President Clinton sent a very public message Tuesday night to Whitewater critics of his wife: I’m standing by my first lady.
Ten minutes into his State of the Union address, the president praised Hillary Rodham Clinton - just three days before she testifies under a subpoena to a Whitewater grand jury.
“I’d like to take just a moment to thank my own family and to thank the person who has taught me more than anyone else, over 25 years, about the importance of families and children,” Clinton said. “A wonderful wife, a magnificent mother, and a great first lady.”
As Speaker Newt Gingrich joined the standing ovation that swept throughout the chamber, the president poignantly gazed up at his wife in the House gallery - a shot the TV cameras caught.
“Thank you, Hillary,” Clinton said.
Sitting between daughter Chelsea Clinton and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, Hillary Clinton appeared moved by her husband’s tribute and stood to acknowledge an applauding crowd.
Just four years ago, when then Gov. Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination held by only a thread after accusations of infidelity, Hillary Clinton proclaimed her love and support for him.