Hillary was scheduled to appear with Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell in a borough called Narberth, a couple miles away from where I live. This was before she had made any commitment, at least publicly, to run for president.
It was a very hot and humid day in a medium-sized room in the borough hall where I think a few hundred people were packed in tightly. The air conditioning either wasn't working or couldn't handle the crowd, and things didn't get easier when we had to wait about 1-1/2 hours for Hillary and the governor, who was notorious for being late. Apparently, they'd been at a breakfast in Philadelphia (to which we were bedroom communities) first, which was probably to sound out Democrats about a possible run for her.
Included in the waiting crowd were several local politicians. The crowd, incidentally, was a cross-section of people: young, old, white, black, men and women, some holding little kids on their shoulders. I was trying to keep on my feet while being pushed by people towards the front, near a podium. In front of me was a rope, behind which stood a secret service man: tall, blond crew cut, and darting blue eyes. He kept telling people not to try to come over the rope, even though some people looked as if they wanted to try.
Finally, a roar arose, and in walked Hillary. People were screaming, clapping, yelling out her name. Some of the local pols came up to the podium to talk, but the crowd kept shouting for Hillary. When she took the microphone, she talked about 20 minutes or so on health care, education, and the usual stuff.
After she spoke, she came down and went along the front row where I was, to shake hands and say "hello." I grabbed her hand, held it and said, "Hillary, I don't know if I'll be here to see it, but I'm begging you, please run for president!"
For a split second, she looked a bit stricken, then covered my hand with her other hand and said, "Oh, God bless you. Thank you for coming."
Other than the fact that I tried to think of ways not to wash my hand ever again, I realized afterward that Hillary had to have thought by my statement that she was talking to someone with a terminal illness!
So, you see, Jill and Ginger, ever since then I've told people that the reason Hillary Clinton ran for president this time around is because she didn't know how long I would live, LOL!
Great story, Gloria!
I hate what has happened to her. I get sick just thinking about it.
You're not the only one who hates what has happened to her, Ginger, as I think you know. I am totally disgusted with all the people now who blame her strategy, her staff, her husband, ad nauseum, for her losing the race. The only reason she lost is because both the media and her party are sexist. Period. Over 18 million people -- men and women, young and old -- supported her, as we did, and worked for her, knowing she was our best hope for the future of this country.
Thanks so much for the rundown on meeting Hillary. I felt like I was there. BTW, she is not very tall, is she? And what did she look like in person?
I got to see Al Gore upclose a few years ago and even was in the same photo as him, which appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. You could see part of my head and face in the background. Ha. Ha.
No, Hillary isn't tall. But then, I'm only 5'3-3/4", and she was standing up on the podium, so I couldn't say exactly what her height was. When we shook hands and spoke, though, we seemed to be about the same height, as I remember looking straight into her face.
She is a very good-looking woman in person, as she is on TV. Beautiful skin. She wore a black pantsuit with a white blouse, and black pumps. Her hair was coiffed about the same as it was during the recent campaign, although for some reason I remembered it being slightly longer.
To me, she looked about 10 to 12 years younger than her age. If I didn't know better, I would have taken her for between 46 and 48, instead of her then 59 or 60 or so (I think).
I wasn't as fortunate as you were with Al Gore (who, incidentally has the same birthday as mine, March 31st) by having my photo with Hillary's in the paper. No such luck. But with all the people in the audience taking pictures with their cell phones, I am sure I was in some of their pictures, LOL.
I also saw Bill Clinton in person, as I may have said in an earlier posting. He's sooooo handsome. Tall, a little tan, and slim. The only thing I did notice was he had some bags under his eyes. I guess Hillary was working him pretty hard in the campaign, eh? (At least, I hope it's from that!)
Gloria, that was a great description of Hillary. I figured she was about 5'3. That is my height also.
Bob always talks to me about when he met and talked to her during those days while he was working at her house, that she was so cute and would come out and just plop herself on the air conditioning unit and chat away with him and the other guys. He thought she was really pretty.
I am 5'3" too. That's interesting that we are all around the same height. For some reason, I thought you were tall, Ginger. Of course I could lie and say I am 5'9 because who would ever know. But I believe in being honest.
Enjoyed all your stories about Hillary and Bill. I would take Bill, bags and all. When I saw Gore in person I thought his face was a bit flushed and wondered if he didn't have a little nip before making his appearance at the bookstore. BTW, when Bill had his booksigning way back when the line was the longest I had ever seen for a booksigning. It snaked all the way down the stairs and out to the street of the mall. I didn't wait on line, but I enjoyed seeing all the people.
Well, Jill, we had better tell the truth about ourselves because we might see each other some day.. ha...
I haven't read Bill's book, but I'm reading Hillary's now--alternating between her and Barbara Walters! Hillary's book is very good, and I can't wait to see the one she rights after this mess!