My dear Mrs. Clinton:
You were an intern with Senator Charles Goodell, Republican of New York, when I was his press secretary, but that was 1970 and we had more than 50 interns – the largest intern class ever on Capitol Hill – and I had not remembered you, until, as First Lady, you came to San Diego and I had the privilege of meeting you at a reception.
I mentioned I had worked for Senator Goodell, and you said, “I was an intern for Charlie Goodell.”
That was our one and only connection, but I am moved to write this because I am concerned about your candidacy as the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States.
But before expressing my concerns, let me affirm what I believe:
I’ve said no women in American public life, from 1776 to this moment in our history, has accomplished more – First Lady of Arkansas and of the United States, United States Senator, Secretary of State, and now Presidential nominee.
There have been many great women in our nation’s public life, but your record of service exceeds all others.
My second point, if you become our President, you will enter the Oval Office with more experience than five of your six immediate predecessors, as only President George Herbert Walker Bush held more positions of equal or greater standing.
Now, to my concerns:
The most troubling is the poll that reports 67 percent of Americans do not trust you – that is a major concern.
To confront this major crisis of confidence, I suggest the following:
First, call a press conference and say you are deeply troubled by the apparent lack of trust people have about you and your candidacy and you will do everything possible to earn their trust; and that further, whatever you say about the nominee of the Republican Party will be based upon his own words, as there is no need to misrepresent him – his words carry their own indictment.
Second, that you will establish a scholarship fund for students in need; funded, in part, by the millions of dollars you received in speaking fees from Wall Street (while also releasing the transcripts of your speeches), and that you will return to UC Berkeley, UNLV, and UConn, the money you received for the commencement addresses you delivered at those three public universities.
You are my candidate, Mrs. Clinton, but if Wall Street and college speaking fees bother me, and they do, please consider the problem they create for others uncertain about your candidacy.
The risk of holding onto the money isn’t worth it – it’s not even close.
Establish the scholarships, return the money, and be done with it. The contrast with your generosity and the other major party’s nominee and the untruths he has told about his own personal giving (as documented by the Washington Post), will be dramatic and striking.
Lastly, since many people doubt your sincerity, which is what the polls tell us, I would be upfront during the upcoming campaign about your personal values and beliefs, not least your religious faith, as you did so compellingly in Iowa during the primary, when you were asked what your faith means to you.
In response to that question from a high school guidance counselor, you said:
“Thank you for asking. I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. I am a Methodist. I feel very grateful for the instructions and support [I’ve} received, starting in my family and through my church.
“My study of the Bible has led me to believe the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all your might and to love your neighbor as yourself…that is what I think we are commanded by Christ to do, and there is so much more in the Bible about taking care of the poor, visiting the prisoners, taking in the stranger, creating opportunities for others to be lifted up…
“But I do believe…that being more open, tolerant and respectful is part of what makes me humble about my faith, and I am in awe of people who truly turn the other cheek, who can go that extra mile, who keep finding ways to forgive and move on. Those are really hard things for human beings to do…but the New Testament calls us to do that.
“Part of the message that I certainly have tried to understand and live with is to look at yourself first, to make sure you are being the kind of person you should be in your treatment of others, but I am by no means a perfect person, I will certainly confess that to one and all, but I feel the continuing urge to do better, to try to be kinder, to try to be more loving, even with people who are quite harsh.”
The secularists among your campaign advisors will push back. They will tell you taking about faith is best avoided. Ignore their counsel. People of faith outnumber secularists.
People need to know you, the inner you; the person you revealed that cold day last winter in Knoxville, Iowa.
The testimony from those who know you best, family, friends, and colleagues, is consistent. They tell us you are open, warm, funny and hugely intelligent. Be that person for us. Let us see the inner you – because that is the candidate we desire to know.
If this is the Hillary Rodham Clinton we witness this campaign, then know that decent and fair minded Americans, whose numbers are greater than those of crabbed souls and constricted thinking, will trust you with their vote and will elect you the 45th President of the United States.
With highest regard,
George Mitrovich is a San Diego civic leader. He may be reached at, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: National News