First of all, I will ask that you NOT try to change my mind or argue with me online about who I plan to vote for, or who you plan to vote for. You honestly will not be changing my mind. I have no intention of telling you who to vote for, because you’re supposed to be a responsible adult and can make your own decisions. “Y’know, that blog post/Facebook comment really changed my mind about my political views,” said NO ONE, EVER! I have no problem with your discussing the candidate/party you support, and why you want to vote for them, but please… be polite, be respectful, and be kind. Also, TRY keeping an open mind, and talk about why you want to vote for (candidate)… NOT why you’re voting against (other candidate). If there’s gonna be discussion, I want it to be positive, not negative. As always with any political post, it’s my online space, and my rules, and the delete button, block button, and the banhammer will be in full effect.
So, to start, let me show you this photo…
In the center, in red, is then First Lady Hillary Clinton. To the right, standing at the third spot in behind Fred, who is kneeling, is a very young-looking me. So, yes, I have actually MET Ms. Clinton, personally, if only for a short time.
In 1996, I was working at Gene’s Books in King of Prussia, PA. Ms. Clinton had just published her book, “It Takes A Village“, and was doing a book tour. One of the bookstores she visited was Gene’s. Now, a lot of people don’t know this, but Hillary’s family, the Rodhams, have a home in northern PA, and some neighbors of theirs happen to be friends of mine… so we had something personal in common.
We were told to just say hello to her as she came around to shake our hands, but I’m terrible at following directions. *heh* So, when she got to me, I greeted her, and mentioned that we had friends in common. She then stopped and asked who, and I told her “I happen to know Sandy R.!” (Not using her full name, as I don’t have her permission.) Ms. Clinton broke into a wide smile, grabbed my hand and elbow, and loudly exclaimed, “Oh my God, you know SANDY!” She then looked down the line at the other employees waiting to meet her and turned back to me. “Give me just a few moments,” she said.
After going down the line and greeting everyone, and with secret service agents trying to get her to move along, she came back to me. We then spent a couple of minutes talking about how much we both LOVED Sandy (who really is a great lady), and how sad it was about her husband (who had just recently passed on), and how absolutely DELICIOUS her homemade baked pies were, and how Bill Clinton once sat down and ate an ENTIRE one of her pies at a cookout at the Rodham home… and, finally, the secret service and her assistant convinced her that it was time to go. She took my hand again, not in a handshake, but holding it in both of her hands, looked me in the eye, and said, “Thank you so much for talking to me.” I then put my other hand over hers (a breach of protocol, yes, but it seemed right), and said, “No, thank YOU for taking the time to talk to me, Ms. Clinton. It means a lot to me.” She smiled and nodded, and then left with her entourage, the moment over, the two of us no longer just two people talking about a mutual friend, but me being just a clerk in a bookstore, and her the First Lady of the United States.
Now, I’ve seen a lot written over the last few months about how Hillary seems cold. Calculating. Condescending. But I have to tell you, the woman I met that day was none of those things. She was warm. She was genuine. And she was someone who spoke with me as an equal… as someone with something in common with her, and someone on the same level as her (regardless of whether one considers that to be the case or not). She was intelligent, well spoken, and was quite kind to me. And, to be honest, I have to continually wonder… if those things that people say about her didn’t jibe with what I experienced during that brief meeting, how many other things that people say about her don’t line up with reality? And, in my opinion, it’s probably more than a few things. Many more than a few. Can I point to anything directly? Honestly, no, not off the top of my head. It’s a feeling. But it’s a feeling I have from having actually having met and spoke with her, as limited as it was. Because, even though it was limited, it’s still more time spent with her than the majority of people who have made negative comments about her.
This is a woman who graduated near the top of her class at Yale Law School, then went on to become an activist, a successful practicing attorney, a law professor, First Lady of both the state of Arkansas and the United States, a US Senator, and the US Secretary of State. She is probably the most competent, and most prepared, person to run for the office of President in recent history. This is a job that it’s almost impossible to be prepared for… after all, there are currently only 5 people in the whole world who’ve held the job! But Ms. Clinton is someone who enjoys the unique position of having BEEN a part of the Oval Office, both as First Lady, AND as Secretary of State. With the exception of those five men to have previously, or currently, hold the office, she is probably the person in the world most familiar with how the office works. Plus, she will actually BRING an ex-president with her into the office, with Bill Clinton as First Gentleman (which I believe is going to be his official title if she is elected).
Do I agree with all of her policy positions? Oh, absolutely not! I actually probably agree more with Bernie Sanders on certain issues than with Ms. Clinton. But he is not the Democratic nominee. And I agree with Ms. Clinton more than I disagree with her. And I CERTAINLY agree with her far more than I agree, or ever could agree, with the current GOP candidate. If you’re interested in her actual official positions on the many issues facing our nation, I would suggest you check out her website, where she has a full page discussing her positions. And, please, also check out the positions of the GOP candidate as well! And determine for yourself who you agree with more, and vote your conscience come this November.
Thank you all for reading my ramblings. I appreciate it.