WASHINGTON – Robert McNeely, who served as official White House photographer during the Clinton administration, introduced on Thursday a collection of previously unpublished images of Hillary Clinton when she was first lady.
In his book, “The Making of Hillary Clinton: The White House years,” McNeely’s photographs offer a glimpse of the former first lady in many settings. The photographs reveal an emotional side not often seen. McNeely made reference to frequent criticism that Clinton often appeared to hide behind a public persona.
“She’s controversial in some ways because she refuses to compromise some of her values,” McNeely said at the Women’s National Democratic Club.
McNeely described Clinton as having a kind of attitude that “this is who I am, love me or not.” “I hope the people get the sense of who she really is through the book,” he said.
McNeely began to photograph the Clintons during the 1992 presidential campaign. He served as the official White House photographer from 1993 to 1998, and went on to shoot pictures of Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign in 2000.
It is often noted that the role of first lady, unelected and unpaid, has been undefined throughout history. From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama, each presidential wife had a distinct style.
Citing Hillary’s involvement at the White House, in which she sought her own role and eventual career while she paid attention to her husband’s presidential duties, McNeely said, “She expanded what a first lady could do in a way that would be recognized by the world.”
“I think that’s an inspiration to some future first ladies,” McNeely said.