Last night, I saw Hillary Clinton – every young woman I told was excited and every middle-aged man asked why I'd bother
There’s no one who saw her speak last night who could not have left knowing that, for all her faults, she deserved that presidency and it was stolen from her. Now it’s our job to claim that power back.
Last night I was in the same room as Hillary Clinton – and the 2,500 other people who, within two hours of the tickets being released, sold out the London theatre where she was being interviewed.
Despite our relative proximity, the audience’s fidgety anticipation and adrenaline-fuelled nerves were in no way reflected back at us as Clinton presented her usual calm, charming, witty and breathtakingly eloquent self.
She didn’t say much you won’t already have heard if you’ve listened to any of the myriad interviews she’s been giving while promoting her book about the 2016 election campaign, the poignantly titled What Happened.
But in those 90 minutes I spent in the audience, furiously taking notes and revelling in the buzzing atmosphere, I saw for the first time that she shouldn’t just have won that election because she was the voters’ rightful choice, or because of the sickening alternative that came to be, but because the passion and awe she can inspire with the faintest of smiles or by answering the driest of questions is unparalleled.
…But it’s not just her clear credentials, experience, level-headedness and mind-boggling intelligence which would have made her a great president; it’s her humanity, humility, humour and genuine passion that really hit me when I saw her speak live.
As a woman with the temerity to think I have the right to publicly voice my opinions, I’m no stranger to having abuse and threats hurled at me by droves of strangers over the internet. Yet I will never – hopefully – be able to fathom the level of vitriol Clinton has endured.
And yet at every fall Clinton gets up, dusts herself off, and climbs back into the ring for another round. Some may think it’s masochism, or a desperation to stay relevant, and I’ll admit that her strength seems so alien that sometimes I’ve wondered too.
But seeing her onstage speaking so passionately about the positive change she hopes to make in the world made me realise she’s dedicated her life to the causes she believes in because someone has to. The rest of us don’t get it because most of us would never be willing to make such sacrifices.