Hanging with Hillary; A Personal Viewpoint

Jim Shinn with his homemade sign to greet democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton was a hoot, and was it hot! I was one of the hundreds waiting in line to get a glimpse of our probable next president. I wanted to be a part of history (or maybe “Herstory”). I was glad I went for a variety of reasons. Make no mistake; I struggled with the decision when I knew I would have to wait outside, in a parking lot in triple-digit heat for a couple of hours. I am not a Hillary fan, because if you are pro-abortion, you will never get my vote, even if you promise to quadruple my Social Security. She is not pro-life so I can’t be Pro-Clinton.

I will begin with the upsides. Hillary looked good and sounded better. In real life, she appeared healthy or she had dropped some pounds on the campaign trail. My seat was with the press not more than 20-30 yards away from the podium, and she hit on many points that will resonate with a valley resident: jobs, immigration reform and promoting unity rather than division. She was introduced by Congressman Juan Vargas, and he began his introduction with a discussion of Matthew 25:35, which talks about us helping the hungry, the needy and the imprisoned.  She built upon that well with a story about her youth when she and her church volunteered babysitting the children of migrant workers. Hillary has a solid record of advocating for women and children, and her story made it personal. Most of us have struggled with childcare needs as working parents. It was a good story many will never hear.

I was feeling blessed inside the Barcelona Center, in the cool A/C while hundreds were outside, hot and thirsty (waters were given out to those waiting), and now I was getting to hear God’s word. That is the part of the Democratic Party that has always resonated with me, a political platform about helping people. (We social workers like that part!) Hillary was wise and she was preaching to the choir. She talked about jobs and how her husband had created 23 million jobs during his stay in the White House. She talked about immigration reform, but didn’t really explain it. She also shared about improving wages, childcare resources and increasing quality in health care and education. It felt good to hear about all the things she was planning to accomplish. She said she didn’t want to do it for us, but with us. She did a good job and those who could get in to hear left feeling encouraged.

I was comforted in the fact that I was watching a good politician, in her element. Unfortunately for me, I was less impressed than most of the partygoers. First of all, Ms. Clinton is pro-abortion, but in her discussion of Matthew and the “least of these”, the unborn little fellers, don’t show up on the radar, even though they are seen on the sonogram. Don’t quote Matthew unless you really are an advocate for the weakest, most vulnerable in our society.

Hillary also offered up a meal that looked and sounded good, but it was lacking in vitamins, minerals or protein. The question I always want to hear is: “How to pay for it?” The issue of the federal deficit never came up. I didn’t expect it to. I used to vote for spending programs all the time, because I had no conscience when it comes to spending other people’s money. After having been a taxpayer, homeowner, managing a business and working two jobs for 30 years, it is part of reality to talk about how things really are going to happen and get paid for.

It was exciting to be in the middle of the media frenzy. There was a lot of positive energy, excitement and hand shaking. I saw several elected officials and some friends from the Calexico school district because their students did a music program to welcome the Clinton entourage.

I was disappointed in the management of the event. It was a small thing, but it spoke volumes. We can blame the Secret Service, but still, for a candidate “for the people”, it was frustrating for the majority of the Clinton followers. Hundreds did not get in, waiting in a hot parking lot and emergency medical personnel were very busy with the consequences. We are being asked to elect Clinton to manage the huge federal government, while on a micro-level, in this event, people were very disappointed and some sickened. This whole affair would have been better done at the fairgrounds, close to the airport and able to more comfortably handle the masses. I did not hear any sound bites of those who waited for hours outside and never got in. Poor management leads to consumer frustration, unintended health problems (I heard many fainted) and inefficient use of resources. Poor management can also lead to fascism!

I am glad Ms. Clinton chose to come hang with us for a few hours and she did herself proud and probably got a few more votes. I was glad the valley got attention, because our farmers and workers feed the nation. We also got some props for being a leader in renewable energy resources. All in all, it was a great day. But then again I wasn’t outside.


  1. Interesting idea, but I think the Barbara Worth Convention Center might be willing to volunteer their facilities for worthwhile community events, like a presidential candidate coming to visit.

  2. I am not sure there is a structure that is air-conditioned and could accommodate a larger crowd at the Mid-Winter Fairgrounds, is there? Just fact-checking. If there is not Mr. Shinn, perhaps you could advocate the Cities of the Imperial Valley to contribute the land and pay for the development of a convention center that would serve the entire Valley.

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