It turned out that Clinton, in her travels, stuffed notes from her conversations and her reading into suitcases, and every few months she dumped the stray paper on the floor of her Senate office and picked through it with her staff. The card tables were for categorization: scraps of paper related to the environment went here, crumpled clippings related to military families there. These notes, Rubiner recalls, really did lead to legislation. Clinton took seriously the things she was told, the things she read, the things she saw. She made her team follow up.
This is a fascinating piece of imagery for the origin of statutory language. Granted, it's probably a bit rose-tinted.
This piece does a lot to explain the myriad dubious connections Clinton has had in the past. In her effort to pass laws and build a coalition, she's said yes to some people who are less than perfect or are assholes in their own right. But... this is literally politics.