Media Moments Hilary Clinton Can Never Erase

November 8, 2016 is a day that will live in infamy for Hilary Rodham Clinton. That day, the former First Lady and Secretary of State, armed with a lengthy list of political credentials, was favored by pundits and mainstream media to be a shoo-in as America's 45th President and the country's first female leader. Embarrassingly, a loutish outsider and New York real estate magnate, Donald Trump, bent on invading Washington D.C. with a swamp-draining manifesto, took all that away from her. Clinton expected a result that would crown her already mounting list of political achievements, only to see her popularity plummet, like riding a rollercoaster had it been built on Mount Everest. "This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I'm sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country," said an understandably choked, but still conciliatory Clinton once Trump beat her (per The New York Times).

That night, her consolation speech demonstrated the combination of grace and guts for which Clinton's been admired whenever she found herself in the hot seat. That's not surprising, given that she's been in the public eye for decades, including her time in the White House when her husband Bill Clinton first occupied the Oval Office in 1993. She's had plenty of lessons to learn in the interim, including several media moments she wished she could take back. Here's a look at a few of them.

Hilary Clinton's 60 Minutes remarks created a firestorm

Hilary Clinton often demonstrated she was far more than arm candy to husband Bill Clinton. When he was Governor of Arkansas during the '80s, she practiced law, earning more than four times what her politician husband pocketed. That fierce independence surprised millions of viewers in January, 1992, when a post-Super Bowl edition of "60 Minutes" featured a candid interview with the couple when Bill decided to run for President. When asked about the stability of their marriage in light of Bill's alleged philandering, Hilary declared, "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. And you know, if that's not enough for people, then heck—don't vote for him." 

The remark infuriated millions of Americans and even angered songwriter Tammy Wynette, whose hit "Stand By Your Man" was indirectly skewered by Hilary. "I believe you have offended every true country music fan and every person who has 'made it on their own' with no one to take them to a White House," wrote Wynette in a letter to Hilary, who later apologized. Her first high-profile introduction to Americans turned into a baptism of fire, which she recalled in her memoirs, "Living History," years later. "The fallout from my reference to Tammy Wynette was instant and brutal," she wrote, per Country Rebel.

Scandals rocked her when she was First Lady

During their '90s White House years, Bill and Hilary Clinton frequently found themselves knee-deep in scandal. The biggest one was Whitewater, a failed riverfront property deal that involved the Clintons and other investors, including one partner who apparently defrauded a savings and loan company during negotiations. The couple was cleared of any wrongdoing, although a separate 1993 incident dubbed Travelgate apparently had Hilary's fingerprints all over it. That's when she fired seven White House office staffto apparently outsource that work to pals in her old stomping grounds of Little Rock, Arkansas.  She denied those allegations during an interview with NBC's Marian Shriver, claiming that the fired staff weren't particularly competent, per Reason. "I have consistently said when reports about financial mismanagement in the White House Travel Office were first raised, I and others said, my goodness, you know, that sounds like something that needs to be examined," she said.

But a presidential aide memo placed Hilary at the hub of the scandal. Coincidentally the outsourcing scheme turned out to be the brainchild of Clinton relative Catherine Cornelius, who was responsible for Bill's travel itinerary during his 1992 presidential campaign, claiming the option could realize more than $200,000 in savings. Lack of evidence saved her hide, although Clinton said in her "Living History" tome, "I'm not sure I've ever learned so much so fast about the consequences of saying or doing anything before knowing exactly what's going on," per USA Today.

Hilary Clinton stood by her man during a sex scandal

Hilary Clinton's 1992 declaration that she wouldn't stand by her man, Tammy Wynette style, came back to haunt her six years later when news broke about her husband's 18-month affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Hilary did the first thing that came to mind when questioned by the media: she stood by her man. "It's just a very unfortunate turn of events that we are using the criminal justice system to try to achieve political ends in this country," she said on NBC's "TODAY Show" (per Washington Post), "We get a politically motivated prosecutor who is allied with the right-wing opponents of my husband ...." Bill also denied any sexual involvement with Lewinsky, which as investigations would prove later, turned out to be false. Near the end of the year, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives, although a Senate vote prevented the President from losing his job.

Admittedly, the affair wasn't Hilary's finest moment, but defending her husband on the "TODAY Show" proved she had a decent grip on how to play partisan politics, skills she'd deftly employ in paving her own political path. In 2016, Hilary would be tested on that stance when rival presidential candidate Donald Trump, hoping to intimidate his opponent, hosted a media conference with four women who claimed Bill Clinton had sexually abused them. In response, Hilary tweeted a Michelle Obama loop that said, "When they go low, we go high."

