Hillary Rodham Clinton took the oath of office as United States Senator from New York in January 2001. Three months later she delivered her maiden speech in the Senate. That same day Council for a Livable World had an appointment with her to discuss our issues and concerns. The meeting was held in the crowded conference room adjacent to the Senate chamber where senators meet with constituents, lobbyists and friends and still be readily available for roll calls and votes.
We took command of a corner of the room for a semblance of privacy, lined up chairs for the Senator and her staff, also for me as the spokesperson and council staff. Hillary appeared, resplendent in a light blue shiny pants suit, flushed with the glowing experience of her first speech, much more feminine and handsome than I had expected.
“Senator, thank you for your time on this important day. We congratulate you on your election and are proud that we were able to raise…” She interrupted, “Your endorsement was more important.” Touche.
Then I asked for her support on four legislative matters due to come before the Senate, including National Missile Defense, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, etc. We discussed each in detail. She was well informed on the details and the political problems of each. In every case she agreed to support our position.
Finally, I thanked her for the meeting and said, “Senator, we are overwhelmed by your cooperation, that you have agreed with our position on all four items.” Senator Clinton responded, “Mr. Grossman, I am putty in your hands.” General laughter. End of meeting. Everybody impressed by the Senator’s knowledge, wit and social grace.