The next President of the United States?

In April 2006 we introduced our granddaughter, Erin, to Washington DC. In 2006, Hillary Clinton had not yet formally declared her candidacy for President and Nancy Pelosi was not yet Speaker of the House of representatives ( she was simply the Minority Leader of the House). Both Clinton and Pelosi, along with a number of other officials, were speaking at a press conference intended to shed light on the terrible situation in the Sudan. The event was conducted on the lawn in front of the US Capital.

Now, Erin and I share a tendency to gravitate to the center of the action, so we had positioned ourselves backstage, directly behind the speaker's podium. From there we could 'catch all the action.' Clinton was the last speaker, and as she spoke I kneeled down next to Erin and said to her: "When Hillary leaves the stage, walk up to her, hold out your hand and say 'Hi! I'm Erin Gloster and I live in Arkansas just like you used to, and I hope you're the next President of the United States'. Erin hesitated for a second and then said "Um .. OK"

As soon as Clinton finished her speech and stepped way from the podium, I gave Erin a firm nudge in the back and said, " OK... Go!". Erin marched off towards Clinton, but after a few steps ... she stopped! I remember thinking 'Oh Oh - she's a little intimidated' and hoped that she would overcome it. After standing there for a moment, looking at Clinton, she abruptly turned 90 degrees to the right, walked up to Nancy Pelosi, stuck out her hand and said "Hi, I'm Erin Gloster, and I hope YOU'RE the next President of the United States!". Needless to say, Pelosi was elated!

But this story is not about who should be President of the United States - this is a story about achievement, role models, and about becoming a woman in America. Erin is very fortunate in that there is no shortage of impressive women role models in her life - her Mother, Step Mother, Grandmother and Aunt are all educated, successful, exceptional women. With their guidance (and perhaps an occasional nudge in the back from me) she'll know that there are no limits to what she can achieve.