There’s a piece in today’s WaPo about the impact Hillary Clinton’s candidacy had on many people: ‘She Touched a Lot of People.’
The story echoes what many Clinton supporters have felt about being involved in her campaign:
Five family members gathered last Thursday afternoon in their living room, shades drawn, to remember. They sat in big, cushioned chairs and shared stories to fight their sadness. There was the time Hillary asked them for money, and they cobbled together about $50 even though they couldn’t spare it. Or the time Hillary encouraged them to walk door to-door around the neighborhood, and they overcame shyness and spent the afternoon laughing with new friends.
“She touched a lot of people,” said Theresa Gropelli, 43, who spoke in the room with her husband, her parents and her sister. “I only wish she had stayed around longer.”
One of the key impacts of Clinton’s campaign was the heightened involvement of women in the process. For the first time, many women “engaged in politics more than they ever imagined possible.”
“I never could have done this for any other candidate,” said Bem, 44. “Hillary was so prepared to be president. She knew everything, she had the experience, and she was just such a fighter. It became a personal attachment for me. For the first time, it was like we were rooting for one of us.”
Although the McCain camp seeks to attract Clinton supporters who have said they will “vote for Republican John McCain against Democrat Barack Obama.”
But the women profiled in the story say they won’t be among the Clinton backers who will vote for McCain.
Gropelli and Bem won’t be among them. They listened to Clinton’s withdrawal speech Saturday, and her message confirmed the sisters’ intuitions. They will vote for Obama, although they’re not sure about campaigning for him. Their family members will vote for Obama, too.
“Hillary made it real clear what we have to do as Democrats,” Bem said. “She came across really strong on that, and I trust her. We have to move from one candidate to the other.”
Like many women, Theresa Gropelli feels there may not be another woman candidate anytime soon and she echoes that sadness that many feel:
“I know. It’s too depressing,” Theresa said. “The thing that scares me is that I’m not sure there’s going to be another woman anytime soon. It could be 30 years, 50 years — maybe not even in my lifetime. That’s a problem. That’s why we’re going to be thinking about Hillary for a long time.”