You get to have lunch with the most influential woman (in your eyes); who is it? why? where do you go? what do you talk about?
As someone who doesn’t read many nonfiction books, especially those by inspirational feminists, I’m sad to admit that I don’t know of any semi-famous women who I’d like to chat with and I don’t have many role models. I’d argue that Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey are two of the world’s most powerful women, but I can’t think any interview questions (honestly, I’d probably just be awestruck and silent). The one powerful woman I am most curious about (and envious of) is Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was born…okay, I’m not going to explain her life story. We all know at least something about her career and accomplishments. She was very bright and politically active in her years at Wellesley and Yale Law, married Bill Clinton, was a U.S. Senator, and just recently finished her term as Secretary of State. On top of that, she is one helluva mother and wife and doesn’t take crap from anybody (I Don’t Know How She Does It looks like a sob-story). Hillary’s political success is astonishing. I’ve been not-so-secretly hoping that she’ll run for president in 2016, regardless of the fact that she probably won’t. Hillary is also the perfect model of how to ignore petty opposition and focus on yourself.
In my interview, Hillary takes me to her home in Bedford Hills, NY. I’m sure her home is full of cool knickknacks and someone will offer me the finest of foods (“No thank you, I probably shouldn’t eat chocolate mousse in the afternoon…well, if you insist.”). We’ll say hello to Bill, maybe Skype Barack and Michelle, and then sit down in her living room and talk.
First, we would discuss our lives. I’ve already read her Wikipedia page, so I wouldn’t have to ask the simple questions. I want to hear about her college life, funny anecdotes from her early political career, lessons from raising Chelsea, and so on. We’d compare our hometowns and aspirations and reminisce about what growing up was like.
Eventually, we would move on to her political ideas. As advocates for women’s justice, I’m sure we’d have a lot to discuss. I’d beg for insights in moving up the ladder and for important social connections (“Why, yes I’d like to have dinner with you and Cecile Richards!”). I’m also curious to know about the challenges related to being a Senator and Secretary of State. What was the hardest moment of both jobs? Were there any decisions she made that were criticized but she would make again? I’m no expert on every one of her opinions, but I would love to debate certain topics and discuss solutions to issues.
Later, Hillary and I would talk about personal issues. As someone who has seen loved ones get cheated on, I want to ask where she got her strength. It takes a lot of courage to stick through a marriage like she did and to not give in to the media’s hopes that she would look weak. Hillary stood by her husband’s side, put on a brave face, and went on to become as powerful as he is. I admire anyone who can look past such a tough personal issue and say, “Screw this, I’ve got more important things to do.”
At the end of the day, I’d thank Hillary for taking so much time to sit down with me. I am not a strong person; I have always over-thought what people think about me, I will never hold such a high political office, and I don’t own a single kickass pantsuit. Even if this interview is only hypothetical, I would love for Hillary’s motivation to rub off on me.