Huma on Meeting Hillary: ‘Our Eyes Connected and I Thought, Wow’

The top aide to Hillary Clinton says meeting Clinton was “amazing,” and that she remembers thinking about the now-Democrat presidential candidate, “Oh my God, she’s so beautiful and she’s so little!”

“You know these things that happen in your life that just stick?” Huma Abedin said in a Call Your Girlfriend podcast interview. “She walked by and she shook my hand and our eyes connected and I just remember having this moment where I thought, “Wow.”‘

Call Your Girlfriend describes itself as a “podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.” The podcast is hosted by Ann Friedman, a freelance journalist and New York magazine columnist, and Aminatou Sow, a digital strategist who was named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in tech fields. The hosts said Abedin – the vice chair of Clinton’s presidential campaign – was among the top 10 people they were hoping to interview for their podcast.

“You’re a big deal to young ladies,” Sow complimented Abedin at the start of the interview.

Abedin said she prefers to have a role that is “behind the scenes.”

“I really work as ‘part of a village,’ as my boss coined the phrase,” she added. “It does take a village to support Hillary Clinton. I am part of that village.”

Asked about the first time she met Clinton, Abedin said in the fall of 1996 – when she was 21 – she was working in the former First Lady’s office as an intern for her then-chief-of-staff Melanne Verveer. Clinton, she said, was “very good about meeting all the interns in her office.”

But Abedin said it was in Little Rock after Bill Clinton was re-elected president that Hillary Clinton “shook my hand and our eyes connected and I just remember having this moment where I thought wow, this is amazing. And I just…it just inspired me.”

“You know, I still remember the look on her face,” she continued. “And it’s funny, and she would probably be so annoyed that I say this, but I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, she’s so beautiful and she’s so little!’”

The hosts, noting to Abedin that their listeners are younger, “politically progressive…pro-choice women,” asked Abedin to make the case for Clinton over rival Bernie Sanders, particularly in the area of abortion, which the left refers to as “reproductive health.”

Abedin responded, referring to pro-life legislation as “scary policies”:

[I]t’s something that she’s spoken out about a lot in this campaign and I think particularly since the other side, you know, our friends on the Republican side have suggested some pretty scary policies and especially when we have to deal with the issues of Planned Parenthoods potentially being closed down and what the Republicans did in Congress.

“I mean this notion that all women should feel like they’re able to make their own decisions, not have politicians tell them what to do or how to do it but be able to give all women access to affordable, good-quality healthcare,” Abedin added. “And that’s including your reproductive health which is why I think the threat of the Planned Parenthood shutdowns were so – you know, were so scary.”


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