Whether Hillary Clinton wins the election or not (and credible polls point to her winning by a large margin with just weeks to go until voting), she has already made history. She has deftly maneuvered her way through the male-dominated corridors of power in Washington, D.C., from pushing for legislation on children's healthcare as First Lady, then abroad to negotiating a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in 2012 as Secretary of State. Her nomination as Democratic presidential candidate is a historical first, and she is on track to smashing the "highest, hardest glass ceiling" in this country yet. So it's safe to say that Clinton will be an inspiration for many generations of women to come, a name cited alongside the likes of Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, and other significant female figures in history.
But for Clinton herself, she draws inspiration from close to home. In an essay for Harper's Bazaar's "Women Who Dare" series, Clinton wrote that the woman who most inspires her is her mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham.
Clinton detailed her mother's childhood: sent away at 8 to live with her grandparents in Chicago, out on her own at 14 and working as a maid at the height of the Great Depression.
"When I was old enough to understand her upbringing, I couldn't quite wrap my head around it," Clinton wrote. "Finally, I asked what kept her going during those hard early years. Here's what she told me: along the way, people stepped up and sustained her with acts of kindness."
Clinton also noted how her mother instilled in her the value of giving others a chance to succeed and that she echoes her mother's passion for helping others.
Clinton may not have much time for reflection while campaigning, but surely her mother isn't too far from her mind as she vies to become the first female commander-in-chief. She wrote:
I think about all the hardship she saw in her life — and all the progress. She came into the world at a time when women's options were narrow. But on the day — the exact day — she was born, Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, putting women on the path to voting. And then my mother grew up and raised her daughter to believe she could be anything she dreamed of, even President of the United States.