Throughout the presidential campaign I had struggled with whom I was going to vote for. I knew little of each candidate. The only information I did know was of all the gossip in the media about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. However, I knew little of Bernie Sanders. I found myself saying on an app on YikYak that I couldn’t decide on a candidate whom I should vote for and the majority of responses I got were suggestions to vote for Bernie Sanders. After reading what his viewpoints were, I found myself agreeing with a lot of what he said and admired his past as a civil rights activist, as well as someone who advocated for gay rights. However, I wanted to keep an open-mind and search
for other like-minded candidates. In this case I wanted to find out more about Hillary Clinton. The majority of the people I have talked with all shared with me their distaste for Clinton. Many have told me they had trouble trusting her over the email controversy that happened a little over a year ago. At that time I was leaning more toward Bernie than Hillary. When I heard about Hillary Clinton coming to a town hall at Keene State College in October, I decided to go despite having a preference for Sanders. I woke up early in the morning so that I could get good seats to the event. So many people attended the event and I was lucky I was able to get front row seats. I talked with a few Clinton supporters who sat next to me. I found it quite interesting to hear their take on the presidential candidates. The wait for Clinton did not seem long at all, because shortly after, she entered the stage.
Her hair was a golden blonde and she had a strong way about her. She had the composure of both a school teacher and a mother. An elderly woman who sat next to me with happy wrinkled eyes stood up and embraced Clinton saying “I love you! I love you!” and Clinton smiled and gave her a hug back. I was immediately impressed with how outgoing and laid back she was. She had a way of putting everyone at ease, almost making me forget that she was running for president at all. For a little over an hour she answered people’s questions and comments about her candidacy and views. A few people have challenged her opinions on GMOs and her take on pipelines, but she answered them calmly and she did not challenge them openly. At the end she went around and shook people’s hands, including mine. As she was shaking my hand I told her my opinion on her view on gun control and she looked at me and asked if I ever had any experience with any sort of gun violence. As I told her about my lack of experience with it she held my arm as I talked with her giving me her undivided attention. I admired her drive to connect with people and I loved her approach on political issues.
Later in the semester, I went to Sanders’s rally in the Redfern Arts Center. His rally was even more crowded than Clinton’s. It was harder to get in, but I managed to get a seat in the second row from the front. I was excited to see him speak and I was convinced that I would be just as impressed as I was with Clinton. The crowd was enthusiastic when Bernie entered the stage. People cheered and clapped for Bernie Sanders as he grinned in a calm and collected manner as he waved to everyone. I noticed that he didn’t shake hands with anyone in the crowd. He seemed very eager to speak. He spent the next hour explaining his political views. I noticed that a lot of his sentences started out as “I want to become President because…” and would end up being about what he felt needed to be changed. He never did answer questions from the crowd or give any concrete plans on how he would achieve the goals he hoped to accomplish as president. I was a bit disappointed that his speech left me with more questions than answers, leaving me to favor Clinton a little more.
To be honest, I am reluctant to vote for any of the current candidates but if I had to choose I would lean more toward Clinton. She answered every question that was on my mind and seemed to show an interest in what people had to say. Sanders did not show as much interest connecting with people and only expressed his want to be president without giving much of a detailed or descriptive plan on how he was going to take care of today’s problems. Had he interacted with the audience more, given a concrete plan, expressed more knowledge of current issues and his take on them, I would have been more likely to vote for him. I know Clinton is not too popular with a lot of people, but I feel I can trust her more than a quiet candidate.
Katherine Glosser can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org