The morning of February 5, 2008 was like any other. My political junkie self went downstairs to grab a quick breakfast before school, excited as hell that it was Super Tuesday primary day.
The day before, my family and I were lucky enough to attend an Obama rally in Hartford featuring my congressman, John Larson, as well as Ted and Caroline Kennedy and other prominent Democratic party leaders hoping to energize the many “Nutmeggers” (residents of CT) to support the young senator from Illinois. As an Obama supporter, this rally further energized me.
The morning of the primary, as she does each morning, my mom made herself a cup of tea. As I sat down, she pointed out to me that she had blindly reached into our cabinet and pulled out an orange mug.
This mug, given to her by the YWCA (an organization that advocates for peace, justice, human rights, and young women’s leadership that she has volunteered with for years), was donned with the group’s slogan. Showing it to me, she proudly read the motto: “Eliminating racism, Empowering women.” She beamed and proclaimed how lucky she was to belong to a party in which the two major contenders could realistically be the first black or woman president. I don’t think the importance of the race truly hit me until I saw her face that day.
A woman who grew up through both the Civil Rights movement and the implementation of Title IX could cast her vote for a candidate who represented the culmination of years of social and political activism. She, and millions of others, had the honor of making that choice in 2008.
In 2016, this nation has an opportunity to take another step towards fulfilling the spirit of that motto. The torch of leadership in the Democratic Party will likely be passed from the first African-American president to (hopefully) the first woman president at the Democratic National Convention this summer in Philadelphia. I now feel the same pride did my mom felt eight years ago; it’s time to elect Hillary Clinton.
Congressman Larson put it best: No candidate in the race today has the perseverance, passion, and principled leadership needed to be president that Hillary Clinton has consistently demonstrated throughout her professional career.
Whether it be her work with the Children’s Defense Fund after graduating from Yale Law, her dynamic roles as First Lady of Arkansas then later the United States, her service as a senator from New York, or her transformative time as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has made a career out of overcoming obstacles and providing a voice to the voiceless.
As she asserted in her stellar first debate performance, Hillary will create an administration focused on pragmatic, progressive leadership. No one in the race, of either party, has produced more comprehensive policy plans ranging from dealing with college affordability, combatting campus sexual assault, catalyzing economic growth and equity, and implementing “smart power” strategies when it comes to foreign policy.
In my eyes, there is nothing more transformative about a Hillary Clinton presidency than what she will mean and do for women and girls all over the world. She will work tirelessly to assure paid family leave, close the wage gap, and champion the protection of reproductive rights for all women. Her record affirms such a commitment. Puncturing the last glass ceiling that plagues our nation will prove to a generation of girls that they can be anything they want to be, including President of the United States. I can think of nothing more powerful to tell my daughters and granddaughters than how my generation worked day and night to not only put a woman in the White House, but to put the foremost champion of women’s rights there.
This great nation of ours is ready to have a woman at the helm.
I’m ready for a president motivated to empower women like no one ever has before.
I’m ready for a president able to lead on day one.
I’m ready for Hillary.