Letters: The Hillary We Know
Our family has known Hillary Clinton for over three decades. Each of us has worked alongside her on various pressing problems and issues facing America and the world. In doing so, she has become a friend. Perhaps it is helpful to hear from folks who personally know a presidential candidate. It is with that in mind that we share these impressions.
In 1985, at the height of the Cold War, Carol was running Peace Links, an organization that had the bold idea to bring professional women from the former Soviet Union to the United States with the aim of increasing understanding of one another. This was a visionary exercise in citizen diplomacy at a time when engaging with the “Evil Empire” was risky and unpopular. We asked a handful of States' First Ladies if they would be willing to host the visitors. Hillary was the first to agree. Not only did she invite them to Little Rock, she hosted them at the Governor’s mansion for a public conversation and arranged various visits with schools, businesses and hospitals. Perhaps not surprisingly, more than a few people attacked Hillary for being too progressive for hosting the Russian visitors. We learned first-hand how she identified problems and courageously went to work on a plan to fix them. During her life of public service, her creativity and experience has only grown, and with it has grown our admiration.
Pat met Hillary when he was Chair of the House Committee on Labor-Management and Hillary was First Lady, helping develop President Clinton’s Health Care proposal. Pat’s committee had legislative jurisdiction over the legislation. Working closely together on health care, Pat was impressed with her considerable smarts, dedication and joyous sense of humor. They traveled the country, including Montana, listening to folks needs and doing what they could to craft a plan to solve them. Hillary always came to Capitol Hill and all of the meetings prepared, knowing the issues, saying what she meant and keeping her word. Pat has liked, supported and trusted Hillary ever since that first meeting twenty-six years ago.
A few years after graduating from the University of Montana, Whitney went to work for Hillary in the White House, serving as the First Lady’s trip director. Traveling alongside Hillary to more than 40 states and countries, Whitney got to know Hillary, the person. Hillary is funny and she has one of the best laughs you have ever heard. She is loyal, she’s a great mom and a very good friend to many. At her core Hillary is fearless, humble and kind. She is a hard worker entirely driven by public service and she has limitless grit and determination to leave the world better than she found it. Hillary is trustworthy and has never forgotten where she came from or the progressive values she is fighting for.
Whitney has remained close to Hillary since her time in the White House. They worked together on domestic and foreign issues from foster care advocacy when Hillary was U.S. Senator to development projects in the Congo as Secretary of State.
Hillary is a remarkable leader with an impressive track record fighting for progressive causes our family cares deeply about. Each of us is delighted to have worked alongside Hillary to further many of them but we are most proud to call her a friend of the family.
- Pat, Carol and Whitney Williams