Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures to the crowd at...

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures to the crowd at the start of her remarks during a primary night rally at the Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard on June 7, 2016. Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

(Clinton climbs to the mizzenmast and emits an hour-long sigh of relief.)



Wow, America.

Can you believe that, this whole time, I was a woman? I barely noticed it, frankly. It turns out that this might have been a historic candidacy, this whole time! I know, right?

But this campaign is not about the fact that I am a woman, although I am. Or the fact that there LITERALLY HAVE BEEN ZERO FEMALE PRESIDENTS BEFORE, so, if elected, I would be the first lady president, a historic milestone that has never happened. Although that, too, is true. (Not the first lady. I have already been that, and that was something different.) I don’t want to stress this too much, but HISTORY IS HAPPENING IN BROOKLYN, AND WE JUST HAPPEN TO BE IN THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, and you can get a free magnet that says HISTORY MADE on it and also coincidentally has my face.

It is, however, no coincidence that we are standing under a glass ceiling in Brooklyn right now. It’s not even that I care about being a woman. I just absolutely despise ceilings. Especially glass ceilings.

They are my Moby-Dick. When I get to the White House, the first thing I am going to do is punch a giant hole in the ceiling. It’s not even made of glass. I know because I spent Bill’s entire term staring at it, gnashing my teeth and muttering WHY NOT ME WHY NOT ME beneath my breath while my hairstyle flickered and changed with each passing tabloid headline.

And while we’re at it, walls are also awful. All parts of buildings are bad. Bridges can stay.

Today’s victory is not about one person. What person? Indeed, the less said about me, the better. My campaign manager has repeatedly stressed this. Honestly, if we could have replaced my speech with another inspiring video, we would have.

When I look at myself, I don’t see myself. I see a movement. A woman. Just a generic woman. A historic woman, even. A person with two X chromosomes who could be anyone: the new face of the $20 bill, your hardworking mother, Beyoncé. Please, if you can, picture me as Beyoncé.

I want to thank all the volunteers. I want to thank the people I got to speak to, across the country, all six of you, in open, free-flowing, spontaneous interactions of one or two questions each behind a rope perimeter, as a real person would have. Your concerns were fascinating. I see you. I hear you. I will always be at your back, like the wind in an Irish blessing, or the proverbial woman who is behind every great man, lurking creepily.

I also enjoyed all 46 minutes I spent talking with the media. Each minute was precious to me.

I would like to congratulate Sen. Bernie Sanders on his remarkable campaign, in which he managed to excite the youth. If someone who looks like if Gandalf had to shave his beard for a job interview can energize the youths, you would think that I could, but apparently, “GRADUAL, MARGINAL CHANGE WITHIN THE SYSTEM, WHICH I HOPE IS NOT AS BROKEN AS YOU THINK!” is not the kind of galvanizing slogan that youths like. Doesn’t really sing.

But youths, Sen. Sanders and I have something in common now! We have both lost a Democratic primary! Right? Can we agree on that? Or is this going to continue and continue long after it has ceased to be fun, like a conversation with a Sanders supporter? I am sorry, did I say that out loud? I meant only to think it. Please, I need all of you. Do not write in his name as a protest.

Look, though, we have to remember what the United States is. We need to keep vast amounts of billionaire cash out of politics and put it where it belongs: in the coffers of the Clinton foundation. (No, I’m sorry, but actually, please, I’m going to try to do reforms, so please, seriously, do not vote for Donald Trump.)

Trump says he can make America great again. I think when he says this he literally imagines that he is going to take the country back in time, but I don’t see a time-turner! I am the only one in this race who has been compared to Hermione. Well, at least, someone called me an over-prepared killjoy witch, and to me that seemed like a Hermione comparison.

Trump seems as though he is trying to return America to the 1950s by doing a continuous impression of Biff Tannen. He wants to win by stoking fear and rubbing salt in wounds! This rubbing-salt-in-wounds thing leaves me even more confused as to what era, specifically, Trump is trying to return us to. Did we even have modern medicine then?

Trump doesn’t realize that returning America to a bygone era is a complex effort that requires careful attention to period detail. In fact, Trump gets flustered and uncomfortable whenever anyone mentions period detail, even though these concepts are unrelated.

My point is: Time travel should move only in one direction. Forward. And if you forget which one, look at which way the arrow in my logo is pointing!

We must lift each other up, not tear each other down. We must tear down walls, not lift them up. We must raise the minimum wage and relieve student debt, but not too much! Reasonable, incremental change within the system! That’s my slogan! Upon trying to shout it in a rousing manner, I am beginning to sense why we have had such difficulty getting it to catch on!


Listen, we are a country made up of many, many groups, all of whom I will attempt to list in a sensitive and welcoming way. Please remember that I gave everyone a shout-out in my video! We are inclusive, here! Then again, I guess all I have to do is be better at this than Trump, and he has lowered the bar so deep that sound no longer carries.

My mother was born on the day the 19th Amendment passed. The 19th Amendment was like the ERA, but it actually passed, maybe because people thought that universal suffrage for women was probably a bad thing they wanted to inflict on women. People love passing laws to do that.

There are still ceilings to break for all of us. I urge you all to join me: men, women, children, Republicans, people who just hate ceilings. Join me. There is only one candidate in the race who despises ceilings. Trump loves them, so much that he often decorates them with chandeliers, which are just a ceiling’s form of tacky earrings. I will end all chandeliers. Also stalactites.

This has been a long time overdue. America has been waiting 227 years for a female president. But I guess women take a long time to get ready! Ha, ha, that was a prepared joke. Women are funny. I am a woman.

Then again, America has also been waiting 227 years for a president named Donald, and maybe people will decide that those two things are equally valid.

But for now, let me savor this moment.

I wish my mother were here tonight to see how things have changed. To see what I have become. To see that her daughter could grow up to be a hardworking secretary whom a wealthy man will spend the next several months yelling at.


Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.