Standing in an elementary school gym during the 2007 caucuses, I cast my first vote for Hillary Clinton. Two dozen older ladies and I stood solemnly under the basketball hoop, all of us wrapped in scarves and winter coats. An ice storm brewed outside. I thought we would be the majority. I really did.

Instead, the younger generations flocked to Obama’s camp. The grassroots were strong in Iowa. My town’s high school art teacher – in all his stereotypical, grey ponytailed, hippie glory – started a chant as their numbers clearly won the caucus. They certainly seemed like the winning camp, the better camp. The fun camp. But I wasn’t on board yet.

I held out for my girl. Hillary simply seemed like the better choice. A little older, a little wiser, a bit more accustomed to the ways of Washington. Some months later, after the ice thawed and the primaries dragged on, the candidates made the State Fair rounds. When Hillary visited, she saw my friends and I in uniform and beckoned us forward, through the crowd.

Star-struck, I stuttered and blushed. I thanked her for visiting Iowa and said I hoped she was enjoying the fair. “Yes, sergeant,” she said. “I’m enjoying myself very much. Thank you for your service.” She knew our ranks. I swooned. She spoke military jargon. She charmed the boys I was with. We took a picture, shook hands, and she melted back into the crowd.

hilary

Conversations then tended to roll back around to what the country was ready for. Are we ready for black president? Are we ready for a woman to be president? Looking back I’m ashamed how much credence I gave those thoughts. What does ready even mean? Are we too bigoted to have a black president? Are we too closed minded and backwards to elect a woman to the highest office in our land? Are we ready to grow the fuck up?

The question shouldn’t be if we, the voting public, are ready or not. The question should be is she, the politician, ready?

Well, damnit, I say she is. I can’t wait to vote again.

Hillary 2016!

Advertisements