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希拉里有声自传Hillary Rodham Clinton13

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After school ended in the spring of 1972, I returned to Washington to work again for Marian Wright Edelman. Bill took a full-time job with the McGovern campaign.

My primary assignment in the summer of 1972 was to gather information about the Nixon Administration’s failure to enforce the legal ban on granting tax-exempt status to the private segregated academies that had sprung up in the South to avoid integrated public schools.

As part of my investigation, I drove to Dothan, Alabama, for the purpose of posing as a young mother moving to the area, interested in enrolling my child in the local all-white academy. At a local private school, I went through my role-playing, asking questions about the curriculum and makeup of the student body. I was assured that no black students would be enrolled.

It was obvious to all of us that Nixon was going to trounce McGovern in the November election. But, as we soon would learn, this didn’t deter Nixon and his operatives from illegally using campaign funds (not to mention official government agencies) to spy on the opposition and finance dirty tricks to help ensure a Republican victory. A botched break-in at Democratic Committee offices at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972, would lead to the downfall of Richard Nixon. It would also figure in my future plans. That 1972 race was our first rite of political passage.

After completing law school in the spring of 1973, Bill took me on my first trip to Europe to revisit his haunts as a Rhodes Scholar. We set out to visit as many cathedrals as we could, We meandered from Salisbury to Lincoln to Durham to York, pausing to explore the ruins of a monastery laid waste by Cromwell’s troops or wandering through the gardens of a great country estate.

Then at twilight in the beautiful Lake District of England, we found ourselves on the shores of Lake Ennerdale, where Bill asked me to marry him.

I was desperately in love with him but utterly confused about my life and future. So I said, “No, not now.” What I meant was, “Give me time.”

My mother had suffered from her parents’ divorce, and her sad and lonely childhood was imprinted on my heart. I knew that when I decided to marry, I wanted it to be for life. Looking back to that time and to the person I was, I realize how scared I was of commitment in general and of Bill’s intensity in particular. I thought of him as a force of nature and wondered whether I’d be up to the task of living through his seasons.

Bill Clinton is nothing if not persistent. He sets goals, and I was one of them. He asked me to marry him again, and again, and I always said no. Eventually he said, “Well, I’m not going to ask you to marry me any more, and if you ever decide you want to marry me then you have to tell me.” He would wait me out. 

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