She lied about a Bosnian sniper

After her husband completed his two terms as President, Hilary Clinton wasted no time in pursuing her own fortunes, having been elected Senator of New York in 2000, where she served for seven years. Her terms in Congress drew relatively little attention compared to her tenure as First Lady, although arguably, headlines focused more on President George Bush and his "War on Terror," triggered by the 9/11 attacks that culminated in U.S. troops invading Afghanistan and Iraq. But it was when Clinton set her sights on the U.S. Presidency that the media lay in ambush waiting to jump on any gaffe she'd commit. They didn't have to wait long.

Speaking in Washington D.C. in March 2008, Clinton claimed she and daughter Chelsea were attacked when they visited Bosnia in 1996. "I remember landing under sniper fire," she said, per Reuters. "There was supposed to be some kind of greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base." Only when the media rolled archival footage of Clinton and company deplaning without incident at the airport in the Bosnian capitol of Tuzla did she have to backpedal on her story a few days later. "So I made a mistake," Clinton said to reporters at a function in Pennsylvania during her campaign, per Guardian. "That happens. It shows I'm human, which for some people is a revelation."

Hilary Clinton's credibility crashed after an attack in Libya

Hilary Clinton never received the Democrat nomination to run for President in 2008, losing to Sen. Barack Obama, who eventually won the keys to the Oval Office. But he did appoint Hilary to the highly-coveted Secretary of State position, where she held court for four years, adhering to U.S. foreign policy. Near the end of her term, on the ironic date of September 11th in 2012, Libyan militants attacked the U.S. Mission in Behghazi, killing four Americans including an ambassador and a federal employee. Investigations took at least three years before Hilary was asked to testify before a Congressional committee on the tragedy.

"I take responsibility for what happened in Benghazi," said Clinton in 2015, long after she left her Secretary of State position, per Al Jazeera. Republicans persisted in pressing Clinton that she could have prevented the attack, which allegedly stemmed from a protest outside Mission gates. That's when Hillary lost her cool. "With all due respect, the fact is that we had four dead Americans," she shot back, per Reuters. "Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?" Clinton was cleared of any wrongdoing in 2016, during her election campaign. But it cast doubts on her credibility as a leader who may have let a dispute tragically spiral out of control.

She pleaded poverty after leaving the White House

In 2014, a year after leaving her Secretary of State post, Hilary Clinton penned her autobiography "Hard Choices," and it was while promoting it that she landed in hot water. During an interview with ABC News personality Diane Sawyer, Hilary claimed that the legal fees spent during the scandals affecting her and husband Bill in the White House severely strained their finances. "We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt," said Clinton to Sawyer. "We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy." 

According to CNN, the couple may have owed as much as $10.6 million by the time they vacated 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2000. That was before they tapped their A-list veins, which saw Bill Clinton earned him more than $9.2 million in public speaking engagements the following year. For her part, Hilary's first book "Living History," resulted in a revenue stream worth $10 million. But more damaging was Hilary's comment that hinted she was out of touch with millions of Americans who were likely two paychecks away from bankruptcy and couldn't envision what poverty felt like to a jet-setting political family suddenly out of work. It didn't help when Hilary tried to spin her predicament from "dead broke" to not "truly well off," per ABC News.

Hilary Clinton alienated BLM activists

Hilary Clinton's impulsive tendency to speak out would sometimes blow back into her face, and that scenario became evident in February 2016, when she traded barbs with Black Lives Matter activists in Charleston SC, where she was campaigning for the Presidential post. The group showed up to express outrage at remarks Hilary made 12 years earlier when she was First Lady, and when husband Bill had passed a highly-contentious anti-crime bill that imposed stiffer sentences for criminals. At the time, Hilary defending the act, which she claimed would reel in young gang members. "They are not just gangs of kids anymore," she said on a C-SPAN video. "They are often the kinds of kids that are called 'super-predators.'"

The BLM contingent flooding the foyer at a private fundraising function felt Hilary had especially targeted young Blacks with that remark at the time and demanded an apology from the Presidential candidate. After a heated exchange with the activists, Hillary harshly blurted out, "Do you want to hear the facts, or do you just want to talk?" That snide retort hardly scored any brownie point for Hilary who was compelled to apologize the following day. "Looking back, I shouldn't have used those words, and I wouldn't use them today," she said in a written response to the Washington Post. Ironically, her ill-advised choice of vocabulary flew in the face of one of her campaign platforms to seriously examine systemic racism in the U.S.

