I remember the first time I heard of Hillary. It was 1991/1992, and a friend of mine was a student at Georgetown and volunteer on Bill's campaign. He was assigned to staff Hillary and he had wonderful things to say about her (he later worked with Tim Kaine and had amazing things to say about him too).
That same year, another friend's mom used to talk about Hillary a lot. She was a single, working, professional woman and she spoke to us youngsters (because I was young in '92, you guys!) about Hillary. About her background, her work, her commitment, about how hard it was to be a professional woman when Hillary (and this mom) were younger and even way back in 1992. She spoke of her admiration for Hillary, of her strength, and she made me see wonderful qualities I maybe would have missed under all the attacks Hillary faced even back then (do you remember the cookie recipe scandal?).
When I was in college, another friend had a summer internship in DC and she too staffed Hillary. She returned to school telling us only good things about the First Lady who took the time to give this girl advice on her future career.
Later in my professional life, I worked with a woman whose family was from Arkansas. Her father knew Hillary professionally and she had grown up around Hillary. She had great stories and anecdotes to share, all of them good. So did her mother, the few times I had the pleasure of her company over dinner.
I'm not a fan of politics or politicians as a rule. I'm really not. They're often slick and scripted. They often seem to have a goal that relates to themselves instead of the public. But I don't see that in Hillary. I never have because of the wisdom imparted on me by a strong woman and mom back in 1992 to look beneath the battle hardened exterior to the devotion inside.
When I look at Hillary, I see a dedicated public servant who isn't particularly showy or charismatic but who has done amazingly hard work, day after day, year after year, with only the good of the public in mind. Perfect work? No. But that's called being human.
I'm not that kid I was in '92 anymore so I know more than a few things about not being perfect, about doing my best and later realizing maybe it wasn't the right thing. I too have made mistakes in life. But after closely following and admiring Hillary Clinton for almost 25 years now, I have no doubt that the decisions and choices she makes are not about herself but are about what she believes to be best for the country.
And just like I trusted that friend's mom and other moms and other women I've since worked with, I trust Hillary. I really, deeply trust her. She is the most qualified, dedicated, intelligent, resilient candidate I can imagine and I am so happy all these years later that I can do any small part to help her help us.