Hillary Clinton picked the perfect town to kick off her book tour – Washington Post
WASHINGTON, D.C. — For Bang Warren, a retired entrepreneur and self-described political junkie, money was no object when it came to seeing Hillary Clinton.
“I paid twelve fifty on Stub Hub for two tickets,” she said, standing outside of the Warner Theatre, nearly two hours before Clinton’s first stop on a speaking tour promoting her new book. “No, not twelve dollars and fifty cents. Twelve hundred and fifty dollars.”
The women beside her in line nodded their heads in approval. The former Democratic candidate for president may be one of the least popular politicians in America — a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that only 30 percent of respondents had a positive view of her — but in Clinton Country, her base still loves her.
“It’s going to be more than worth it,” Warren said. “Especially if I can get a selfie with her.”
Here in this midsize city known as a bastion of liberal sensibilities that last year gave Clinton 90.1 percent of their vote, her weary fans — from the itinerant flacks and Hill staffers, to the workers with deep roots in the local nonprofit and think-tank communities — don’t seem to mind her flaws. These disenfranchised residents, many of them tired of being belittled as swamp creatures by the new power elite running the country, see Clinton as the rare pol who is solidly on their side.
And so it was a festive atmosphere on 13th Street Northwest, amid the “Pussy Power” buttons and the “Nasty Woman” T-shirts, as folks clamored to snap up copies of her new book, “What Happened,” while eagerly parsing quotes from her recent NPR interview with Terry Gross. (“She damn well better not rule out contesting the election!”)
When Clinton took the stage — resplendent in a bright fuchsia jacket and a smile that seemed natural after weeks of reading, writing, walking in the woods and, as we were to learn, drinking wine — she did so to a lasting standing ovation. She promised her people they hadn’t seen the last of her.
“None of us can afford to go quietly away,” she said. “We need our voices, we need our energy . . . . We’re not going to go anywhere. We’re still fighting and still moving.”
Clinton played to the crowd, joking about how she had to win a campaign against both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, discussing at length about her love for hot sauce and her disdain for the current administration’s casual relationship with facts.
She sat for more than an hour, chatting with her former speechwriter and longtime friend Lissa Muscatine, the co-owner of the Politics and Prose bookstore, which hosted the event. It wasn’t a hard-hitting interview (“What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?” “Chocolate.”), but that didn’t seem to bother this crowd. This was not a time to talk about emails, or Bernie Sanders, or whether she should have spent more time in Wisconsin or used the word “deplorables.”
Instead, Clinton spoke about the need for federal workers to stick it out in their jobs, even if they feel like they are working for a government that doesn’t care about them.
“I hope that we can maintain a core of experienced public servants in our government because at some point they’re going to need you, and the country is going to need you,” she said. “And I hope you’re still there.”
It’s the kind of rhetoric that strikes a chord in the nation’s capital, a city whose primary industry — jobs associated with government — has been threatened by the current administration.