to spring into action should she decide to run for president again in 2016.  

But even if Clinton never returns to politics, her legacy is already established as the most bad-arse chick in Washington. 

Hillary Rodham started getting presidential buzz back in 1969, when she delivered the commencement address at Wellesley College.

The future First Couple looking rad at Yale Law School, where they met in 1971.

Looks like she got him to shave by their wedding day on Oct. 11, 1975.

Rocking awesome bangs at Bill Clinton's presidential campaign kickoff rally in 1991.

HRC kills it during a joint '60 Minutes' interview to deny Bill Clinton's affair with Gennifer Flowers

She's a natural politician. Here she is campaigning for Bill on a New York subway in 1992.

And here, pulling loaves out of the oven during a campaign stop at a bakery in the Bronx.

Clinton makes her trademark surprise face at a Miami campaign stop in 1992.

Letting loose on the campaign bus.

Never content with traditional First Lady roles, Clinton jumped into the policy fray with a failed attempt at healthcare reform. Here she is with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

She wasn't above hanging out with Big Bird though.

Clinton enjoys a moment of solace after falling behind on a run with her husband and Olympic hurdler Edwin Moses.

Sharing a hearty laugh during a festive Hawaiian vacation in 1993.

The Clintons always had an eclectic sense of style.

And they were always game for a photo-op. Here they are drinking Coca-Cola at a factory in Moscow.

Hillary rocks another fly outfit with her daughter Chelsea at the opening ceremonies of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway.

Seriously. They let the First Family do this.

The '90s weren't all leis and whitewater rafting though. Here Hillary Clinton accompanies the president to a memorial for the victims of the 1996 Oklahoma City bombing.

The Clintons weathered their biggest scandal in August 1998, famously holding hands with Chelsea the day after the president admitted he had an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

But HRC bounced back fast. Here she is donning a veil during a trip to Cairo with Chelsea in 1999.

In 2000, Clinton launched her first campaign as a candidate, running for Senate in New York. Here she is bowling at a fundraiser in the Port Authority bus terminal.

Clinton has some very famous friends. Here she is greeting Elton John in 2002 before his Senate testimony on the AIDS epidemic.

And here she is with Oprah and Kofi Annan in 2004.

The 2008 campaign made Clinton's cackle famous.

Watch the full speech below:

Clinton took her swagger to another level as Obama's Secretary of State.

Watch the clip below:

She visited 114 countries as Secretary of State, racking up more than one million flying miles.

She was in the room with Obama when Osama bin Laden was killed.

And took the lead for the administration in the Middle East. Here she is chatting with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in March 2012.

She paid an emotional visit to Burmese opposition leader and Noble Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in December 2011, becoming the first senior U.S. official to travel to Myanmar in over 50 years.

On top of all that, she also totally mastered the walk-and-talk.

And the blowout.

She started a Conga line in Cartagena.

And danced her way through Africa.

And here she is wearing a scrunchie while talking to the Tunisian Foreign Minister.

And here, posing for a selfie with Meryl Streep.

But the most lasting image of Hillary will probably be this.

The President hasn't had a bad run either...

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.