“…I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.”
~ Hillary Rodham Clinton
Whether you voted for her or not, like her or don’t like her, the fact remains that Hillary Rodham Clinton is a part of the fabric of our American history. A cultural icon, former First Lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State, Clinton also became the first-ever woman to be nominated for President of the United States by a major political party.
Though she may have not shattered that glass ceiling as many had hoped, she sure put a gazillion cracks in it. And, except for former President Barack Obama, Clinton received more votes – 65,844,610 – than any other presidential candidate in history. “That number,” she writes in her new book, What Happened, “is proof that the ugliness we faced in 2016 does not define our country.”
This past Saturday afternoon, more than 1,000 supporters – some who slept overnight, others who waited for 18 hours – showed up at Costco’s in Brookfield, CT, in the hopes of meeting Clinton and buying her book. As people made their way up to the table where she sat, Clinton looked relaxed and upbeat in her signature pantsuit. You could hear her supporters, some actually crying, telling her they “wished she were President.” Her response to one 10-year-old boy who shook her hand and repeated the same refrain, was, “so do I.” Then she asked him his name, and spent several minutes chatting with him. She was gracious, upbeat and spoke to every single person who walked up to the signing table – be it adults (who could purchase the book) – or children who would someday be reading about Clinton in their Civics and History classes.
The 2016 U.S. presidential election was a shocking upset and though she lays blame mostly on herself, she does not mince words about Russia’s involvement, as well as that of former FBI Director James Comey, as reasons for her loss. For the first time in most people’s memories, Clinton pulls back the curtain and speaks frankly about her devastating defeat. In the book’s introduction she writes: “In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.”
She didn’t become the first woman president as many had hoped. However, she expects to see a woman in the White House during her lifetime and told her supporters she would never stop letting her voice be heard in the struggle for the rights of women, children, LGBTQ, and humankind.