During her 2016 campaign for presidency, Hillary Clinton has often spoke of her mother Dorothy Rodham, pointing out her mom’s hard-working perseverance after experiencing a tough childhood. In her book Hard Choices, Clinton says that learned to “never rest on your laurels,” and to “never quit,” from Mrs. Rodham, who passed away in 2011. This clearly had an impact on Clinton. Jennifer Palmieri, the campaign’s communications director, has also said of the presidential candidate, “She’s not a quitter, and you can count on her to grind it out and get the job done. We think it’s important people understand where that conviction comes from.”

Though Clinton was private of her upbringing during her 2008 campaign and is more open of it now, Clinton still rarely ever mentions her father. In a story from the New York Times, Clinton’s relationship with the late Hugh Rodham, is explored. Mr. Rodham is portrayed as a tough, conservative Republican father who was hard on his children. He’d throw Hillary’s toothpaste cap outside of the window if she forgot to screw it back on, wake her up at dawn to practice math and wouldn’t hesitate to spank his kids as often as he deemed necessary. He also apparently did weird things like put garlic in his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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The Times suggests that Clinton’s determination is not just from her mother’s influence, but her father’s as well. He was tough and mean yet also encouraged her:

Mr. Rodham taught his only daughter that she could play sports and do anything the boys did. When she was racked with self-doubt at Wellesley and Yale, her father wrote her tough but tender letters telling her to buck up. “Even when he erupted at me, he admired my independence and accomplishments,” she later wrote.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

Image via AP.