In early 2007 Hillary Clinton announced her intentions to become the first female president of the U.S. At that time, she was the favorite to win the Democrat’s nomination for President. About a year later, during a campaign stop on February 1, 2008 titled Solutions for America Rally: San Jose Welcomes Hillary Clinton, somehow my wife’s son and I managed to get an arm’s length away from the candidate. I had promised the 13 year old that if he came with me to the event I would arrange a photo of him with Hillary Clinton!
After driving into downtown San Jose, I soon realized a photo op was not going to be easy. In fact, the line outside the South Hall, a tent-like structure connected to the San Jose Convention Center, went on around the corner for blocks and blocks. I had thought by registering online I had a fast pass to the front, but it was not to be. Instead, the two of us, along with my sister-in-law, her sister, and nephew, waited in the long line as it slowly moved towards the entrance. There seemed to be little to no chance to make good on my promise, so I wasn’t feeling that great about things. Then, as the line passed the press entrance, I had an idea.
I walked up to the press entrance, showed my business card, and told the rally organizers that I wrote the newsletter for the organization I worked for – that this organization was politically connected to businesses and that I should be allowed in. After being screened by a few people, before you know it, I was inside the railed off area with the national press! – just a few feet away from the stage where Hilary would soon appear. Now, what about the young boy? How was I going to get him up close into the press only area? I went back to the line and asked my sister-in-law to bring him around to the other side of the facility. It was there I told security that he was with me, and suddenly we were both inside!
Soon, a number of dignitaries came out including California State Senator Diane Feinstein. When Hillary was introduced, there was overwhelming applause. We were maybe 10-12 feet from the stage as she spoke to the hundreds, if not a thousand supporters. I took a number of photos. In one, I managed to frame the picture so only my wife’s son and Hilary were in it! Although one was in the foreground and the other in the background, it clearly showed only the two of them together in the photo. I did it! Once the rally ended, we pushed towards the front where he soon was a fingertip away from touching/shaking hands with Hillary. However, being only 13 years old, he became crushed between a few of the tall secret service agents that were there to protect Mrs. Clinton. You could see him reaching out his hand just inches from Hillary’s grasp.
In the end, it was a tremendously exciting almost historic event, and I managed to save face by somewhat keeping my promise. Hillary Clinton went on to win the California Democratic Primary by 11 percentage points over Barack Obama. However, as we know, she ultimately lost to Obama who became President. Shortly after Obama won the U.S. presidential election, he nominated her to become Secretary of State in his 2009 cabinet. As I write this, Hilary is still serving as U.S. Secretary of State.