I Follow Hillary Clinton Around With A Camera. Here's A Behind-The-Scenes Look At My Day
Over the past year, I've spent more days with Hillary Clinton than I have with my roommate in New York City. As Hillary Clinton's video producer, I've filmed her one-on-one in tiny rooms, at large rallies surrounded by thousands of supporters and in the unplanned moments that most people don't get to see.
If I had to sum it up: This is an extraordinary journey punctuated with many ordinary moments.
I operate a camera every day, so bear with me while I use this analogy: I spend most of my days zoomed in, focusing on the regular moments that I've come to cherish. Our traveling "family" mulls over each event at the end of the day, shares snacks and jokes on long car rides, and can never seem to get the temperature in the van quite right. But when I zoom out on my life, I see history being made, and I realize how much I'm personally learning and growing. I'm a young woman myself, and Hillary Clinton has shown me everything from how cool it is to care about policy to the limits I can — and should — push myself to achieve my goals.
No two days are ever the same, but here's a look at life on the campaign trail through the ordinary moments that led up to Tuesday night's historic event.
7:30 a.m. — Wake up and get ready for the day
Most importantly, I need to make sure my I have all my gear. I usually walk around with a small IT closet packed in my bag (and some snacks).
**Yes, this is an ironing board.
8:00 a.m. — Check Twitter
I never know what day it is; it's hard to keep track on the road. I only realize it's Monday when I see a flood of Game of Thrones tweets. Guess I'll have to stay off of Twitter today until I watch!
9:00 a.m. — Touch base with HQ
Another (awesome) part of my job is shooting Snapchat stories from the road. I work closely with a colleague at the campaign's Brooklyn headquarters who also produces stories from there.
We had a special guest taking over the account from another part of California on this day, so we both had a day off from that. (Shameless promotion: Follow us at hillaryclinton!)
11:00 a.m. — Head to the first event
The staff van becomes our home for the day and I plant myself next to a window seat. It’s also a cupholder seat, but I try to keep that trick to myself...
Being off Snapchat duty, I had time for a quick selfie with one of the many incredible woman at Hillary for America — Buffy Wicks, California state director.
11:30 a.m. — Arrive at a community center in Compton
We call this type of event an "OTR," which stands for "off the record." These are campaign stops that are unannounced. So folks at the community center were surprised when a special guest walked in. Everywhere we go, we meet amazing people who share memories and stories with Hillary. This stop was no exception.
"Gotta have a picture with a Dodgers fan!" – Hillary
12:00 p.m. — Lunch at Hawkins House of Burgers
Around noon, we had some time for a quick stop for lunch at a famous burger place in Watts, California. Hillary was eager to get a bacon cheeseburger, but first met two adorable girls. One of them was wearing purple glasses.
Hillary told her that her first pair of glasses was purple, too, and that she still thinks about them.
1:00 p.m. — Rally in Lynwood
While Hillary was finishing a phone interview, we found a good spot to cheese it up.
Eventually, I got to work.
4:00 p.m. — Rally in South Los Angeles
At the Leimert Park Village Plaza, we met up with Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin), Gwen Carr (mother of Eric Garner) and Wanda Johnson (mother of Oscar Grant). Over the course of the campaign, Hillary has formed a special bond with mothers who've lost their children to gun violence and police incidents.
In these moments, I'm reminded again of the kind of leader Hillary Clinton is: One that takes her spotlight and shines it on those often left out and left behind. Having the Mothers of the Movement join us on the campaign trail has been really inspiring for all of us.
8:00 p.m. — She's With Us Concert
Our final event of the day is a star-studded concert featuring performances by Andra Day, Ricky Martin, John Legend, Christina Aguilera, and a special surprise — Stevie Wonder.
The concert was nothing short of amazing, but what was really special was hearing the artists speak. Each of them is deeply passionate about causes from criminal justice reform to immigration to climate change, and used the stage to call attention to these issues.
11:30 p.m. — Travel back to New York
When I got off our red eye flight back to New York, I thanked Hillary. She told me to get some rest — which I faithfully obliged.
1:00 p.m. — Head to Primary night rally
After a few hours in my neglected New York City apartment, I headed out to our Primary night rally at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
I got there early enough to watch the space transform from an empty warehouse into the setting that will be forever remembered as the place the first woman became the presumptive nominee for president for a major political party in America.
"It may be hard to see tonight, but we are all standing under a glass ceiling right now. [Cheers.] But don't worry, we're not smashing this one," Hillary said. "Thanks to you, we've reached a milestone — the first time in our nation's history that a woman will be a major party's nominee for president of the United States."
There's nothing like a historic milestone to make you stop and reflect. Today, I'm doing something Hillary talks about — and lives — all the time: "practicing the discipline of gratitude." While we have a long way to go, I'm deeply grateful to be on this journey with a badass group of people trying to make something good happen.
Images: Barbara Kinney for Hillary For America (7)