In the past few weeks Americans were treated to what those of us who know her and have followed her life and career have always known: Hillary Clinton is brilliant, complicated, a policy wonk, cares about people, and has a great sense of humor.
Clinton has spent her life using her God-given talents to help others. All this nonsense about waiting for an authentic Hillary is crazy; everything about Hillary is authentic. She, like all of us, has been molded by her life's experiences, both the good and the bad. By her Methodist upbringing and her Republican father who built a small business to take care of his family but who I have heard her describe as "diversity challenged." By her mother who overcame incredible obstacles to make a good life for her children and instill in them the values by which Hillary lives. By life with Bill, and the world knows that hasn't always been easy. But we have seen how Hillary will always make allowances for him others may not like, because as she has said he is her best friend and the man with whom she just celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary (a feat few today can match); and by her daughter and now her granddaughter who have brought her only sunshine.
Whether Hillary is playing Val the bartender on Saturday Night Live; debating her Democratic opponents in Las Vegas; or sitting for eleven hours facing an onslaught of McCarthy-like tactics by discredited Republicans on the Benghazi Select Committee; Hillary is always authentic. She has a wealth of knowledge few others have and the ability to unravel complex issues and make sense of them. At times, there is a steeliness to her that makes some see her as calculating, but always an intelligence that shines through with everything she does and sometimes makes others look less simply because she is so much more.
She capped off these incredible weeks in which she has seen her poll numbers go up and the public view her again with renewed respect, with a 68th birthday party in New York. A gala evening with 1500 joining to celebrate her incredible life and know what Hillary meant when she said in Iowa, "I am just getting warmed up!" The two weeks that included the debate, Benghazi hearing, Joe Biden saying he won't run because he knew he couldn't win, a rally with husband Bill and Katy Perry, and then her speech to 6,000 at the Iowa Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Des Moines. She has the energy of someone half her age and clearly no one else running for president can hold a candle to her.
Hillary speaks out and fights for women who have been left out or put down; children who can't speak for themselves and have not had the chance to reach their full potential; the LGBT community who have yet to gain their full civil and human rights; dreamers who need the chance to dream; immigrants who need a path to citizenship; and the African American community who are right to make the rest of us face our issues when they say Black Lives Matter.
Hillary speaks from a wealth of experience no other candidate for president could dream of. From her work with the Children's Defense Fund after graduating from Yale Law School; to being appointed to the Legal Aid Corporation and being elected the youngest Chair ever; to being First Lady of Arkansas and First Lady of the United States; to Senator from New York and finally Secretary of State. Add to that she has what no presidential candidate before her had; the perspective that only comes from being a daughter, a mother, and grandmother.
When our founding fathers -- there were no founding mothers -- built our nation they never considered the views of women, Black men, or anyone whose life experiences were different from theirs. We need to marvel at how they managed to form a government and write a constitution that has lasted. But today we can achieve what they thought they had "a more perfect union" by taking into account all of us; recognizing each and every one of us has something to add and a part to play. All of us -- straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, immigrants, men, and women. With Hillary, we will have a government that asks us all to respect our neighbors and celebrate our diversity and value what each individual brings to the table.
If I could sum up what Hillary stands for in one word it would be "fairness." Each person having equal rights and opportunity; able to live life to the fullest and to see the fruits of their hard work provide a good life for them and their families; not hampered by society because of the color of their skin, their gender, or who they love.
The time is now to make real the promise of that "more perfect union." Hillary Rodham Clinton is the right person, at the right time, to accomplish that for all of us.