Mrs. Rodham and Mr. Gwen, sitting in the first class together at Whittier Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City in 1968, the former Mrs. Clinton and the future Mrs. Trump, had already made up their minds about the place of women in politics.
But you could see it as early as high school. The president, when she began studying his book on political strategy, including the giant chapter titled “Rules,” asked her, “Why have you learned that?”
Mrs. Clinton told him: “Because I want to be president one day.”
From the start, Mrs. Clinton was politically mature. By the time she started drafting the first chapter of her memoirs, “Living History,” she had conducted hundreds of interviews and spent at least a month working on everything from the cover to the “Faces,” the layout and a few other parts, all the way to the cartography.
“There are a lot of hurdles you have to overcome to be a public figure,” she wrote of the process. “We had to learn how to be the bosses, and to communicate, articulate, run our own show.”
The Clintons appear in the casket of Theodore H. White as they prepare to travel to Washington, June 24, 2004.
The president, who had been a career diplomat and diplomat’s diplomat before his transformation into a prosecutor, dealt more directly with the issues of gender and the gender issue in a book, “The China Choice,” in 1998, when it seemed like with the rise of Bill Clinton, a liberal Democrat, a brand new political front may have developed.
(He would be far enough removed to be assured that most Americans could not envision the two having a personal relationship.)
In an interview with Barack Obama’s publisher and after he had become president, the president said of a book about Monica Lewinsky that was published in 1998 by Bob Woodward, “There is no way you are not going to find new dirt in terms of Monica Lewinsky. The problem with the Monica Lewinsky book, and I haven’t seen it yet, is that I don’t think we want it.”
Earlier, he had expressed surprise that questions of whether the Senate should confirm Mr. Obama’s nomination for a U.S. appeals court judgeship had an equal value. He pointed out that those questions had come up only when he was a state senator, a judge, a congressman or as governor.
“Everyone was in agreement that if there were a vacancy on a federal court of appeals with a woman nominee with credentials that were equal to a man, then those should go to the Senate,” he said. “I think everybody thought that that should be an exception, and we decided that it wasn’t.”
Mr. Woodward, when asked about the comments, attributed the differences to experience. Mr. Woodward, who has become among the president’s most loyal allies and had sold more than 6 million copies of his books, had worked on his own books (such as “Primary Colors” and “Worse Than Watergate”) when he knew he would become closely associated with a political administration in power.
The president of the United States, from the smallest town, has been very forgiving.