She angered a slew of coal miners

During her 2016 Presidential campaign, Hilary Clinton seemed especially proud of a green energy initiative, but seemed oblivious to what would happen to those working in more traditional fossil fuel industries. That lack of foresight was especially made clear when she took part in a Democrat Presidential town hall event televised on CNN in March. "I'm the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country, because we're going to put a lot of coal miner and coal companies out of business," she declared. 

And with that remark, she jeopardized any chances of snaring electoral college victories in coal-producing states. The reaction from citizens in West Virginia was particularly harsh, which produces nearly 14% of the country's coal. Demonstrators in Williamson lined the streets to protest a Hilary campaign event slated for that town. Officials in Logan refused to host a similar event, saying, "Mrs. Clinton's anti-coal messages are the last thing our suffering town needs at this point," per Politico

The hostility hit Hilary hard, demonstrating she may have been out of sync with the needs of working families, a gaffe that would further damage her campaign. "It wasn't the first time that happened during the 2016 election, and it wouldn't be the last, she wrote in her book "What Happened," a year later, per CNN. "But it is the one I regret the most."

She joked about carelessly handling her emails

One of the most widely publicized events that derailed Hilary Clinton's 2016 campaign was her handling of emails when she was Secretary of State. The FBI spent years investigating her use of a private server, concentrating on messages that might have contained classified information. Of more than 30,000 emails examined, more than 100 contained such information, although FBI Director James Comey said in July that Hilary was more careless than malicious in handling that material. "As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case," said Comey in his report.

Although the email controversy had dogged for years, Hilary was oddly cavalier about the whole thing, joking in 2015 about wiping her servers. "What? Like with a cloth or something?" she retorted. The humour continued long after the FBI report exonerated her, including during one appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" when she declared, "Jimmy, my emails are so boring. And I'm embarrassed about that," per ABC News. But the issue was far from dead when in October, less than two weeks before the federal election, the FBI reopened the case after discovering emails that could shed new light on the investigation. While the FBI cleared Hilary once again, two days before the election, publicity surrounding the issue was enough for Clinton to say that the investigation killed her Presidential aspirations.

Her 'basket of deplorables' comment infuriated millions

There was no love lost between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016 in arguably the dirtiest federal electoral battle to date. But Hilary may have gone too far when she didn't stop at insulting Trump but much of his fan base as well. Two months before the election in New York, Hilary spoke at an LGBTQ fundraiser, a pretty safe environment for her to spout off her witticisms, except this was one event open to the media. "You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables, right?" she said to her faithful audience. "The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it." Speaking to a crowd that hasn't exactly been courted by right-wingers, it's likely that at that moment, Hilary didn't care that she had just alienated millions of Americans from voting for her.

Ironically, it took a Republican, namely Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence, to outline whom Hilary had attacked. "The people who support Donald Trump's campaign are hardworking Americans," Pence said at a Washington D.C. conference, per The New Yorker. "Let me just say from the bottom of my heart: Hillary, they are not a basket of anything, they are Americans and they deserve your respect." A day later, Hilary apologized. "Last night I was 'grossly generalistic,' and that's never a good idea," she said per Reuters. "I regret saying 'half' — that was wrong."

She collapsed after a 9/11 function

For the most part, Hilary Clinton showed she at least had the marbles and moxie to become the 45th President of the United States. But at times her health was highly suspect. In 2012, while still Secretary of State, Hilary had suffered from a concussion and a blood clot in her brain after taking a fall, and even admitted to suffering from three concussions during the course of her life. She also kept it a secret from her political team a recent diagnosis of pneumonia, which led to a shocking incident at a 9/11 ceremony in New York. While attending those proceedings, Hilary apparently felt faint ad was escorted to a waiting van, where she collapsed before trying to access the vehicle. Apparently, she felt "overheated" and left to recover at her daughter Chelsea's apartment.

It may have been embarrassing to Hilary to faint in front of cameras, but the media took it far more seriously, claiming that her health might be a concern in her run for the Presidential office. Three days later, Hilary's physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, declared the candidate had suffered from bacterial pneumonia, but was otherwise fine. "She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as President of the United States," added Bardack, per Reuters. The incident was also grist for rival Donald Trump's mill, when he declared a few weeks earlier that Hilary "lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS," per CNN.