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story.lead_photo.caption In this May 25, 2018 file photo, Hillary Clinton smiles as she is introduced at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Hillary Rodham Clinton stood in front of several hundred people Friday evening in Little Rock, embarrassed.

She had just had a front-row seat to an hour of what felt like a toast to her time as Arkansas' first lady.

Marcy Doderer, president and chief executive of Arkansas Children's Hospital, recalled Clinton's influence on the hospital's expansion that took it from an overcrowded facility to what it is today.

Former state Rep. Gloria Cabe, who later was a senior adviser to Clinton when she became U.S. secretary of state, discussed Clinton's role in the overhaul of Arkansas' public schools.

Ann Kamps, an aide to Clinton when she was Arkansas' first lady, explained Clinton's role in bringing the Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters to Arkansas.

Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp and a former state lawmaker, described Clinton's support for the financial institution, which focuses on providing bank access to underserved communities.

"I'm massively embarrassed by all of this," Clinton said after the panel discussion. "I feel like I maybe just lived through my eulogy."

Clinton, 71, was back in Little Rock to participate in the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park's "Bridge Builders" series. Today, she's giving the commencement address at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs.

Clinton, who also served as a U.S. senator from New York after being the nation's first lady, said it was good at this point in the nation's history to come together and reflect on the past to extrapolate how to work with others to make positive change.

Doderer recalled one story about Clinton traveling to New York in 1980 while she was eight months pregnant with her daughter, Chelsea, to lobby Standard & Poor's to give Arkansas Children's Hospital a good bond rating so that the hospital could access funds to expand. Clinton joked that Standard & Poor's officials acquiesced so quickly just to be sure that she left their offices before she gave birth.

"Her spirit still reverberates through all of our facilities," Doderer said.

Cabe said that Clinton was instrumental in raising Arkansas' public school standards and revising the school-funding formula through the 1980s after the Arkansas Supreme Court declared the formula unconstitutional. She said that Clinton pitched a variety of changes during one legislative session, prompting one legislator to remark: "Fellas, I think we might have elected the wrong Clinton."

Williams, the banker, said that Clinton made Arkansans proud to be from the Natural State. Kamps agreed.

"I want young ladies to know that someone came here and became an Arkansan and brought a passion for learning and it was cool and it was good," Kamps said.

Clinton closed her remarks by noting that there's still much work to be done in Arkansas. In particular, she said that the state still can't guarantee every child the highest quality of education. She implored the audience to keep moving forward.

"It takes work; it takes commitment," Clinton said. "And dare I say, it takes a village."

Metro on 05/25/2019

Print Headline: Clinton endures a long evening of compliments


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Archived Comments

  • GeneralMac
    May 25, 2019 at 9:50 a.m.

    "embarrassed "

    Her real embarrassment came on election night 2016 when the state she was First Lady gave her a "whuppin"

    Arkansas results

    Donald Trump..........60.6 %
    Hillary...............33.7 %

  • Defiant
    May 25, 2019 at 12:01 p.m.

    Please tell me she didn’t get a fee to do this.

  • GeneralMac
    May 25, 2019 at 12:23 p.m.

    No pictures of her broom touching down at Bill and Hillary airport ?

  • MaxCady
    May 25, 2019 at 1:44 p.m.

    I bet nobody called Crooked Hillary a paragon of feminism on Friday night. Where was Slick Willie, at the Holiday Inn lounge looking for Gennifer??

  • Seitan
    May 25, 2019 at 2:04 p.m.

    Maxcady. Slick Willy was probably on the phone with President Tweetyfingers getting tips on how to funnel money to pay off pornstars and hookers.

  • cjhbeller
    May 25, 2019 at 3:26 p.m.

    Please tell me you ladies can really be kind to everybody?.... she is a great lady..

  • MaxCady
    May 25, 2019 at 4:15 p.m.

    Crooked Hillary limited class size in Arkansas, I'll give her that. But other than that she's lived off the public teat her entire life, just like Slick Willie.

  • Seitan
    May 25, 2019 at 4:23 p.m.

    Agree with CJ. Hillary helped hundreds of families, including mine, when she was a lawyer here. Amazing woman.

    May 25, 2019 at 4:33 p.m.

    Just popped in to laugh at the pathetic mouthbreathers who are threatened by women of accomplishment.

    Once again, they don't disappoint.

  • Packman
    May 25, 2019 at 5:06 p.m.

    Hillary’s yesterday’s news. Leave the old woman alone.
    Her legacy is an affront to women everywhere that have been sexually abused by powerful men. She didn’t just “stand by her man”, she worked to destroy the women that her husband abused purely for political purpose. She’s a terrible, terrible person and that is how she will be remembered.