6 things to know about Hillary Clinton

Martha T. Moore.

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the 2014 Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston on Dec. 4, 2014.  (Lisa Lake, Getty Images for Massachusetts Conference for Women)

As Hillary Clinton kicks off her second presidential campaign, here’s a look at six things to know about the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination:.

Reach for the stars.

Growing up in Park Ridge, Ill., Clinton wanted to be an astronaut (as well as a baseball player and journalist) and at 13, wrote to NASA to inquire how to go about it. NASA’s reply: No girls allowed. “I was just crestfallen,” Clinton later recalled.

‘Goldwater girl’.

The first presidential candidate Clinton volunteered for was Republican Barry Goldwater, in 1964, when she was in high school. She was a Young Republican and attended the 1968 Republican convention, though earlier in the year she’d supported anti-war Democrat Eugene McCarthy in the primaries. By 1972, there was no question about her political identity, as she worked for liberal Democrat George McGovern’s unsuccessful campaign against President Richard Nixon.

In the headlines.

She was front-page news long before Bill Clinton was. Her 1969 commencement speech as a Wellesley College senior made the front page of the Boston Globe and Life magazine — because of her impromptu criticism of the previous speaker, Republican Sen. Edward Brooke, the first African American to be popularly elected senator.

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She’s a better campaigner when she’s down. In her 2008 primary run, Clinton was a stiff and distant campaigner, until she fell behind then-senator Barack Obama. Then she started talking about making history for women and helping the middle class and became a more compelling figure on the stump.

Grammy Award winner.

By her own admission, Clinton cannot carry a tune. She recounts in the new epilogue to the paperback edition of Hard Choices, her memoir about her State Department tenure, that she tried to sing lullabies and old favorites to her daughter — until baby Chelsea held a finger to her mother’s lips and said, “No sing, Mommy, no sing.” But Clinton can proudly state she is a Grammy Award winner — for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Album in 1997 for the audio version of her book, It Takes a Village.

By the numbers.

As secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, Clinton visited 112 countries and conducted 1,666 meetings with foreign leaders. She traveled 956,733 miles and ate 570 meals on the plane while spending the equivalent of 87 days in the air.

Contributing: Catalina Camia.