Kelly Sullivan shares her experience from the front row of two women who embody the idea of #ShePersisted.
When I heard Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren were coming to The Museum Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, I knew I wanted to be there. I signed up for my free ticket and I couldn’t wait. The rally was to be held in the morning, so I knew I had to arrive early to stand in line.
In the parking lot, there were people selling buttons. I bought one for myself. Then I headed over to the line. I was about the twentieth person in line. There was a lady behind me who struck up a conversation with me. This was not her first rally so she said she would show me the ropes since it was my first rally. She said to follow her and she would get us close for some good photos.
I watched the line behind us growing. I was so happy to be in line and to have arrived early. I wanted to get a good seat. Once the line started to move, it went fast. Our tickets were collected, and security was tight. I followed my new friend to find a good seat. Inside though, there were no seats. We all had to stand. We were packed in tight, and it was a hot June day in Cincinnati. Either the Museum Center didn’t have the air conditioning running, or it was too hard to feel it with so many people packed together. A half an hour before the rally started, I began to feel sick. I thought I was going to have to miss the rally I’d been so looking forward to seeing.
I dehydrate easy, and heat is not my friend, so I started to say goodbye to my new friend. She immediately gave me a bottle of water. At that point I was sitting on the floor. The people around me said I looked very pale. I never appreciated a bottle of water than I did that day. Suddenly, I had renewed energy. Right before the rally, I was good as new. I sat on the floor to be sure I was going to be okay.
Then Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth were introduced. They walked in on my right side and directly past me and my friend. They both had huge smiles on their faces. The crowd was pumped. There was applause and happy screams coming from the entire room. A rally is really a workout since this continues throughout the entire speeches. Especially when the agenda of Hillary’s agenda was being addressed. Nobody can stand still when empowering women is being discussed. And, when Elizabeth Warren referred to Hillary as “Madam President,” that was such a defying moment.
In the room, mothers brought their young daughters to hear such good role model speak. I understand because my own adult daughter was supporting Hillary. I took some pictures to show my daughter. She could not attend the rally but she was rooting for Hillary.
I stepped back to a small corner to take more photos. Everyone was cheering and giving Hillary the support she needed and it was then a lady approached me from the side. She said “I’m voting for Donald Trump.” I asked, “Are you?” She answered, “Yes.” I ignored her for the rest of the rally. I really wanted to ask her why did she come to Hillary Clinton’s rally then, but I thought if she was looking for a fight, she wasn’t going to get it from me. I tried to stay away from her and enjoy the rest of the rally.
Then, in November the wrong thing happened. Donald Trump was elected. Heartbroken for America, and for Hillary Clinton, I asked how could anyone support such bigotry, hatred, discriminator and really “a dirty old man?”
Even after the rally, I’d signed up to campaign for Hillary Clinton. But, when the election was over, nobody knew what to do. It was a shock and continues to be today. The role models were being quiet and nobody really heard much from the Democratic Party for a long time afterward. But, slowly and surely, the Democrats began speaking out. The truth about Donald Trump began unraveling and when I saw Elizabeth Warren stand up for all women and “persisted,” things began changing. We may be a small voice, but we will be heard. Beginning with Elizabeth Warren who will continue to persist until she and every woman in America will be heard. Hear that!