Hillary Clinton opens up about her mother in new memoir

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
Yahoo News
A portrait of Hillary Clinton
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(Simon & Schuster)

Ahead of another possible presidential run, Hillary Clinton is opening up about her life in a new memoir, "Hard Choices," set to be published next month.

And in an excerpt published by Vogue on Mother's Day, Clinton remembers how her mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, comforted her following her loss in the 2008 campaign.

"Having her so close became a source of great comfort to me, especially in the difficult period after the end of the 2008 campaign," Clinton writes. "I’d come home from a long day at the Senate or the State Department, slide in next to her at the small table in our breakfast nook, and let everything just pour out."

Dorothy Howell Rodham died in 2011 at age 92.

"When I became Secretary of State, Mom was just about to turn 90," Clinton writes. "She had been living with us in Washington for the past few years, ever since being alone in her apartment overlooking the zoo on Connecticut Avenue became too much. Like so many Americans of my generation, I felt both blessed to have these extra years with an aging parent and very responsible for making sure she was comfortable and well cared for. Mom gave me so much unconditional love and support when I was growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois; now it was my turn to support her."

She "loved mystery novels, Mexican food, 'Dancing with the Stars'" and her grandchildren, including Chelsea Clinton, the former first daughter. "For Chelsea, her grandmother was one of the most important figures in her life," Clinton writes. "Mom helped Chelsea navigate the unique challenges of growing up in the public eye and, when she was ready, encouraged her to pursue her passion for service and philanthropy.

"I’m not sure if I ever saw Mom happier than at Chelsea’s wedding," Clinton continues. She "exulted over her joyful, radiant granddaughter."

Rodham's "own childhood was marked by trauma and abandonment":

In Chicago her parents fought frequently and divorced when she and her sister were young. Neither parent was willing to care for the kids, so they were put on a train to California to live with their paternal grandparents in Alhambra, a town near the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles. The elderly couple was severe and unloving. One Halloween, after Mom was caught trick-or-treating with school friends, a forbidden activity, she was confined to her room for an entire year, except for the hours she was in school. She wasn’t allowed to eat at the kitchen table or play in the yard.

Clinton writes that she was about to leave for a trip as secretary of state when her mother's failing health took its last turn.

"I was preparing to leave for London and Turkey," Clinton writes. "My team was already on board the airplane at Andrews waiting for me to arrive so we could take off. That’s when I got the call that Mom had been rushed to George Washington University Hospital. I quickly canceled the trip and sped there. Bill, Chelsea, and Marc rushed down from New York, and my brothers and their wives, Hugh and Maria and Tony and Megan, arrived as quickly as they could. Mom was a fighter her entire life, but it was finally time to let go."

In the excerpt, Clinton also reflects on her own relationship with Chelsea.

"From the moment I first held Chelsea in my arms in the hospital in Little Rock, I knew my mission in life was to give her every opportunity to thrive," she writes. "As she’s grown up and stepped out into the world in her own right, my responsibilities have changed. Now that she’s expecting a child of her own, I’m preparing for a new role that I’ve looked forward to for years: grandmother."

Related Video: Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton's Mother's Day Message on 'SNL'

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