Hillary, Shattering the Glass Ceiling!

Hillary Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at her first-in-the-nation presidential primary campaign rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


Part II: from Hillary, Pick Bernie!

Hillary, was First Lady of the United States from 1993-2001 and prior to that, First Lady of Arkansas for twelve years. She was the first female US Senator from New York serving 2001-2009, and served as the 67th United States Secretary of State (second woman) from 2009-2013.

But we forget about her journey up the mountain. Before she was Hillary Clinton, she was Hillary Rodham.  A young thirteen year old girl knocking on doors during the 1960 presidential election, where she found evidence of voter fraud against Republican candidate Richard Nixon.  Fourteen years later, she was an attorney on the impeachment inquiry staff that led to the resignation of President Nixon.

In 1975, with a remarkable experience in Washington, she moved back to Arkansas and married Bill Clinton.  A woman blazing an enviable career path went south to her husband’s home state.  A place where norms for women were behind the times. She ruffled feathers when she kept her last name, Rodham.  Normal today, in the mid-seventies it was unheard of, especially in the South.  Her motivation then was to keep their professional lives separate, as Bill soon headed to the governor’s mansion.

That is just the beginning of her story of traditions and contradictions that along the way shattered ceilings and lamented myths. How else could she break down barriers and shatter glass ceilings along the way? She’s raised the bar for women by championing issues here and abroad. And like any mother, she has been a powerful voice for children. Pushed the envelope and fit traditional roles like many women have for centuries.

By the time Bill Clinton was defeated in his re-election bid for Arkansas governor in 1980, she’d become the first female full partner in her law firm. That same year, she gave birth to their daughter, Chelsea.  When he successfully ran for reelection in 1982, she was blazing a path of independence. But took a leave of absence from the firm to support his campaign and to soften Arkansas voters’ concern, she used the name Hillary Clinton.

After the election, she used Hillary Rodham Clinton and took less pay than partners at her firm. She sat on a number of boards, supported education initiatives and became the first female member of the Board of Directors for Wal-Mart.  Talk about shattering glass ceilings.

In 1992, when her husband ran for president, her career was beyond blossoming. She made more money than her husband but to win the White House, she had to take a seat again in the traditional wife role. Here, her husband’s extramarital affairs were all over the news. She sat with him in a Sixty Minutes interview, as women wondered, what would she say? That one interview got his campaign got back on track and they won the White House.

There’s past, present and future to Hillary. Kinda like Hillary Rodham, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Hillary Clinton. At every turn, she’s been challenged. Men thirsty to hold on to power, insecure of letting the reins go, challenge her today. Benghazi, emails, servers and her husband’s past confront her every day.

Nevertheless, her resilience keep her moving upward shattering ceilings and myths about women. She is not unlike millions of women every day doing the same, balancing the home and the office.

So why do my friends ask me, “why does she wear the pant suits.” My answer is simple, it’s her cloak of armor. When she was in the US Senate, she was criticized by her male colleagues for wearing colorful suits instead of the Senate’s traditional dark colors evidently established by men. Now it’s her pants suit.

I admit, it would be nice to see her take off the pant suit for short times on the campaign trail. In a manner that allows her to relax and share her story of past, present and future. It would be nice to hear about Hillary Rodham and her challenges and successes going back to her childhood. And let her talk about what it is like to be Hillary Clinton now the diplomat, grandmother and future President of these United States.

That’s why as I wrote yesterday, in Hillary, Pick Bernie, that she should select him as her VP. He can free her to tell her story. Millions are waiting to fall in love with her, like I did rereading her story.  She doesn’t have to run the traditional route men before her set. Let Bernie hit Trump and let her be presidential.  If you are going to rewrite history and shatter the ceiling do it your way! You’ve earned it.

Like on this or share it if you want to know more about Hillary?  One more ceiling to shatter! This one is meant to rain down on Trump’s wall of division. It’s time for the next chapter in the American story.

About the author:

IMG_6592  Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR), founder of Party Politics US and Associate Producer on The Framing of OJ Simpson.  Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Atiba Madyun on Facebook.

Hillary, Pick Bernie!

clinton sanders
Photo credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara


Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Standing in her the way, the past few weeks, Bernie Sanders picked up momentum too late.  Over that time, he made it interesting and painted in my mind three things Hillary can do to unify the Dems and win big in November.

First, put Bernie on the ticket.  What, you’re asking?  I know conventional wisdom says, pick a young, charismatic person from a swing state for Vice President and to make it more appealing a Latino right?  Not this year.

Everything about this campaign season is different.  Donald Trump the presumptive Republican nominee is an outsider pushing the buttons of racial and religious divide.  How can that be successful in 2016?  I don’t know everything.  I mean how does a guy who has poked at women, demeaned Mexicans and attack Muslim judges gain points in the polls?  Everything is different.

Conventional wisdom doesn’t work.  Not this year.  Instead of intellectually explaining your message, you have to dumb it down.  The message is clear, do the opposite of whatever seems normal.

Pick Sanders as your VP.  He’s old, not young.  Jewish not Christian.  A known commodity and household name, doing something most politicians are afraid to do, tell the truth.  And his campaign is a movement, not unlike Obama’s eight years ago!

Another reason to pick him? Hillary won’t be able to hang with Trump.  And she shouldn’t have to.  He’s out of her league.  She’s won a Senate campaign and lost a Presidential.  Guess where she’s been most successful?  Staying out of the fray and allowing Bill to be out front.  Now she’s the lead horse and has to stay out of the fray because it is where she is best.  The challenge is, she has to lead the conversation not be guided by it.

If she’s going to win, she needs to bring excitement to the campaign.  She doesn’t have the luxury of introducing someone new to the American people.  She needs someone the voters know.  Someone who can bang with Trump, while she remains above the fray and does two things.  #FeelTheBern

Take off the pants suit sometime on the campaign trail and let us know your story.   Some  friends, who are still undecided, ask why does she wear those suits?  It’s her armor.  Meeting her for the first time last year in Iowa, I was taken by how short she is.  Everything from her handshake, smile and eyes tell you, she’s not short.  She’s confident and fearless.  And she’s human.  All the mudslinging she’s been exposed to the past forty years would make many men retreat from the public eye, but she’s not shying away.  She’s right there front and center where you want your President to be.

Another question I hear is, if not Hillary, what type of woman will it take to get elected?  What is a woman supposed to look and act like to get elected?  I believe they should look like themselves.  A woman should not have to conform.  The public made this Hillary appear resilient, because she is.  But what is the road she traveled to get here?  Let’s take a glimpse before the pants suit at who she has been.

PART II tomorrow Hillary, Shattering The Glass Ceiling!

About the author:

IMG_6592  Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR), founder of Party Politics US and Associate Producer on The Framing of OJ Simpson.  Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Atiba Madyun on Facebook.