It's been a good year for the junior senator from New York, both on Capitol Hill and in bookstores around the word.
Hillary Rodham Clinton's don't-tell-all book, Living History, remains a publishing phenomenon. It is a best seller in eight countries, even gaining No. 1 status in England, France, Germany and Ireland In the United States alone, it has sold more than 1.2 million copies.
Remember the $8 million advance her publisher gave her? Turns out it was a bargain. She has earned every penny and then some. Soon, she will collect royalties on top of the advance she received.
Conservatives, who have long opposed her, trashed her book as phony and self-serving. But some conservatives now worry that demonizing Clinton all these years has backfired.
Conservative columnist Linda Chavez said constant attacks on the former first lady have "helped her book sales. It makes her every bit a household word. And just simply being known is a huge advantage to Hillary Clinton, and the more Republicans talk about her, the better known she's going to be."
Busy With More Than the Book
Clinton has also done her part in promoting the book. She estimates she has signed more than 20,000 copies, even traveling overseas to meet eager book buyers in Europe.
But while promotion tours have taken time and energy, even political opponents admit she is industrious at her job on Capitol Hill. Besides signing books, she has put her name on more legislation than any other Senator in this Congress. Clinton has sponsored or co-sponsored 396 bills ranging from the not-so-serious — such as resolutions on Girl Scouts Week and Greek Independence Day — to the very serious — such as bills for funds to rebuild Iraq and improving homeland defense.
Political analyst Norm Ornstein said that although "the simple act of co-sponsorship doesn't mean much … she has jumped into the Senate with a relish. She loves legislating … [and] Hillary's colleagues come to her to ask her to co-sponsor bills because it adds cachet and attention to their bills."
What has been most notable is how well she seems to get along with Republicans in the Senate, including those who voted in vain to expel her husband from office during his impeachment trial.
A New Hillary?
Sen. Clinton is very different from first lady Clinton who bungled her fight for health-care legislation almost a decade ago. Democratic insiders told ABCNEWS she persuaded her husband not to accept a compromise with Republicans. The result? She got nothing, no health-care bill.
Now, Republicans say she is much easier to work with as a Senate colleague.
"We had a stereotype of Mrs. Clinton as being this rigid, radical on the left. It never fit her persona," said Ornstein. "She's a pragmatist on a whole lot of things, and she has found some issues even where she can work comfortably with, of all people, [House Majority Leader] Tom Delay."
Speaking in June to ABCNEWS' Barbara Walters, Clinton said: "I have found allies on all kinds of issues. I've even begun working with Tom Delay on adoption and foster care, an issue we both care about."
Chavez, who disagrees with Clinton on most issues, said: "I think she's proven herself to be a better senator … than a lot of people would have expected. I think a lot of people thought this was just going to be a way for her to use as a steppingstone to the presidency."
Well, actually a lot of people still do think that, including the chairman of the American Conservative Union, David Keene. "I don't think there is any doubt in many people's minds that Mrs. Clinton craves the White House on her own, and that she's going to run for it," he said.
Clinton has repeatedly said she is not even considering a bid for president.
Some conservatives, like Keene, think Clinton is tougher and smarter than any of the current Democratic presidential contenders. But a recent ABCNEWS poll found 53 percent of Americans think she should never run for president, and 48 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of her.
She may have impressed booksellers and her fellow senators, but if she ever does have White House ambitions, her image will need some more work.