2016 



Former U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady
Born: October 26th, 1947  (age 69)


The sight of former president Bill Clinton wiping away tears of joy while standing silently behind his wife as she was making her victory speech in the 2000 Senate elections in New York may appear a little melodramatic for some. However, when one considers the sacrifices and extreme loyalty that Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton has shown to her husband over the previous 26 years, that gesture suddenly makes all the sense in world.

Secretary Clinton’s ascension to Senator, and thereafter, Secretary of State, is not something all that surprising for those that knew her, considering what a gifted child, student and political operative Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was.

Born in Cook County and raised in suburban Park Ridge just outside of Chicago, Secretary Clinton grew up in a loving middle class family. Her early years were shaped by her Goldwater-Republican Navy veteran and business owner father and his tremendous work ethic, balanced against her mother’s Democratic leanings and harsh childhood.

At an age where young girls and boys were still too preoccupied with watching cartoons on TV, young Hillary was already busy demonstrating her leadership abilities and initiative with backyard carnivals and cookie and food drives for charity. When others her age were engrossed with the challenges of school and growing up, young Hillary was busy with the post-election canvassing of Chicago’s south side for the Republican Party. When children tread lightly around their parents and elders, she was engaged in delightfully spirited political debates with her family during dinner.

Her star continues to shine brightly at Wellesley, where her commencement address drew a seven-minute long standing ovation, and at Yale, where she was paid to intern at Washington every summer. She was already an experienced Democratic aide before even graduating from Yale, and was headhunted to be part of the Watergate impeachment inquiry team counseling House Democrats months after finishing college.

She was never a radical, beatnik or hippie, but neither was she a middle-of-the-road moderate. She is, above all, an idealist – an intelligent, disciplined, driven and practical idealist. Despite her image of a strong and uncompromising woman, people who she’s worked with reveal her to be a polite, considerate, consultative, and perhaps most surprisingly, religious individual. The latter perhaps is due to the influence of her mother and grandmother, both strong-willed Methodist women. She is also an exceptional public speaker, and can speak for an extended period of time without notes – done without pauses and filler syllables.

Over the years, many negative epithets have been used by the press and political opponents to describe her. As many have learned however, pigeonholing or underestimating Secretary Clinton often comes at a great cost.

The key to defeating Secretary Clinton lies in winning over her core support base - women, baby boomers and minorities. Meanwhile, her weakest demographic is the millennials, and this is clearly reflected in her underwhelming support online. And yet, one gets the impression that her opponents simply do not get this very simple equation. Will this prove costly in the end?




Hillary Clinton, the First Lady of Arkansas, in a 1979 TV interview
 
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2016 



Current U.S. Senator and former Governor from Virginia
Born: February 26th, 1958  (age 59)


As a child growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, young Timothy would spend his weekends in his father’s iron-working shop while other kids in the neighborhood were busy acting their age. On Sundays, the Catholic family, without fail, would attend evening mass at 9 p.m. A decade later, Timothy Michael Kaine took a year off from Harvard Law School to join a Jesuit mission in El Progreso, Honduras to teach carpentry to youths. He would cycle to villages in the area to recruit students to the mission’s vocational center.

When the gangly, curly-haired young man returned to Harvard, he caught the eye of freshman Anne Holton, daughter of former Governor of Virginia, A. Linwood Holton Jr. The couple moved to Richmond, Virginia after graduation and married in 1984 immediately after he was admitted to the bar. Senator Kaine quickly established a reputation as a lawyer who was sensitive to social justice issues, and before long, he started his own practice, which would go on to specialize on fair housing laws. By 1989, a 31-year-old Sen. Kaine was appointed an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond.

The call of public service compelled him to seek a seat on the city council. He did so in 1994, and four years later, the economics and law graduate was elected Mayor of Richmond. In 2001, Sen. Kaine ran for Lt. Governor of Virginia and won a fiercely-contested race against Republican Jay K. Katzen. In a strange twist of fate, Sen. Kaine was sworn in by his wife Anne, who was then a Judge on the state’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

He went a step further in 2005 when he ran for and won the governorship, making him the 70th Governor of Virginia. Virginia limits its governors to a single term in office, so Sen. Kaine left the office of governor in 2010. The following year, Sen. Kaine announced his intention to contest for the state’s soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat, and subsequently, comfortably won the election in 2012.

Quiet and reserved by nature, Sen, Kaine has never been known as a flashy progressive. Instead, the fluent Spanish speaker is a pragmatic operator who gets things done by building bridges and developing coalitions, often across the aisle. With extensive private, executive and legislative experience under his belt, Sen. Kaine is poised for greater things in national politics. Perhaps, as the next Vice President of the United States?

Tim Kaine
First Vice-Presidential Campaign Appearance
Miami, FL | July 23, 2016


 
 
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