These Hillary and Bill Clinton photos will take you back — way back

by Theresa Edwards
Jun 7, 2016 at 7:11 p.m. ET
Image: John Sykes/Getty Images

Every marriage is a challenge. There are ups and downs in every relationship, and that includes the ones that haven't endured four separate presidential campaigns and a string of other political endeavors (as well as a notorious scandal or two) alongside the everyday ups and downs that a marriage experiences. Hillary and Bill Clinton have, though, and they're still going strong after all these years.

More: Hillary Clinton running for president is the best thing for my sons

We're taking a look back at the Clintons through the years.

1 /20: At the DNC, 1991

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1/20 :At the DNC, 1991

The couple met at Yale Law School in 1971 and started dating shortly afterward. They would marry in 1975 and go on to have their first and only child, Chelsea, in 1980, while Bill was the newly elected governor of Arkansas. As we know, though, that would turn out to be small potatoes compared to what they had planned when this photo was taken in 1991. That was when he announced his first bid for president.

2 /20: With Al and Tipper, 1992

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2/20 :With Al and Tipper, 1992

Ever since then, it's been essentially three straight decades of campaigning for some political seat or another. Here's the young power couple with another young power couple: vice presidential nominee Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, during one of the lighter moments of the 1992 campaign tour.

3 /20: First inaugural ball, 1993

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3/20 :First inaugural ball, 1993

Clinton won the presidency, and the three of them — Bill, Hillary and Chelsea — would make the White House their home in 1993, but not before indulging in a little celebratory dancing.

4 /20: Early White House days, 1993

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4/20 :Early White House days, 1993

This stolen moment looks like an incredibly peaceful one, especially when you put it up against the couple's ambitious goals and the jam-packed schedules they must have had to achieve those ambitions.

5 /20: The first family, 1993

Image: Wikimedia Commons

5/20 :The first family, 1993

Watching Hill and Bill pose with a 12-year-old Chelsea is a little surreal, because they just look so... parental. That's a dad shirt if we ever saw one on Bill, and are those rhinestones we detect on Hillary's collar? Makes you a little nostalgic for the '90s, huh?

6 /20: Meeting the pope, 1994

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6/20 :Meeting the pope, 1994

The Clinton administration had a number of clashes with Pope John Paul II, but both Hillary and Bill were smiling bright when they visited the Vatican in 1994.

7 /20: Visiting Northern Ireland, 1995

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7/20 :Visiting Northern Ireland, 1995

Traveling comes with the job of running the country, and these two have been at it for a while. They wave to a crowd in Derry, Northern Ireland, over a year after a ceasefire was called between loyalist and republican fighters there.

8 /20: Bill's second campaign, 1996

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8/20 :Bill's second campaign, 1996

As his first presidential term came to an end, Bill went back for more, and Hillary was right beside him for another grueling campaign.

9 /20: A break on the campaign trail, 1996

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9/20 :A break on the campaign trail, 1996

Ultimately the campaign would be a successful one, and Clinton would be elected again. Maybe that's why the two of them look so happy to be taking a break in this picture.

10 /20: Second inaugural ball, 1997

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10/20 :Second inaugural ball, 1997

Everything was looking pretty awesome for the first couple and seemed extremely likely to stay awesome. But if you're keeping track of the years and have not lived under a rock for the majority of your life, then you already know that was not to be. The revelry at the inaugural ball would be some of the last mirth in the White House for a while.

11 /20: Troubled times, 1998

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11/20 :Troubled times, 1998

Shortly after taking office again in 1997, the Lewinsky scandal broke, and suddenly the White House seemed a little bit more like a circus than usual. The scandal would grow into an impeachment, an acquittal and a relative sense of having moved on. In this photo, Hillary and Bill make their first public appearance since the impeachment.

12 /20: Volunteering at a homeless shelter, 1998

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12/20 :Volunteering at a homeless shelter, 1998

Despite the scandal, though, Bill Clinton enjoyed high approval ratings from the electorate and forgiveness from his wife. Ultimately he would leave office with the experience having been an overall net positive.

13 /20: Hillary wins the Senate race, 2000

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13/20 :Hillary wins the Senate race, 2000

After a two-term presidency, the Clintons were ready to keep a much lower profile, but that didn't mean they were going to just vanish into the ether. Hillary got to work right away, campaigning and winning her bid for a New York state Senate seat.

14 /20: DNC kickoff, 2004

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14/20 :DNC kickoff, 2004

Hillary went on to speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and so did another senator: Barack Obama. Of course, that year John Kerry took the nomination, and neither senator had time for things like cutthroat presidential campaigns — yet.

15 /20: Hillary's first presidential campaign, 2007

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15/20 :Hillary's first presidential campaign, 2007

That would soon change, and in 2006, it was Hillary on the campaign trail, with Bill doing the supportive-spouse thing along the way.

16 /20: Super Tuesday, 2008

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16/20 :Super Tuesday, 2008

It was a close race, but 2008's presidency was just not in the cards for Mrs. Clinton, who lost the nomination to Barack Obama that year.

17 /20: At President Obama's inauguration, 2009

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17/20 :At President Obama's inauguration, 2009

Though, judging by the lighthearted tone of this photo — taken on Obama's Inauguration Day — there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of bad blood. There wouldn't be; Clinton would later go on to be secretary of state for the administration.

18 /20: At Chelsea's wedding, 2010

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18/20 :At Chelsea's wedding, 2010

Again, what's so striking about photos like this one, where the Clintons are all dolled up to attend daughter Chelsea's wedding to Marc Mezvinsky, they just look like regular parents, ready to say something foolish at toast time.

19 /20: 35th Kennedy Center Honors, 2013

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19/20 :35th Kennedy Center Honors, 2013

After Clinton's stint as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, she became a private citizen for the first time in 30 years. Not that she planned to stay that way. In 2015, she would announce her second bid for presidency.

20 /20: Hillary's second campaign, 2016

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20/20 :Hillary's second campaign, 2016

Which brings us to 2016. This year's election cycle has already been an incredibly unpredictable one, but for now, Clinton is the presumptive nominee for the country's biggest job. If she goes on to clinch it, then it will be up to her husband Bill to be the supportive spouse and fervent campaigner while she gives it all another go.

That's a lot of ups and downs for one couple. In fact, it's a lot of ups and downs even if you doled them out in doses to maybe 10 other couples. The pair must have figured out something, though, because you don't get through 40 years without doing something right. We can't wait to see what's next for the Clintons.