|(Photo Source: Hillary for Iowa Facebook Page)|
Thank you, Hillary, from the bottom of my heart. You have met thousands upon thousands of supporters over the years, and I am one of them. You have meant more to me than you can even imagine. There is no other politician that has inspired me more than you have.
I grew up with Bill Clinton as our President and you as our First Lady. I even did a report/presentation about President Clinton in 4th grade. One of my friends told me afterwards that even though he didn't side with your husband, he still thought I did a great job with my report.
I was a teenager when George W. Bush was President and in my first year of college when you first ran for President. (The previous summer, I turned 18 and immediately registered to vote.)
During the 2008 election, the two candidates I liked were you and then-Senator Obama. When my state's caucus came around, the first time I could vote in a presidential election, I voted for you. When you lost the Democratic nomination, I knew we were still going to be in good hands with Barack Obama--and we were.
I watched as you traveled around the world as Secretary of State to repair relations and to make our country and the world a safer place. You were the epitome of a true leader during those four years. That obviously didn't come as a surprise, since you have been in every position you've held.
The night President Obama was re-elected, the hashtag #Hillary2016 was trending. That inspired me to create the @HillaryIn2016 Twitter account the very next day. In the four years since, I've met so many fantastic people who were also supporting you, as well as meeting supporters in person (including Captain Hillster) when I attended one of your rallies in Everett, WA. (Being able to see you in person and shake your hand was a very surreal experience.)
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When you announced that you were running for President again, I donated to a political candidate for the very first time. I helped spread your message online. I was chosen as a delegate at my precinct caucus and made it all the way to the Washington State Democratic Convention as a Clinton delegate. I very much wanted to make it to the National Convention, but I fell short, just like in 2012 as an Obama delegate. That didn't stop me from continuing to help you get elected in the months since the convention.
Throughout this election--throughout your whole public life, really--I have watched you handle everything with grace and dignity, even when you were unfairly attacked on a constant basis. The way the media treated you, the way your opponents treated you, I don't know if I could have dealt with all of that. And I don't know how you did, but your calm presence always reassured me that if you can deal with that opposition, then all of us can deal with anything that we face.
Not a day went by when I didn't feel proud to be supporting your candidacy. You were the most qualified candidate ever. That should have been enough. The sexism that's been on full display has been unbelievable. We all were ready for you to be the first female President. You did win the popular vote, so that's proof enough that we are ready to shatter that "highest, hardest glass ceiling."
Your entire life, you have fought for all of us, especially women and children. And for that, our country--and many countries around the world--will forever be grateful for everything you've done. We did what we could to help you become President. There were supporters who did a lot more than I did, and I know I could have done more, but know this: you did not let us down. We will always be proud of what you have accomplished (including everything you've done to help the LGBT community) and the history that you've made.
As you said in your concession speech, "This is painful, and it will be for a long time." We're all there with you. But like you have said many times on the campaign trail, we've been knocked down, but we haven't been knocked out.
No matter what you do going forward, we will be there to support you. I'm sure you're looking forward to spending a lot more time with your grandchildren, and you deserve to go on a million vacations.
We can't thank you enough for everything you have done. Like I said, you have not disappointed us. We are more proud of you than ever before.
Thank you, Hillary Clinton.