WASHINGTON: On the subject of women in politics, Hillary Clinton is fond of quoting the words of another illustrious first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, who once said: “You need to grow a skin as thick as a rhinoceros.” When out on the stump, in cafes, churches and rallies across the country, Clinton tells a thousand tales of the adversity she has faced down over the course of four decades in public life. “I have the scars to prove it,” quips the 68-year-old, painted by her many enemies as “crooked,” “corrupt” — even an enabler of her husband’s affairs — as the Republican attacks flew thick and fast throughout the 2016 White House campaign. A Machiavellian image clings to the ambitious Midwesterner, dating back to her years in the political spotlight as a tandem with Bill. She is considered “dishonest” by a majority of Americans, and the mudslinging is only set to intensify as she heads into a brutal showdown with Donald Trump. And yet, as the 2016 primary race draws to a close, Clinton stands at the threshold of the White House, set to make history as the first woman to carry the colors of a major US political party in the presidential race.