The Truth-O-Meter Says:
Chain email

"She flunked the D.C. bar exam."

Chain email on Thursday, January 24th, 2008 in a chain e-mail based on an article written by Dick Morris

She failed, then followed Bill

In an article for a conservative Internet journal that has been widely distributed via chain e-mail, former Clinton adviser-turned-foe Dick Morris points out a little-known embarrassment about Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was a star law student at Yale.

"She flunked the D.C. bar exam and only passed the Arkansas bar," he wrote.

It's true.

In his biography of Hillary Clinton, former Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein notes that in the summer of 1973, 817 people took the Washington, D.C., bar exam; 551 of them passed. Hillary Rodham was not one of them.

"For the first time in her life she had flamed out — spectacularly, given the expectations of others for her, and even more so her own," Bernstein wrote.

Bernstein said Clinton kept the news hidden for 30 years and shocked some of her closest friends when she made the revelation with a passing reference in her 2003 autobiography, Living History. She even spins it into a positive.

"Despite the satisfaction of my work, I was lonely and missed Bill more than I could stand," she wrote. "I had taken both the Arkansas and Washington, D.C., bar exams during the summer, but my heart was pulling me toward Arkansas. When I learned that I passed in Arkansas but failed in D.C., I thought that maybe my test scores were telling me something."

So she followed Bill Clinton to Arkansas. She became a faculty member in the School of Law at the University of Arkansas, where Bill Clinton also taught. And in 1975, the two married.

Wrote Bernstein: "There can only be conjecture about what turn her life — and the nation's — might have taken had she not failed the exam."

But she did, and this statement is True.

About this statement:

Published: Friday, February 15th, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Candidate Biography

Sources:, "Bill Crafts Hillary's Bio," by Dick Morris, Aug. 9, 2007

Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2003

A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, 2007

Written by: Robert Farley
Researched by: Caryn Baird
Edited by: Amy Hollyfield

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