Marines sent Hillary to the dogs

HER husband may have done his darnedest to stay out of the military, but not so Hillary Clinton. In an admission which will fuel doubts about who wears the trousers at the White House, the ever- surprising First Lady says she once tried to join the Marines.

The episode, as Mrs Clinton told a women's group lunch on Capitol Hill this week, happened back in 1975, the year the Clintons were married. For reasons she did not explain, she went into a recruiting office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the couple were living, and asked to sign up for the elite Marine Corps.

That was as far as her career under arms went. The recruiter behind the desk turned her down instantly: 'You're too old, you can't see (Mrs Clinton wore thick glasses then), and you're a woman.' Maybe, he added condescendingly, the 'dogs' would take her - 'dogs' being Marine slang for the regular army.

The story was meant to show how much a woman's horizons had widened since. But it will add to the mystery about the President's formidable spouse. Which is the real Hillary Clinton? The do-good liberal 'Saint Hillary' of New York Times fame, the crusader for health care, the cookie- baker manquee, the tough lawyer, the hot-shot cattle futures trader - or the would-be Marine?

If the last is right, she could not be more different from her husband, whose efforts to avoid the Vietnam draft and that 1969 letter proclaiming his 'loathing' for the military almost scuttled his presidential aspirations in 1992.

But the recruiting story doesn't quite add up. She too had protested about the Vietnam war, and worked on George McGovern's anti-war Democrat campaign in 1972. Had her views really changed overnight? Or was it, to borrow another Clintonism, something to do with 'maintaining political viability'? Maybe, though, it was just pure Hillary.

As her spokesman, Neal Lattimore, told the New York Times, 'She was just taking in her options, saying: 'This is where I am in my life, this is what fits into my life right now.' '

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss