I’ve been with Hillary since I was a little girl

I’ve been with Hillary since I was a little girl

A few days ago, a photo of an African-American boy looking up at President Obama circulated around my Facebook feed. I bet you’ve seen it, too. It’s pretty clear from looking at the photo that this child is in awe of his president. When I first saw it, and even now as I look at it again, I can’t help but wonder if his admiration has anything to do with the fact that his president, my president, looks like him. I shared the photo with the caption “it matters” on my own timeline.

Lately, there’s been a lot of arguments stemming from comments made by supporters of both Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton about whether or not women should have to support women who run for office. In my day job, I train democratic women to run for office. They are all smart, qualified, and want what’s best for Maine. They’re also divided about who they are supporting in the democratic presidential primary. That’s because they are thoughtful, engaged, and will vote for who they think the best person for the job is.

Because our organization doesn’t endorse candidates, we never suggest who someone votes for. However, we do suggest that there should be more women on the ballot and in elected office, at every level, across our state. Because it matters.

For me personally, I’ve supported Secretary Clinton since I was a little girl, full of opinions and always on the lookout for possibilities of what I could be when I grew up. My dad served on our local school board, so politics seemed like a good fit. I grew up in a household where service to others and democratic values were strongly encouraged. Sadly, role models of women in politics in my own community, in my state, and across my country were few and far between.

One night, I sat on the floor of my living room and watched with wide eyes as the First Lady argued with a Republican senator about healthcare. I was in awe. I’ve been a fan of Hillary Rodham Clinton since then, a woman who has always inspired me in my own political ambitions and in advocating for the political ambitions of other women.

It’s an exciting time to be a Maine Democrat, and I’m looking forward to seeing my friends at the Portland Caucus in two weeks, men and women who will be there to support their candidate. Today, I’m voting in the MPA straw poll to support mine and I hope you’ll do the same, by texting Clinton or Sanders to 207-466-0096.

This post is part of a series of Mainers explaining their choice of presidential candidate. You can read more here.
Photo via campaign website.

About author

Jill Barkley
Jill Barkley 1 posts

Jill Barkley is a Portland Democrat. She serves as the Executive Director of Emerge Maine, the organization that recruits, trains and supports Democratic women to run for office. Emerge Maine does not endorse candidates.

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