It all started with a phone call. In 1992, as President of the
University of Richmond Young Democrats, I worked with the
Clinton/Gore campaign advance team in preparation for the
Presidential Debate. I was on my way to a rally to introduce the
Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia when the phone rang.
Hillary Clinton wanted to invite a student to sit with her at the
debate, and the campaign suggested me. I was elated!
That night started my journey as a Democratic Party activist
and eventually led me to run for office myself. Over the course of
the next 24 years, Hillary was a role model, proving women could
succeed in politics and government. As First Lady, she shattered
expectations by spearheading health care reform, resulting in the
creation of the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program
that covers 8 million kids today. She rallied a generation of women
at the U.N. Fourth Conference on Women in Beijing by declaring
“human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human
rights.” She became the first woman to serve as U.S. Senator from
New York, and the third woman to serve as Secretary of State. Her
accomplishments in both offices were many.
Twenty four years after that phone call at the University of
Richmond, I had a front row seat to see Hillary Clinton shatter
another glass ceiling by accepting the Democratic Party nomination
for President of the United States. As the mother of a one year old
daughter, I cried tears of joy not only because of what Hillary had
accomplished, but because of its significance.
Accepting the nomination, she stated, “When there are no
ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”
That is one legacy she has left for my daughter:
The sky is the limit.
Hillary also outlined her vision for an America that is stronger
together, thrives when the middle class thrives, and where Wall
Street can never wreck Main Street again.
The Democratic National Convention took on added personal
significance when Senator Tim Kaine became the nominee for
Vice President. I first met Tim when he was my Richmond City
Councilman and Mayor. We became friends when he ran for
Lieutenant Governor. One night before the election, as Chair of the
3rd Congressional District Democratic Committee, I drove across
the District to attend three GOTV rallies with the Warner-Kaine-
McEachin ticket. As we ended the evening in Portsmouth, Tim
realized I was driving by myself. He decided to ride back with me.
We talked about everything from baseball, to our favorite books,
to politics and government, to my own future goals. From that day
forward, Tim has been my mentor and friend. I was proud to not
only be elected to the House of Delegates the same day Tim Kaine
was elected Governor, but to be his delegate. We worked together on
issues from energy, sexual and domestic violence, and education.
Dave and I were also fortunate to join the ranks of couples who had
Tim Kaine officiate our wedding.
Despite all of his accomplishments, Tim Kaine has remained
the kindest, most humble public servant I know. The Virginia
delegation was thrilled so see him introduced to the rest of
America at the convention. And yet, it was pretty surreal to see him
surrounded by Secret Service as he visited the Virginia Delegation
breakfast that morning.
By Jennifer M
Senator Tim Kaine and Anne Holton
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