clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The sad story of how Hillary Clinton got addicted to Game Boy

Earlier today, the William Jefferson Clinton Library released a picture of Hillary Clinton playing a Nintendo Game Boy, dated April 6, 1993:

The Clinton campaign has been sharing new images of an approachable Hillary, like the family trip to Disney featured on her website's error page. But the Game Boy picture comes from a surprisingly difficult time in her life.

As recorded in an April 23, 1993, interview transcript with Time's Margaret Carlson, the Game Boy became somewhat of an addiction for Clinton:

MRS. CLINTON: ...And I have become quite a fan of Game Boy.

Q: I've heard. Chelsea has to pry it out of your fingers now.

MRS. CLINTON: I bought my own.

Q: Oh, you bought your own, now. How long ago?

MRS. CLINTON: A couple of weeks ago.

At the time, "a couple of weeks ago" wasn't a random period in Clinton's life: as the New York Times reported, her father, Hugh Rodham, died on April 7, 1993. That was after Hillary had spent a couple of weeks at his hospital bedside. Clinton told Carlson that she picked up the Game Boy because of her time spent in the hospital (before the conversation shifted to a joke about health care):

MRS. CLINTON: I really became addicted in the hospital. I'm going to seek treatment. (Laughter.)

Q: Is there — you can have that part of health care.

MRS. CLINTON: That's right.

Q: A detox — (Laughter.)

MRS. CLINTON: That's right. (Laughter.)

However, earlier in the interview, Clinton remarked that the health-care battle wasn't at the forefront of her thoughts during her father's hospitalization.

"Well, I didn't stop to think about it on a policy level at all," she said. "We were just going from day to day."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.