You Don't Have to Like Hillary to Vote for Her: On the Real Hillary, Oprah, and the 2016 Election

I loved the recent news report that quotes Oprah saying that you do not have to like Hillary to vote for her. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/oprah-winfrey-on-clinton-230148 It is always an honor to be on the same page as Oprah!

On February first of this year, unsettled by those I spoke to who felt they did not like Hillary enough to vote for her, I decided on "poetry" as my "response communication," which I also placed on my website (www.sarakaysmullens.com). As you will no doubt agree, I am no poet. However, the following is, in part, what I sent to those I knew who do not like Hillary, as well as those committed to her who had friends and acquaintances with the same reserve:

"You don't have to like this thoroughbred winner
Or invite her to breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner
What's important are talent and skill - part of her magic
To overlook this would be simply tragic
With experience, genius, and savvy profound
There's no wiser choice to hit campaign ground."

I concluded with a reminder that Hillary could even appoint Obama as a Supreme Court nominee. Now, months later, I would like to add that after she has a chance to catch her breath and continue to raise her daughters, I hope Michelle Obama will consider a run for the Senate. And I ask: Has anyone in the history of the past two presidential terms helped the nation to appreciate, respect, and cherish Barack and Michelle Obama more than Donald Trump? Is there any better contrast to decency; authenticity; brutally hard, ernest work; and unselfish, committed service?

But now, back to Hillary: I would like to share a brief experience that shows who the true, authentic Hillary Clinton really is. If you have followed my blogs, or read my books, you will know that my first job after college was at the DNC, and that the late President Kennedy inspired me to be a social worker. Soon after each of their college graduations, two of my three daughters have worked for the Senatorial Campaign Committee of the DNC.

When Bill Clinton and Al Gore were in their first term of office, a huge fund raiser was planned in downtown Philadelphia, an event with the minimal cost of one hundred dollars a ticket. The principal speakers were Hillary Clinton and Tipper Gore. There was a great deal of dissatisfaction among some who bought tickets, as for one hundred dollars you got no food (maybe a pretzel) and had to buy your own drinks. However, those dissatisfied were assured that what they heard from the two speakers would be well worth the money spent.

There was also a pre-speech event. A private room had been designated for the big givers to this event. My daughter, in charge of entry into this room, stood at the door with a list of the names of those who could enter due to their very large and generous contributions, which were far more than the one hundred dollars a ticket that I paid. In addition to the perks of good food and free drink, those in this room had their photo taken with Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Gore. Because she wanted a photo taken of her, her sisters, and me with Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Gore, my daughter insisted that we join this group. At first, I said "absolutely not," but I was overruled. And so we gained entry, pretending, as promised, that we did not know the gatekeeper. There we sat for over two hours, trying not to feel like crashers, which we clearly were. We each sipped a club soda (I added a little white wine to mine), and we watched well over a hundred attendees eat, drink and have their photos taken.

Hillary has changed a great deal since that day, but it was clear that the small talk required at this kind of exhausting event (one her husband, our president, would have adored) was far easier for Tipper than it was for her. Or at least it was easier for Tipper to pretend that it was. Hillary truly looked like she would prefer to be any place else -- studying legal statutes! However, there was more small talk and photo posing to endure. After the big givers had their photo ops, scores of Philly's police and firefighters walked through for theirs.

By the time my daughters and I were the very last to shake hands and have our photo taken, my white wine spritzer was long gone, and, to be honest, I was longing for something stronger. Mrs. Gore was warm and friendly, and although Mrs. Clinton was cordial, it was very clear that she wanted to leave the room, deliver her speech and get some well earned rest.

Then something happened that showed me who Hillary Clinton really is and what truly motivates her. In a moment, which I will describe, I saw first hand how deeply Hillary Clinton loves children and young people, and how earnestly and sincerely she wants all families to be able to provide opportunities for them. Nothing is more important to her than family love, and nothing moves her more that love expressed between a mother and daughter....Please read on.

The photographer posed us, naturally with Mrs. Clinton (clearly ready for a fast exit) in the center. Just as he was about to "click," my daughter called out, "Excuse me, Mrs. Clinton, but can my mother be in the center of the photo?"

At that moment, I wished the exit had been closer. i longed to take my daughters hands and run from the room. Just as I prayed that the floor would open up and take us far, far way from a crowded and demanding space that the Clintons and Gores faced on so many days and so many evenings, I heard a total change in Hillary Clinton's voice. She seemed truly transformed. A broad smile covered her face, as she moved from the center of the photo about to be taken, saying, "What a good idea."

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