13 March 2008

55. 33-Year Old Mother, Wife And Editor In Austin

It was the night before the Texas primary, and Hillary and her campaign manager were sharing a hotel room with me and my husband. Hillary and I sat on the king-sized bed watching the late night news report on her dim chances of winning the democratic nomination.

In the lamplight, I could see the cracks in her foundation. I felt bad for her. I pulled a box of thin mint Girl Scout cookies out of nowhere. This brought a smile to Hillary's face, a real smile. We devoured the cookies in no time. I ate mine the same way I used to while watching Days of Our Lives in the summers of my childhood: I carefully nibbled off as much of the waxy chocolate as possible before the cookie crumbled and had to be eaten. Hillary just chomped away.

When the last cookie had been devoured, the campaign manager gave me a panicked look. I didn't know what to say. I had no more cookies, and the sales season had ended last week. The campaign manager telepathically communicated to me that this was the first thing Hillary had enjoyed since the New Hampshire primary. I closed my eyes for a second and visualized a fresh box of cookies, and almost immediately they appeared on top of the armoire that housed the TV. Hillary opened the box and began to eat.

I gave her a playful punch on the shoulder and said, Well, I'm going to vote for you.

Thanks, she said. I mean it.

Once the news ended, Hillary slipped off her shoes and headed to the bathroom to change into her pajamas. We all needed to rest up for the big day. It felt like the eve of a funeral.

The last thing I remember was looking at Hillary's shoes, a rather scuffed pair of low heels in an almost 1940s, vintage style. I remember noticing what neat shoes they were, and that it's a pity you never see them peek out from underneath her pants. But what really surprised me was how worn they were. They'd look presentable from a distance, but I expected such a high-profile candidate to wear newer shoes.

Then it occurred to me that these cream-colored pumps must be her favorites, the shoes she feels most at home in, the ones she couldn't replace if she tried.

I woke up thinking what a weird notion that is, that maybe even Hillary Clinton has a favorite pair of shoes.

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