Sunil Adam put this 1979 interview with Hillary Rodham on Facebook and I cannot urge you strongly enough to watch it. (Link here. Just a bit of VHS recording disruption at the top of the piece, then it’s fine.)
Whether you like Hillary or you don’t, just watch this old-fashioned television one-on-one with the 37-year-old First Lady of Arkansas. I know that many people will say “don’t tell me what she was but what she is”. But I still think who we were is a good guide to who we are – unless we have changed beyond belief.
Anyway, back to the 1979 interview. Just one month into the “job” of Arkansan First Lady, Hillary sits there looking like an earnest young blue-stocking with a patently obvious commitment to social issues, women’s rights, child protection, community building and so on. She is utterly believable, even compelling in her calm confidence about working as an attorney, supporting her politician husband, getting Arkansas to know (and like) her, making the case for the Equal Rights Amendment.
In huge glasses, which make her look like a bumble bee, her hair scraped back off her face and in a rather frumpy apricot suit and brown boots, ‘Ms Rodham’ as she was called back then, speaks frankly about how she understands that Arkansas might find her odd.
You’re not yet 40, you haven’t taken your husband’s name, you’re childless, you practice as an attorney, you’re not the image we have of a governor’s wife, the interviewer says.
No, she agrees easily. I’m not 40 but age will cure that (with a tiny laugh). We hope to have children. We hope to get to know people and for people to get to know us. And she expresses gratitude to Arkansas for accepting Bill and her – despite how different (and young) they seem.
It is a simply wonderful interview – a reminder perhaps of the real Hillary – and the best advert her campaign could have to remind voters about the qualities of their candidate.
Watch it if you can.
Link here again.