When I was voting in my first presidential election, Bill Clinton had electrified young voters. I mean, sure, he was charismatic, played a saxophone on MTV (a cheesy maneuver, but effective), and made the campaign engaging for newly minted voters.
But Hillary Clinton spoke at a campaign stop on her husband's behalf and I was gobsmacked. She didn't pander, and she was obviously smart as hell. She didn't play the submissive wife. She didn't girly up.
She was Bill's peer, and supported him in his goals because she was his peer and it was his turn on the stage. But there wasn't any question that her turn would come later on. She wasn't finished; she was merely supporting her spouse before the next chapter in her career, whatever it might be.
And I thought, "Jesus Christ, this is amazing. She is AMAZING." She had vision, and goals of her own, and a brain that worked outside her husband's. She was articulate. She wasn't soft, even slightly prickly, but I liked that. So come November 1992, in my first presidential election I marked my ballot for Bill Clinton, but I VOTED for Hillary.
And now both of us are older. We've both been through the ringer at different times. We've both seen some amazing personal growth, and made some glaring mistakes. Her charisma isn't as slick as Bill's, but I appreciate that. I don't want a car salesman, I want someone who can navigate political tumult with both a sense of self, and a good grasp of how to delegate and to whom. Her Rolodex is to die for. She dresses in Nehru jackets, and wears them well. She has had jobs in most levels of government, and has Obama on speed dial.
Is she on script too much? Maybe...but maybe she knows her weaknesses, and public speaking isn't her strong suit. That's okay. Harry Truman wasn't charismatic either, but he had it together and is only now getting his due as a good president during rough times.
So I'm voting for Hillary because she impressed me the first time, she impresses me now, she has a better CV than anyone, ANYONE, in the history of American politics, and has managed to keep her head during the normal slings and arrows of a presidential campaign, but also weathered the rampant lies, sexism, lame media coverage, and overt dismissal of her 30-plus-year service to her country. Cool as a cucumber doesn't even begin to cover it. She's a freaking political NINJA.
Hillary Clinton, because she's more badass than any of us.